Flyers

Carter Hart named NHL's second star of the week

Carter Hart named NHL's second star of the week

The accolades keep coming for Carter Hart.

The Flyers' rookie goaltender was named the NHL’s second star of the week Monday after finishing with a perfect 3-0-0 record with a 2.27 goals-against average and .931 save percentage in helping the Flyers to the league’s longest current winning streak at seven games.

On Saturday, Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock called Hart “incredible” over the final 30 seconds of regulation as the Flyers forced overtime, before winning, 5-4, at the Wells Fargo Center.

Hart is the second Flyers rookie to earn one of the league’s three stars, joining Matt Read, who was recognized for his play during the week ending Nov. 20, 2011. 

“It’s a good feeling,” Hart said about being the NHL’s second star. “We are really playing good hockey. I think it’s a byproduct of the level of hockey that we’re playing. Things are staring to click for us as we are finding more consistency in our game.”

Winnipeg winger Jack Roslovic beat out Hart as the league’s No. 1 star following his five-goal week that included a hat trick over the Ducks on Saturday. Roslovic also had the luxury of playing one more game than Hart.

It also helped both players that a majority of the NHL was on the league-mandated bye week right up until the normal schedule picked up with a full slate on Friday. 

Hart made a total of 94 saves in victories over the Jets, Bruins and Oilers. Since making his NHL debut on Dec. 18, only Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy and Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck have made more saves than Hart’s 430.

Last week, Hart was also named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for January after finishing with a 6-2-1 mark, 2.33 goals-against average and.933 save percentage.

If the Flyers' 20-year-old netminder can maintain this very impressive pace, you have to believe he can move into the conversation for the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. Against the Canucks Monday, Hart will face the NHL’s top scoring rookie, Elias Pettersson, who leads all first-year players with 23 goals and 46 points.

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2020 NHL All-Star Game: Flyers' Travis Konecny shows off his career-high stuff for Metropolitan Division

2020 NHL All-Star Game: Flyers' Travis Konecny shows off his career-high stuff for Metropolitan Division

BOX SCORE

Travis Konecny stormed into the NHL All-Star break already with a new career high in assists. The Flyers' winger has 26 helpers and is projected to finish with 44, a sign of significant growth in a breakout 2019-20 season for the 22-year-old.

On Saturday night in the 2020 All-Star Game at Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Konecny put his facilitating on display during the 3-on-3 action featuring the world's best players. He finished with three assists in the Metropolitan Division's 9-5 semifinal loss to the Atlantic Division.

"I had a lot of fun," Konecny said Saturday, via Flyers senior director of public relations and communications Zack Hill. "It was pretty funny, I was watching my parents in the stands and my mom didn't understand why we weren't playing like a real game.

"It's my first game and it's her first time seeing it. I don't know if she was expecting me to be blocking shots and forechecking, stuff like that. I had a lot of fun with it.

"It was a really cool experience, getting to play with some players, too, that I usually won't get the chance to play with was fun."

Konecny playing in his first All-Star Game at 22 years old should be exciting for the Flyers. Claude Giroux was 23 years old for his first All-Star Game back in 2011. The future looks bright for Konecny, who signed a new six-year, $33 million contract back in mid-September.

With 17 goals and 43 points through 47 games, Konecny is eight goals and seven points away from setting career highs across the board.

A breakout, indeed.

Here are more sights and scenes from Konecny's first All-Star Game:

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Why Flyers fans should be hopeful about post-NHL All-Star break playoff chances

Why Flyers fans should be hopeful about post-NHL All-Star break playoff chances

Today, we break down why Flyers fans should be hopeful for the post-All-Star break stretch. On Sunday, we’ll look at the reasons for concern.

Through 50 games, the Flyers have done two important things. They’ve played well within the division and have dominated at home. 

Those two trends bode well for after the All-Star break because divisional games become much bigger and confidence at home is paramount as the pressure builds.

The Flyers are 17-4-4 at home and 9-2-3 against Metropolitan foes. The marks are notable given the Flyers fell sorely short in those areas last season, when they finished 19-18-4 at home and 10-16-2 in divisional play.

Another positive is the Flyers are getting healthier after the break. Shayne Gostisbehere (knee) could be back Friday in the Flyers’ first game out of the bye week, while Carter Hart (abdominal strain) is expected to return not long after.

But what might be the Flyers’ most convincing piece of evidence for optimism is how they’ve performed against the NHL’s best teams. The Flyers have shown they can play with any club, which is huge for their own belief moving forward.

The Flyers are 11th in the NHL standings at 27-17-6. They've gone 9-5-3 against the top-10 teams and 5-1-1 vs. the top four.

Head coach Alain Vigneault has a history of taking teams to the playoffs, and doing so in Year 1 on the job. At his previous three stops (Canadiens, Canucks, Rangers), each of his first seasons produced playoff bids and at least one series victory.

Vigneault’s track record will be tested over the Flyers’ final 32 games.

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