Travis Konecny labeled Carter Hart as the Flyers' best player.
Kevin Hayes called him the foundation of the team.
John Tortorella said he's the backbone.
The Flyers know of Hart's talent and ability, but what does the rest of the NHL think?
In a piece by ESPN's Greg Wyshynski, NHL players and hockey ops folks from different teams were surveyed to form a ranking of the game's top 10 goaltenders.
Hart snuck in at No. 10, making him the second-youngest netminder among the group. Like Hart, the Stars' Jake Oettinger is also 24 years old. However, he recently celebrated his 24th birthday in December, whereas Hart turns 25 in August.
A snippet from Wyshynski's gatherings:
Hart just edged a few others for the final spot on the ranking, but not everyone's a believer.
"Hart has had a bounce-back year, but I don't trust it," one NHL team executive said.
Many believed Hart would benefit from a coach like Tortorella and some much-needed stability this season. Over his previous two seasons, Hart went through an adversity-filled, coronavirus-impacted year in 2020-21 and finished last season on the shelf as the Flyers lost 57 games (25-46-11).
Prior to those two seasons, Hart had shown his potential. This season, he has looked much more like himself, entering Thursday at 16-15-9 and with a 2.78 goals-against average and .913 save percentage.
Hart has had three games of 40-or-more saves. He has won all three and yielded a combined four goals in those victories.
- 48-save win over Panthers
- 48-save win over Devils
- 40-save shutout over Jets
In games that he has made 30-or-more saves, he has gone 11-1-4.
If Hart maintains this level of play through the finish line of the season, he'll have a top 10 body of work.
That would be a positive the Flyers can take into an important offseason.
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