Recording two shutouts in the first round will get you national recognition.
Posting the highest save percentage (.943 — minimum 8 games played this postseason) has the league on high alert.
The sportsbooks have, too, taken notice of the Flyers' 22-year-old goaltender.
Before Monday night’s Bruins-Lightning game, Carter Hart had the third-best odds (+1100 — $100 winning bet pays $1,100) on DraftKings to win the Conn Smythe Trophy for the NHL’s playoff MVP. Hart’s 1.71 goals-against average is nothing too shabby, either. That’s good enough for second best among netminders who have played at least eight games in the restart.
The challenge for the Flyers is overcoming the goaltender with the best GAA during the playoffs — the Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov (1.67 GAA in nine games played). His odds to win the Smythe are at +1700.
This second-round series for the Flyers will not be a walk in the park by any means. During the regular season, the orange and black went 0-2-1 against the Islanders. Keep in mind those games occurred way back in October, November and February, before the Flyers really turned things on. Additionally, all three matchups were the second games of back-to-back sets for the Flyers.
The sportsbooks also expect a tighter series as the Flyers are -129 favorites ($129 winning bet pays $100) while the Islanders are at +108 to move onto the Conference Final. In their first-round matchup against Montreal, the Flyers were much bigger favorites at -240. Obviously a big difference when playing the eighth-seeded Canadiens and the sixth-seeded Islanders.
In terms of winning the Stanley Cup, the Flyers had the best odds (+600) along with the Vegas Golden Knights entering the first round. With the second round beginning Monday night for the Flyers, their odds have dipped a little to +675 and they are now the fourth choice on the board behind Vegas (+235), Boston (+360) and Colorado (+615).
Really? Eastern Conference foe Boston ahead of the Flyers?! Around these parts, we are getting real tired of Boston teams having the upper hand. Hopefully the Flyers can do their part but first things first ... it’s time to put to bed the city that never sleeps.