Flyers

How Jordan Binnington's run with Blues relates to Carter Hart, Flyers

How Jordan Binnington's run with Blues relates to Carter Hart, Flyers

Back on Jan. 7, Jordan Binnington came into the Wells Fargo Center and made his first-ever NHL start. He blanked the Flyers, 3-0, as the Blues beat Carter Hart.

On that night, Hart, at 20 years old and playing just his seventh game, actually had more NHL experience than the opposing goalie.

After the game, Hart smiled. Just 20 days earlier, he experienced the thrill of making his first NHL start. He could appreciate the high Binnington must have been on to deliver a shutout in such a moment.

Little did anyone know it would be the start of a remarkable run by the rookie Binnington, all the way into the Western Conference Final, which begins Saturday night (8 p.m./NBC).

In 30 starts, Binnington went an astounding 24-5-1 with a 1.83 goals-against average, .930 save percentage and five shutouts. When the Blues visited the Wells Fargo Center, they had the same number of points as the Flyers. St. Louis was 29th in the NHL at 16-19-4 and 36 points. The Flyers were 30th at 15-20-6 and 36 points.

Now, the Blues are one of four teams remaining in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, in massive part because of Binnington, who is a Calder Memorial Trophy finalist.

But Binnington had some help. St. Louis allowed 28.6 shots per game during the regular season, tied for the NHL's third fewest. The Blues won 32 games when they outshot an opponent, tied for the NHL's most. They had just six losses when outshot by an opponent, the NHL's second fewest.

St. Louis didn't make many comebacks because it didn't need them. The Blues made their push by setting the tone early in games, securing leads, sustaining pressure and playing smart hockey with a goalie that could finish. It was a good environment for Binnington, a 25-year-old with four seasons of AHL experience.

If you recall the 3-0 win over the Flyers on Jan. 7, the Blues dominated possession and often pinned the Flyers in their zone. Hart was forced to make 34 saves on 36 shots, with Binnington sealing the deal behind 25 stops.

The Flyers seldom played that style of game with Hart in net, something new head coach Alain Vigneault hopes to change.

"Puck management can be as important and can be as effective to playing good defense," Vigneault said Apr. 18. "A lot of times people talk about playing good defense and that's the forecheck or the D-zone coverage. Yeah, it is, it's because you don't have the puck, but you've got to know what to do with the puck, and when you do know what to do with the puck, then a lot of times you're not defending as much."

Hart was pretty darn good himself since Jan. 7. He went 14-10-0 in 25 games (24 starts) with a 2.84 goals-against average and .920 save percentage. Over that stretch, he made 759 saves compared to Binnington's 727. A reason why Hart converted more saves is because the Flyers allowed the NHL's most shots (1,439) since Jan. 7, putting a lot on a 20-year-old rookie's shoulders.

He made the most of the environment.

"We have a young goaltender that's got tremendous amount of potential that might become one of the top goalies in the league," Vigneault said.

It'll be up to the Flyers to help him.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Sean Couturier reveals an interesting nickname and clowns Michael Raffl

Sean Couturier reveals an interesting nickname and clowns Michael Raffl

Sean Couturier has been in Philadelphia for nine years and there's a nickname that hasn't become public.

On Saturday night, the NHL tweeted out a video of Couturier to promote the NHL Gaming World Championship. This is where we learned of this interesting nugget.

Paul Bissonnette, the host of the video, alerts Couturier that he had some dirt on the nine-year veteran from Claude Giroux.

It's revealed that his teammates call Couturier "Elton John" because when going in for a breakaway, he sometimes looks like he's carrying a piano on his back.

That's one you can't live down.

Once the spotlight is taken off Couturier, he chose Michael Raffl as the biggest jokester on the team and started modifying some of his skills and attributes in NHL20.

For example, Couturier gives Raffl a high mark for speed, but pokes fun at his lack of physicality. The body checking attribute came down big time.

For the rest of Couturier's answers, watch the video here:

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Catching up on Carter Hart in live stream, teammates troll in the comments

Catching up on Carter Hart in live stream, teammates troll in the comments

With the season on hold, many of the Flyers have gone back to their hometowns for the time being, until they receive word about what the next step will be for the NHL.

That gave Carter Hart the chance to check in with NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes on Friday night during an Instagram live. There, they talked about a wide range of things, including hobbies, an ugly suit trip and Hart even had a few teammates crash the chat room.

There’s a lot of extra time on the players’ hands right now, so what has Hart been up to? Mostly playing guitar and a lot of NBA2K.

He plays both electric and acoustic guitar, but it’s still a work in progress.

“I just wanted to get into something a little different,” Hart said. “I thought guitar would be the easiest thing to try and pick up, but it’s pretty hard.” 

And with the mention of the NBA, of course Weekes had to check in and see who Hart had been rooting for leading up to the season on pause. Obviously, many in Canada cheer for the Raptors but now that he’s playing in Philadelphia? 

“Living in Philly now, I've got to cheer for the Sixers,” Hart said.

Smart answer from the 21-year-old. And he certainly nailed the dynamic of the fans that he loves playing in front of. 

“If we’re sucking, they’re going to let us know,” Hart joked. “But if we’re winning, they’re behind us.”

Then a conversation that originally stemmed from pizza turned into Hart breaking down a roast session about him from his teammates. Apparently, the team had an ugly suit trip when it was off to Columbus — something that we’ll definitely need to do more research on — but Hart has only a handful of suits on the regular rotation. 

“I only have three suits,” Hart said. “I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to wear this,’ and I show up to the plane and everyone was like, ‘That’s the suit you wear all of the time.’

“I was like, ‘Wow, what do you want from me? You guys hate it anyways.’” 

Of course, it’s all in good fun … at least we hope. 

And soon enough, his buddies crashed the chat. About 75 percent through the stream, Nolan Patrick joined the party and started to have some fun in the comment section.  It wasn’t long before the captain Claude Giroux tuned in as well, coaching the young goalie of how to get to his end point when talking in an interview. Always looking out for the kiddo. Former teammate Dale Weise even joined the chat party, so naturally him and Patrick were joking around. 



It’s safe to say these guys certainly miss seeing each other daily. Hopefully we’ll get more live streams in the near future. 

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers