Flyers

How should Flyers utilize Carter Hart and Brian Elliott in 2019-20 season?

How should Flyers utilize Carter Hart and Brian Elliott in 2019-20 season?

Going End to End today are NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jordan Hall and Brooke Destra.

The topic: How will the Flyers' 2019-20 goaltending tandem play out?

Hall

As good as Carter Hart was in 2018-19 and as bright as his future appears, the Flyers will closely watch his workload. He turns only 21 years old this month and will be entering his first full NHL season in 2019-20.

But if Hart is playing well, there's no reason why the Flyers shouldn't ride him as a No. 1. He carried them through a stretch last year and actually provided relevancy to a 2018-19 season that looked seriously lost at one point.

When the Flyers re-signed Brian Elliott in June, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said this about Hart:

We believe strongly that Carter's our goaltender of the future. At times last year, he was our goalie of the present. We certainly anticipate him being one of two goaltenders. But it's no different than anybody — he's going to have to come in and earn his ice time. We do have 17 back-to-backs this year. You guys know how difficult the NHL schedule is with travel. I anticipate both guys playing.

I think the days of a 65- to 70-game goaltender are probably gone. Somewhere in the 30-to-50 range for each guy … it'll depend on performance, health and schedule.

That's fair and sounds about right. If the Flyers can get 50 or so games out of Hart and 30 or so out of Elliott, they would absolutely take it. Ideally, though, if Hart stays healthy and is giving the team the best chance to win, there shouldn't be a problem if the Flyers let him flirt with the range of 60 games.

The better goalies in the league play 60-plus games a season. As a rookie in 2018-19, Jordan Binnington played 58 total games — 32 in the regular season, 26 in the playoffs — and was fine. In fact, he led the Blues to their first-ever Stanley Cup title.

This is not to say Hart will and should absolutely play 60 games. But he should be the Flyers' guy when he's going well — he's the No. 1, Elliott is the No. 2. The 34-year-old should be ready to help if things aren't right with Hart. That's how the Flyers should treat their goalie tandem.

It's Hart's time. 

Destra

I was pro bringing back Elliott, but it will only remain that way if he is going to be utilized the way an aging (and injury prone) goaltender should be. Hart has always been the future and luckily for Flyers fans and the organization — the future is finally here.

The thing with Elliott is he has very solid numbers when he doesn’t play for extended periods of time. If he is well-rested and given enough time to recover in between starts, chances are the Flyers could get very solid performances out of him.

The Flyers do have the tendency to ride with the goalie who has the hot glove but this is what the team needs to avoid in order to keep the balance between the pipes.

This is Hart’s team now and he should only sit when the team is facing back-to-back games. There are 17 different times this season when that is going to occur.

It’s also important to take into account that even though Hart has the green light, he should not be overworked either. If he seems worn out or finds himself in a stretch of games in which he isn’t where he needs to be, let him sit. He’ll be just 21 when the season starts. It’s bound to happen at some point, and that is expected from any up-and-coming player in the league.

In a perfect world, Hart would start 50 games this season and Elliott would play the remaining 32 if (knock on wood) he can remain healthy. Is that asking for a lot? Probably. But there is a different balance heading into October and hopefully for the Flyers it will all work out. 

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Toughest player he has faced? Joel Farabee has shown he's ready for his answers

Toughest player he has faced? Joel Farabee has shown he's ready for his answers

Joel Farabee was 5 years old when Sidney Crosby made his NHL debut.

One would understand if Farabee was nervous playing against the two-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner and three-time Stanley Cup champion for the first time as a teenage rookie in the NHL.

But Farabee has more than held his own against some of the league's biggest stars, which says a lot about the Flyers' 2018 first-round pick who just turned 20 years old in February.

“Wow, there are a lot of good players in the NHL," Farabee said Monday on NBC Sports Philadelphia's Flyers Talk podcast when asked who was the toughest player he has faced in 2019-20. "Just playing against Sidney Crosby a few times was really cool, I think he had a few points in both the games that I played in. You could see him in warmups and stuff like that, how focused he is and he’s such a good player, he sees the ice so well.

“Another player I’d say is Nathan MacKinnon, how good he is, how fast of a skater he is. Those are two guys I definitely get excited playing against just because of how good they are. I enjoy being on the ice with them.”

When the Flyers beat the Penguins, 3-0, on Jan. 21, Farabee played on a line with Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek. That trio faced Crosby's line a bunch and No. 87 went scoreless as the Flyers shut out Pittsburgh.

The Flyers had no fear putting Farabee in such a situation. He also played on the same line Feb. 1, when the Flyers held MacKinnon to no points in a 6-3 win over the Avalanche.

In five combined games against the Penguins and Avalanche, Farabee has put up four points (two goals, two assists) — and his role grew with each matchup.

The path to his NHL dream prepared Farabee for those moments.

“Leaving to go to prep school at 14 I think it was, it was definitely totally different, I had never really lived away from home," Farabee said. "Being able to live away from home, play on a team really helped me out, it forced myself to rely on teammates. I think when I was really young, I was a really shy kid, didn’t really want to talk to people because I was so shy. Being away from home really taught me how to be an adult and how to grow up outside of hockey more or less playing hockey.”

And at 20 years old, Farabee is just getting started for the Flyers.

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Flyers Talk podcast: Joel Farabee joins the crew to talk all things Flyers

Flyers Talk podcast: Joel Farabee joins the crew to talk all things Flyers

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall are joined by special guest Joel Farabee.

From how Farabee is staying busy during the NHL hiatus to his bond with teammates, let's dive in:

1:30 — The Flyers' regular season would have finished by now

4:20 — Neutral site playoff games at smaller venues?

7:00 — More teams in the playoffs makes a lot of sense

13:35 — Farabee back home in upstate New York

15:00 — Cooking during the quarantine and life in the NHL

16:50 — Michael Raffl's haircut!

17:25 — Farabee "carrying" his teammates on Xbox

18:30 — Playing under a coach like Alain Vigneault

20:20 — Leaving home at 14 to pursue an NHL career

21:25 — Toughest players to compete against and the NHL adjustment

22:45 — Favorite road trip of the season

• 23:20 — Growing up a Philly sports fan

• 24:00 — Staying in shape during the stoppage

• 25:35 — Great to hear Flyers players in good spirits 

• 27:35 — An example of Emmer's Minnesota roots

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

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.

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