VOORHEES, N.J. — Two days after exiting a scrimmage with an undisclosed issue, Carter Hart did not participate in the Flyers' third and final scrimmage of training camp on Thursday.
However, the bigger news for Hart and the Flyers was that the 21-year-old goalie took the ice on the opposite rink at Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone and faced some shots following the scrimmage.
The Hart sighting was significant as the Flyers have one more on-ice practice before leaving Sunday for the Eastern Conference's hub city Toronto.
Goaltending coach Kim Dillabaugh, director of sports medicine Jim McCrossin and head coach Alain Vigneault decided it was best for Hart to try side work before hopping into a lively scrimmage.
Per Vigneault, all went well.
Carter Hart and Kim Dillabaugh. (Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)
The reason we didn’t put him in practice today was because it was a scrimmage and he hadn’t skated for the last two days, so we felt that it was smarter — in talking with Kim and Jim — to put him out on his own, let him take a good number of shots and see how he feels. He came out and he feels real good, so everything should be good to go [Friday].
The Flyers are off the ice Friday and scheduled to practice at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. If Hart partakes (and it sounds like he will), that's a clear and great sign for the Flyers, who received drastically improved stability in net during the 2019-20 regular season thanks to Hart and backup goalie Brian Elliott. It came a year after the Flyers were forced to use an NHL record eight goaltenders in a nightmarish 2018-19 season.
After a strong practice Wednesday, Elliott was sharp again Thursday facing 5-on-5, power play work and 4-on-4 against a top-heavy Team A in orange.
"I saw a real good Brian Elliott," Vigneault said. "Brian was in top form today, so that's good to see."
The Flyers like their chances with Hart and Elliott in the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament (see story). Both saw the ice Thursday and the Flyers liked what they saw.
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