Twenty-year-old goaltender Carter Hart has been the catalyst the Flyers needed this season. The Flyers season has been in shambles, including trying and failing with seven different goalies, tying the NHL record in only 43 games.
The Flyers are now looking at a six game win streak after Thursday’s 3-2 overtime victory in Boston. Defeating a strong Boston twice and a division-leading Winnipeg Jets during this win streak has proven the Flyers can play at a higher level than their record has shown.
The Flyers look like a different team that is starting to fire on all cylinders. But is this too little, too late?
It’s still going to be tough for the Flyers to catch a playoff spot as they still remain nine points out of the second wildcard spot with 31 games remaining. But never say never; crazier things have happened.
But, the good news is that the Flyers’ young star is here to stay. Hart was selected in the second round (48th pick) in the 2016 draft and has had lots to live up to. As the first goalie selected in the 2016 draft, Hart has had pressure on him since day one to be the next franchise goaltender. Hart was supposed to play the season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms during this 2018-2019 season, but drastic times call for drastic measures.
This Flyers team has not played up to expectations this year, and there are expectations for some trades to be made before the Feb. 25 NHL trade deadline. The biggest rumored names to be traded are Wayne Simmonds and Shayne Gostisbehere.
Simmonds has a high market value with his goal scoring potential, but the Flyers will not be able to afford to sign him to a long-term contract. Gostisbehere, on the other hand, has not been playing up to his potential this season, and the Flyers will need a veteran defenseman to anchor this inconsistent Flyers defense. Another defenseman that will most likely be wearing a different color sweater before the trade deadline is the hard-hitting Radko Gudas.
The Flyers’ new General Manager Chuck Fletcher has recently stated in an interview that veteran forward Claude Giroux is the only “untouchable” player on this roster. Fletcher has not been shy about his determination to turn this organization around.
In doing so, the Flyers are going to have to do some buying and selling before the deadline. It is time to shake things up and try new guys out there because the current squad is not getting it done. Much like how the Sixers tanked a few seasons to rebuild their organization, it might be time for the Flyers to do the same.
But there is still hope in this season, so let’s see if the Flyers can gain some more points this winning streak and be in the playoff hunt come April.
Alex Fisher is a second-year student majoring in media and culture with a minor in information and technology. AH804286@wcupa.edu