Suggests Charlie O’Connor of The Athletic:
Hart wasn’t the only reason the Flyers lost Sunday, but he was certainly near the top of the list.
David Pastrnak’s first goal came on a two-on-one just seconds into the contest, and Nick Ritchie’s power-play tally in the second period was a picture-perfect deflection, but the other four goals that Hart allowed ranged somewhere between wince-inducing and downright ugly. It all built to Trent Frederic’s first NHL marker, which made the score 5-2 and was a case of Hart simply whiffing on a typical wrister from distance, just 33 seconds after letting a clean Charlie Coyle shot past him short-side and then off his back into the net. The wheels came off for Hart in this one.
It’s true that in many ways, this game was a one-off anomaly. But it’s also true that the marquee event served to shine a spotlight on Hart’s underwhelming 2020-21 results. He entered the game with a .902 save percentage; he heads back to Philly with a horrid .891 through 10 games. The Flyers have many problems to resolve if they want to meet preseason expectations, but Sunday cemented the fact that Hart is one of them.
No one should be burying Carter Hart. He’s yet to have a poor full season since junior hockey, and it’s easy to forget that he is just 22 years old. Rough patches are inevitable for any goalie, but especially for a young goaltender.
Still, regardless of the circumstances, and independent of the quality of play in front of him, the Flyers need Hart to play far better than he did Sunday to achieve their goals. They need him to play far better than he has this season. Given his track record, there’s every reason to believe he can, but he still has to go out and do it.
When the third period began, Brian Elliott was in goal and Hart on the bench. But by that point, the score was 6-2, and the Flyers chances of victory had essentially evaporated.