For the first time since he injured his ankle nearly two weeks ago, Flyers goalie Carter Hart took part in a morning skate Wednesday and said he was making great progress.
“I had no issues,” he said.
Interim coach Scott Gordon hinted Tuesday that Hart wouldn’t be ready to play until later next week. Asked if March 14 against visiting Washington might be his target date, Hart said, “Hopefully, sooner than that. I felt pretty good. Obviously, you take things one day at a time, but I want to be back here as soon as I can.”
Gordon said Hart needs to participate in a couple of full practices before he considers using the rookie goalie. Hart, 20, said the plan was for him to have full practices Thursday and Friday.
The Flyers will play at the Islanders on Saturday and will host Ottawa on Monday.
“I’ve just been itching to get back as soon as I can and be part of the guys again,” Hart said. “I miss hanging out with all of them. We have the right group of guys to make this [playoff push] happen.”
According to Gordon, Hart injured the ankle when it got caught on the post at the morning skate in Montreal on Feb. 21. He hid the injury from the Flyers at the time, played that night, and was shelled.
“I felt it there [the morning of Feb. 21], and then it kind of progressively got worse,” Hart said. “I really didn’t think anything of it and then started feeling it more the next day. We’re taking the right steps here and just making sure I’m doing my job to get back as soon as I can."
In that 5-1 loss to Montreal, Hart allowed three goals on nine shots and was pulled midway through the first period. He was asked if his injury affected his performance.
“I don’t know. When you’re playing the game, you don’t really think about your injury,” he said. “You have that game-adrenaline kind of mind-set, and you don’t notice those kind of things once the game starts. I wouldn’t say there was any effect.”
Hart steered the Flyers back into the playoff race before he was injured. He has a 13-8-1 record, a 2.79 goals-against average, and a .917 save percentage.
Flyers season-ticket holders were told there will be one fewer home game in the 2019-20 season, and that regular-season contest will be played in Europe, according to a source.
It will be an NHL event, and the league will make the announcement March 21.
The website sport.cz said the Flyers would most likely start next season in Prague in the Czech Republic. The Flyers will reportedly play two games against the Kings.