Flyers Fan Reaction (FFR1) Gm 32: DET 2, PHI 3 - All Hart
Oh yeah, and Scott Gordon, too.
The Philadelphia Flyers WIN their first game in the post Dave Hakstol era, giving Carter Hart a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings in the top prospect's NHL debut.
To say the 2018-19 season has been frusturating for Flyers fans is an understatement. But for once, with a new head coach, a new goalie, and new hope, Flyers fans could just sit back and relax and watch a hockey game without loads of frusturation. And they even won!
It's hard to judge Scott Gordon's coaching strategies and philosophies based on just one game, but his trust of young players like Travis Sanheim and Nolan Patrick right of the bat is encouraging. But this night wasn't about Scott Gordon. It was about Carter Hart, seeing where the future is right now, and hopefully not destroying his confidence past the point of no return.
The Flyers did their best job to help the kid out through the first 20 minutes. Philadelphia's defense shutdown the Red Wings, allowing just 8 shots against and keeping the Wings out of the high-danger areas. They even killed off a penalty, truly a special occasion, and then went to work. Claude Giroux flung what looked like a routine wrister on net from the point, but JVRn't you glad someone went to the net? James van Riemsdyk with the tip-in, showing off the skills that got him 7 million big ones this offseason, giving the Flyers a 1-0 lead after 1.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and what better way for Carter Hart to give up his first career NHL goal than with the Flyers penalty kill losing someone at the front of the net? Tomas Vanek completely took Hart's eyes away, allowing rookie Dennis Cholowski to snipe on the screened Hart, ending his shutout streak at 24:15 to start his career, and tying the game 1-1.
Luckily for Hart, this wasn't going to be one of those games that you could always count for under Dave Hakstol where the team would just give up. The Flyers got back to their good, aggressive ways, and just a few minutes later, found the back of the net once again. Radko Gudas took a nifty backhand pass from TK and blasted his 2nd goal of the year passed Bernier, with JVR cruising (but not interefering with Bernier, despite a Red Wings challenge) through the crease, as the Flyers retook their lead.
One of the things Flyers fans will be looking for in Scott Gordon is if he can reinvigorate some of the Flyers young talents who have been in slumps this year. If Tuesday night, and especially the Flyers 3rd goal are a sign of things to come, they will be ok. The Flyers executed a perfect offensive zone passing play, as Raffl found Patrick in the middle, who found the trailing Ghost Bear to snipe shortside on Bernier for his first goal in 15 games, giving Philadelphia a 3-1 lead to take into 2nd intermission.
But like the 2nd period, that lead didn't last long. At least the 2 goal part of it, anyways. After a turnover at the blueline, Jacob de la Rose got to the inside before Phil Varone could switch over to him, beating Hart with a perfect one-timer to cut the Red Wings deficit to 1, truly putting Hart in his first sink or swim situation in the NHL.
With the help of some buoys provided from another strong period from his teammates, Hart swam. The Flyers outshot Detroit 13-8 in the final period, their largest margin of the night, and Hart was dependable when called upon and unflappable in the face of several net front scrambles. With his parents and billet (the people that took care of him in Everett, where he played junior) watching on, Hart shut things down the rest of the way, becoming the youngest goalie in Flyers history to win in their first NHL start, ending the Flyers 4-game losing streak and proving at the very least, he's not not NHL ready.
All Hart, baby.
Not only is Hart the youngest Flyer to win their first career start, he is the 5th youngest goalie since the 1996-97 season to win their first start at 20 years, 127 days, the youngest since Carey Price on October 10th, 2007, at 20 years and 55 days.
Hart is the 6th goalie the Flyers have used this year, tying an NHL record with the 2002-03 St. Louis Blues.
For the 2nd straight game, and emergency goalie dressed - this time for Detroit, as Jimmy Howard was scratched late from his start. Jonathan Bernier got the nod instead, with Justin Kowalkoski dressing for Detroit as the backup.
Travis Konecny was injured in the 1st period on a hit from Michael Rasmussen, but returned towards the end of the frame. So don't be too mad when you see he received less ice-time than Dale Weise - that's probably the main reason why. Probably.
You know who did see a lot of ice time in this game? Travie Sanheim! Sanheim played 21:06 tonight, the 3rd highest workload in his career, and I must say he looked pretty darn solid overall. You see what this kid can do, Dave?
Jorald's also getting prosecuted for that cocaine scandal back in Finland, so there's that.
Tonight marks Scott Gordon's first win as an NHL head coach since his New York Islanders defeated the Lightning 3-2 in overtime on October 21st, 2010. Good to see he's made it all the way back.
You already know who got the player of the game helmet.
1st - C. Hart (PHI - OBVIOUSLY) - .909 SV% (20 Saves/22 Shots), 1st Career Win
2nd - J. van Riemsdyk (PHI) - 1 G, 1 A
3rd - S. Gostisbehere (PHI) - 1 G, 1 A
DET - 12/20 @ CAR (14-13-5)
PHI - 12/20 vs. NSH (22-11-2)