Voracek on Hart: ‘He’s Oblivious to Some Things as a Goalie in Philly’
On several occasions, Carter Hart has drawn comparisons to Carey Price...and it doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that their birthdays are three days apart.
Price, who turned 33 on Sunday, has a reputation for being calm, cool and collected in the crease. He’s proven it in this series, allowing three goals over three games.
But it is Hart, who turned 22 on Thursday, that has more wins in the series. His win on Sunday night was also his first playoff shutout. At 22 years, three days, Hart sets a new Flyers record as the youngest goalie in franchise history with a playoff shutout.
There has been a history of goaltending woes in Flyers history. It’s not possible that Hart hasn’t been in the organization for four years and not heard about it. But he takes it all in stride. Even after his worst playoff appearance in Game 2, Hart responded with the same mentality that got him to the NHL.
“I just got to do my job. That’s what it comes down to at the end of the day,” Hart said. “That criteria is just stopping pucks. When it’s time to play the game, that’s all I have to worry about. We got a great crew in front of us that makes my job a lot easier.”
“It’s a good thing that he’s a little too oblivious to some things as a goalie in Philadelphia,” Jake Voracek said. “He’s really strong mentally. He’s a young kid that works really hard. He’s pretty impressive the way he bounces back, even since last year. If he had a bad game, he always came back and he was strong. I think that’s what good goalies do. Sometimes you have a tough night. Obviously the whole team, last game, we played really bad. We didn’t help him much, but the way he played today. It’s a goalie battle. Let’s be honest, two of the best goalies in the NHL going at it. Today could have gone either way here too.”
It really has been a tale of the netminders in this series. Of goalies with more than two appearances in the playoffs, Price and Hart have the two lowest GAA. Only Joonas Korpisalo of Columbus tops Price and Hart in save percentage. With Hart’s win on Sunday, both goalies have four wins in the playoffs.
In terms of shutouts, this was one of the toughest way to get one. It’s a tight-checking game and opportunities are scarce. It may not have had that feeling when Voracek scored the only goal of the game at 5:21 of the first period, but when two teams play each other like this, it tends to be a battle.
The Flyers didn’t really have to battle for much in the Round Robin and played a somewhat sloppy game in Game 1 against Montreal, even in a 2-1 win. Game 2 was a reminder that it isn’t always going to be smooth sailing in the playoffs. Hart was pulled after allowing four goals. The response from both the team and the goalie spoke volumes.
“I think for all of us, we all responded. We know that Game 2 wasn’t our best, nowhere near our capability of play,” Hart said. “I think that was huge for us to come out and set the tone early and get the first goal there, the only goal of the game. Just continue to battle and outwork them.”
“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you lose a game in the fifth overtime or if you lose it 5-0. Obviously you want to perform at your best every single game. We kind of knew we weren’t going to go 16-0,” Voracek said. “I think it’s showing us mentally what we are. I read somewhere that we haven’t lost back-to-back since January. That’s something that we can obviously build on for upcoming games. It’s going to be really important down the stretch.”
Once again, Game 3 wasn’t on the level the Flyers have shown down the stretch in the regular season and in the Round Robin. And that’s okay. The Flyers have been able to get two wins out of it, by just getting greasy wins. Sometimes finding a way is the ticket in the playoffs. The Flyers have a goaltender who certainly helps them to find a way to win.
“It was a greasy hockey game. Sometimes you get these where guys are working extremely hard, not giving themselves or the opposition a lot of room,” Alain Vigneault said. “You just got to grease it out. That’s what we did. We scored that goal early. Carter made some big saves. We were able to get the win. We’ll learn from it, try to get better and go from there.”