For the first time since the 1990’s the Flyers have a legitimate starting goaltender in the soon-to-be-22-year-old Carter Hart. As we all eagerly await Hart to be the unquestioned number one goaltender in Philly, there’s a good chance we’re all thinking the same thing- just how good can Carter Hart be? The goaltending records in Philadelphia are a mixture of incredible feats of talent and winners by default simply because of time served.
Carter Hart’s stat line- 74 games played, 40 wins, 26 losses, 2,076 shots against, 1,900 saves, 2.59 goals against average, .915 save percentage, 1 shutout
Carter Hart has just a season-and-a-half of professional hockey under his belt after being recalled by the Flyers in mid-December 2018. He has managed to suit up for 74 games during his early career, though he is still seeing sheltered minutes with Brian Elliott handling the tasks that are too great for the young goaltender including road starts and back-to-backs. Hart is just about to turn 22 in the middle of August and has a full career in front of him.
In Flyers history, Ron Hextall currently holds the Flyers games played record with 489 appearances. Bernie Parent is a close runner-up with 486, but the drop off after that is substantial. Mason holds bronze with 231 games in a hair over four seasons with the Flyers, a number Hart should easily reach. Once he takes off the training wheels and he becomes the unquestioned number one in Philly, Carter Hart can easily earn third place, though time will tell if he can reach the levels of Hextall or Parent.
Carter Hart has played 74 games and currently has 40 wins, that’s a 54% win percentage. With the Flyers playing some of the best hockey they have in over a decade, and built to succeed long-term, Hart should be able to maintain or potentially improve that number over the next few seasons.
Hextall again holds the Flyers record for most wins with 240. Parent has 231, and again there is a huge difference between second and third place. Steve Mason has just 104 wins as a Flyer, a number Hart should be able to catch within the next two seasons. Ron Hextall enjoyed 11 seasons in Philadelphia behind a very successful team, something Steve Mason never got to be apart of. If Hart spends the majority of his career in Philadelphia, it shouldn’t be a hard feat to pass Hextall’s 240 wins.
The more time you spend with an organization, the more wins you get, but that also applies to losses as well. Ron Hextall yet again reigns atop the category with 172 losses. Most goalies on average lose about 1/3 of their total games during their career, which is already the pace Hart is on. So, mathematically speaking, Hart would have to play around 530 games to accumulate 173 or more losses, not an unreasonable number for a franchise goalie to hit.
Bernie Parent currently holds the record for most shots against with a whopping 13,820. Hextall is the only other Flyers goalie to hit five digits with 13,027, and third place is Doug Favell with 6,746. So far Carter Hart is averaging 28 shots against per game which, again, is fairly average for a goaltender, and exactly the pace Parent was on. If Hart plays around 500 games as a Flyer, he should challenge, if not pass, Bernie Parent.
Since saves go hand-and-hand with the number of shots faced, it should be no surprise Bernie Parent holds the franchise saves record as well with 12,679. Carter Hart already has 1,900 saves, which is just 1,790 saves shy of cracking the top 10, a spot currently held by Wayne Stephenson, who played 165 games with the Flyers. Much like shots against, saves ultimately comes down to how many games Hart will play. This one should be a little less than 500 games, probably closer to the 450 mark if Hart’s play continues at his current level.
GOALS AGAINST AVERAGE
Now it’s time for a challenge. Unlike the past few stats, goals against average relies upon the talent of the goaltender versus the number of games played. The GAA record is currently held by Roman Cechmanek with a 1.96. Second place is John Vanbiesbrouck with 2.20, Parent had a 2.43, Mason ranks fourth with a 2.47, and rounding out the top five is Brian Boucher with a 2.50 goals against average. Carter Hart currently has a 2.59 GAA through 74 career games, a number that would actually tie Garth Snow for sixth place right now. Snow played 90 games for the Flyers, so by the end of next season, Hart’s name should begin to appear in the GAA record books. Will he break the top five? It’s hard to say, but given the fact that Steve Mason sniffed third place, Carter Hart will have a fair shake to potentially break into the top three, though catching Roman Cechmanek’s 1.96 is going to be an uphill battle.
Roman Cechmanek holds the save percentage record as well, sitting with a .923 in 163 games with the Flyers. Steve Mason is in second place with .918, Parent and Doug Favell are tied for third with a .917, Martin Biron has a .915 and Sergei Bobrovsky has a .909. Through his first 74 games, Carter Hart has a .915 save percentage, which is already in the top five. His first season he posted a .917 save percentage and his sophomore year Hart recorded a .914. If he can keep that pace up, he will no-doubt finish in the top three, and, even though catching Cechmanek’s .923 save percentage will be difficult, it’s not an impossible goal.
So far, all the records above will be difficult, but not entirely out of the question to reach. The shutout record however, may be impossible to break. Bernie Parent holds the franchise record with a monumental 50 shutouts. Nobody else in franchise history has even come close, as second place is Cechmanek with 20. Mason is the most recent goalie to chart with 14 shutouts, good enough for fifth place. So far, Hart has just a single shutout to his name. Given that only six active have 50 or more shutouts to their name (Lundqvist, Fleury, Rinne, Quick, Rask, Halak) it’s not technically impossible, but it is certainly unlikely. Even though first place is a long shot, considering tenth place is held by five different goalies with seven shutouts, his name will probably appear in the record book at some point.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nbc.com/espn.com