Carter Hart vowed that it won’t happen again. He had a miserable game in Edmonton, in front of his hometown crowd no less, and he knows exactly what the problem was.
Hart learned two things Wednesday night: Connor McDavid is really good and time management is really crucial.
“It was the first time for me playing at home in the NHL and I had a lot of people asking me for tickets and whatever,” said Hart, who will be back in net when the Flyers play [gasp] a home game Saturday night against Dallas. “I think what I learned now is that I have a job to do and I definitely will handle it better next time.”
Hart gave up four goals and was pulled less than five minutes into the second period of the Flyers’ 6-3 loss. McDavid, who Hart pointed out is probably the top player in the NHL, had a goal and four assists.
Hart also learned that this kind of thing happens to even the best.
“My old goalie coach from back home, Dustin Schwartz, who is the Oilers goalie coach, said when McDavid played his first game in Toronto it was the same way,” Hart said. “He came out with a flat effort, but he had so many people coming to the game and there was so much hype because it was Toronto, that was where his head was at.”
When McDavid made his first visit to Toronto three years ago, it may as well have been a national holiday. Wayne Gretzky and Bobby Orr even showed up. McDavid was held pointless and posted a -2 as Edmonton lost in overtime.
The Flyers on Saturday will host Dallas in just their second true home game since opening the regular season Oct. 4 in the Czech Republic. They have another home game Monday and can start to settle into a relatively normal NHL schedule.
“It’s nice to get into a routine here; sleep in your own bed, cook some meals for yourself instead of always eating out,” Hart said.
If there was any consolation for Hart the other night, it’s that the four dozen or so folks who showed up were there to brighten his spirits after the loss
“It’s cool to see how many people care about you. Those are the people that got me to where I am," he said. "The next time [we visit Edmonton], I have to take care of everything a couple weeks in advance.”
Nolan Patrick update
Third-year forward Nolan Patrick participated for about 30 minutes with the rest of the club during a one-hour practice Friday. Patrick, who has not played this season because of a migraine disorder, wore a white non-contact jersey.
Last Saturday, after Patrick skated with the club in Vancouver, coach Alain Vigneault said the 21-year-old was “week-to-week.” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said on Friday that timeline still stands. (An earlier version of this story erroneously said Fletcher declined to provide an update.)
» FROM THE ARCHIVES: Nolan Patrick has had migraine issues since he was a kid
The Stars were 1-6-1 entering Friday’s game at Pittsburgh. Anton Khudobin was expected to start in net against the Penguins which presumably means the Flyers would see massive goalie Ben Bishop (6-7, 215) since Dallas is playing on consecutive nights. The Flyers lost to another monster goalie on Wednesday in Edmonton’s Mikko Koskinen (6-7, 202).
Bishop is 0-1-1 in two starts at the Wells Fargo Center. He also came in in relief during another loss in 2015 while he was with Tampa Bay.
The Flyers sent Connor Bunnaman to Lehigh Valley on Friday and will have Chris Stewart in the lineup Saturday. ... Craig Berube will accept the men’s team of the year award at the Philadelphia SportsWriters Association banquet Jan. 20 in Cherry Hill. Berube, the former Flyers player and coach, coached the St. Louis Blues to an unlikely championship last season. For tickets, which will include awards for Aaron Nola and Sonny Hill and an appearance by Gabe Kapler (as comedian Joe Conklin), visit PhillySportsWriters.com.
The last word
Reflecting on the last five weeks in which the Flyers have played in Boston, New York, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, three cities in Western Canada, and one game in Philadelphia, forward Jake Voracek is just happy to be home for a few days.
“I couldn’t stand the guys anymore. It’s crazy,” he half-joked. “I was like, ‘[Look], guys, I like you, but I don’t want to see you anymore. I’ll hang out with my family and my friends. That’s about it. I’ll see you tomorrow night.”