‘Backbone’ Hart unavailable for Flyers against Blues originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Flyers will be without their most important player on Tuesday night.
Samuel Ersson was called up from AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley to support Sandstrom. To make room for Ersson on the roster, the Flyers loaned Egor Zamula to the Phantoms.
Hart’s absence definitely makes the Flyers a different team. John Tortorella called the 24-year-old guard the “backbone” of the Flyers in the team’s 6-3-2 start. Hart is 6-0-2 with a 1.97 goals-against average and .946 save percentage.
“I just like it, I think he’s kept up,” the Flyers head coach said Tuesday during the team’s optional morning practice. “He hasn’t gotten too big, he’s not carrying himself too big. I want him big in front of the net when he plays; he doesn’t need to be big anywhere else, he just needs to be a good teammate, a good person, which I think he is. I got to know him in conversations over the summer talking to him a bit.
“I don’t have to worry about his preparation. These guys, it almost tires me watching them prepare. Everything is fine there. Is there a little swoon where there is difficulties? How does he deal with it? I have to look at this.
“I think he’s just been a humble guy, minding his own business – I like that.”
After taking on St. Louis, the Flyers head to Columbus, Ohio for a Thursday game with the Blue Jackets (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).
Zamula’s loan is expected to be temporary. The Flyers want to keep the 22-year-old defender with the big club.
“I committed to it,” Tortorella said. “I just want him to train with us, I want him at this pace, I’m going to keep bringing him in and out. There are difficulties, there are obvious mistakes that you see too.
“I want him here because I think he sees the ice. He’s just a little nervous when he grabs the puck and just tries to get rid of it. and we are out of our end zone. It’s important for our club.”
Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk