Patrick, Hart status still unclear but Voracek possible for Saturday

Carter Hart

VOORHEES – Practice does not always make perfect, particularly in the cases of Nolan Patrick and Carter Hart.

Both took part in full practice on Thursday at the Skate Zone but that doesn’t mean either one will be ready to go when the Flyers play again, which is Saturday at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. against the Islanders.

Patrick, who took a shot to the head in last Sunday’s game and went through NHL concussion protocol, was a 1 p.m. scratch for Wednesday night’s 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals at the Wells Fargo Center.

Yet on Thursday, he was back on the ice, wearing a full contact jersey and battling for pucks in corners.

While all this was going on, Hart (ankle) was rotating in and out of the nets with veterans Brian Elliott and Cam Talbot.

Afterward, both professed they are feeling well and hope to be back in action soon.

Whether that’s on Saturday, or Monday against Ottawa or somewhere past that remains to be seen.

In related injury news, Jake Voracek hopes to be back practicing on Friday after missing the past two games with a lower-body injury.

He’s undergone MRI tests after getting hit in an awkward spot during Friday night’s 6-3 win at the New Jersey Devils, which ended a 242-game ironman streak.

“I think he’ll be good to go,’’ head coach Scott Gordon said. “I think long-term, maybe it’s even going to be good for him just to have a little break.

“It’s not what we want but hopefully it’s something that makes him feel better than before he got injured. If he’s given the green light to practice tomorrow (Friday), he’ll play Saturday.’’

Gordon said a decision on Patrick is strictly a medical one.

“He feels good,’’ Gordon said. “Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do to say, all right, you’re playing just because you feel good.

“He has to follow the protocol and we go from there.’’

Patrick can’t disclose details on the medical side of things. All he can do is say how he feels.

“I can’t get into too much about why (he was a no-go for the Caps),’’ Patrick said. “It’s tough for me to answer. There’s not much I can say.

“I feel good and obviously you have to go through a lot of different stuff before you can play.’’

Keep in mind, this isn’t Patrick’s first suspected concussion. He’s had at least one and possibly two before this and that’s something the medical folks keep an eye on.

As for the possibility of playing Saturday, Patrick responded: “There’s stuff you have to go through and they’re pretty tight on that now.’’

Hart obviously wants to get back in but the Flyers want him to be patient.

“Everyday it keeps getting better,’’ Hart said. “I didn’t feel any pain or anything. I thought today I felt a hundred percent. I felt sharp.

“I want to play as soon as possible. That’s not up to me, it’s up to the coaching staff. I would like to play (Saturday) but that’s up to them.

Gordon wouldn’t commit to a Hart return date.

“As far as Carter goes, I think it’s more a question of where is he at with his injury and then has he been given enough practice time to say, OK, he’s possibly ready,’’ Gordon said.

Asked if he might start Saturday, Gordon’s response was: “I don’t think so.’’

>Saturday’s goalie

With Brian Elliott looking shaky against the Capitals (eventually pulled in favor of Cam Talbot) and Hart unlikely, who starts against the Islanders on Saturday? Maybe Talbot?

Elliott entered the Washington game on a 4-0-1 run, so maybe Gordon goes back to him.

Some of the goals against Elliott were pretty difficult ones, such as Alexander Ovechkin’s on the power play.

“Maybe Brian got into his head a little, figuring what he was going to do instead of just worrying about the shot,’’ Gordon said.

“There has to be balance with that. I think what it comes down to when you watch a goal go in – are you disappointed that it went in? That’s kind of my benchmark to determine if it was a good goal or bad goal. At the end of the day, you have to say, ‘was that a goal he should have had?’ That’s how I look at it.’’

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About Wayne Fish 2444 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.

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