VOORHEES – When the Flyers take to the ice on Tuesday for a preseason game against Pittsburgh in Toronto, goalie Carter Hart will have no back trouble.
And no trouble getting his mind ready for postseason action.
Hart took part in his first full practice on Saturday since suffering back spasms on Tuesday.
But he went through some rehab and made a quick comeback, taking on some shots in limited action on Thursday.
Now it appears the 21-year-old netminder will get at least half a game in against the Penguins.
“I feel good,’’ Hart said after the training camp’s final practice at the Skate Zone. “Just kind of taking things a little more precautionary the last couple days. Been ramping it up the last two days. I feel really good right now. The plan is to be good to go for Tuesday.’’
If things go OK on Tuesday, Hart figures to see a lot of action in the round-robin tournament, whether it’s Boston, Washington or Tampa Bay.
“I think it’ll be great for us,’’ Hart said. “We’re in fourth place right now and we can only move up from here. I think we’re lucky in the sense that we put ourselves in a good position so we deserve to have those three extra games than some other teams going into the qualifiers where they play one exhibition game and then have to fight for their lives to get into the playoffs.
“It’s nice that we have those three games for us to determine the seeding and also to see what the atmosphere is going to be like playing in front of no fans and how setup is going to be. I think for us, we need to use those three games to our advantage and help us prepare for Round 1.’’
Hart looks forward to the Pittsburgh game. It’s a long time since he’s seen game action
“It’ll be nice to get into a game on Tuesday when no one’s played a game in more than four months,’’ he said. “It’ll definitely be nice to get that first game in there, just getting back into that game mentality. Just run through everything that you would normally do on a game day because it’s been a long time for all of us.’’
Not many 21-year-olds get a chance to start a playoff game. Hart will be the youngest in Flyers’ history.
“Going into this post-season, it’s like no other,’’ he said. “Its uncharted waters for everybody. It’s going to be a new situation. It’s not your normal typical playoffs. Me and Moose (Brian Elliott) had a good chat there on the bench that one scrimmage and we were just taking a break between periods. He said to me, ‘This is what it’s going to be like for your first playoff game.’ That’s pretty crazy.
“Playoff games he said are mostly about atmosphere and all that so it’s going to be different for everybody. I think as athletes, as professionals, that’s our job to adapt and overcome whatever’s thrown our way. Like you said, AV’s been great all year for all of us. He’s a very trustworthy coach. He’s very honest. He can be very strict as well but as a coach you want someone who’s honest and holds you accountable.’’
>Farabee figures in playoff plans
No one is really sure what line Joel Farabee is going to play on but he’s made such a positive impression, he figures to be in the opening night lineup against the Bruins on Aug. 2.
Has head coach Alain Vigneault tipped his hand to him?
“No, I haven’t heard anything,’’ Farabee said. “Personally, just trying to stay ready. Doing whatever role I’m given that day, that’s what I try to do. Just trying to stay ready. If they need me, I’ll be ready.’’
Farabee has certainly put in the work.
“From my perspective, you always know what you’re going to get from me in terms of work ethic and stuff like that,’’ he said. “Personally, I’ve been pretty happy with how I’ve prepared for this camp and how well I’ve done. It’s the coaches’ decision to put the best roster out there for the game. I just got to stay ready. If my name is called and I get the opportunity, then I’ll do it to the best of my ability.’’
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