National Hockey League

Imagine if Carter Hart arrived before having to clean up Flyers' mess

Moments after the final horn blew Monday night and The Boils’ “Orange And The Black” began serenading a joyous Wells Fargo Center, it was hard not to wonder if this was an instance of What Could Have Been, or even What Probably Should Have Been, if only.

It served as a reminder of just how much has changed in the seven weeks since the Jets mopped the dreary streets of Winnipeg with the Flyers, the second game of a five-game trip that began with a 6-2 win in Buffalo and ended with Dave Hakstol’s firing.

• With Shayne Gostisbehere a last-minute scratch with a lower-body injury, Christian Folin gave the Flyers a solid 9:12 in his place with a couple of hits and blocked shots.

Interim head coach Scott Gordon was cautious with his ice time (only 7:36), but that will be the test to see how he handles limited shifts and how he stays engaged after playing 20-plus minutes with the Phantoms.

It’s difficult to work the puck away from it, but because it comes hard on the forecheck and plays deep in the offensive end, it also left itself susceptible to some odd-man rushes and the Flyers had some quality scoring chances as a result.

• Perhaps there was some criticism behind playing Carter Hart with the Phantoms last Saturday night, but I didn’t see much downside and the extra start looked like it gave him an opportunity to work off the rust of a layoff.

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