Dec 20, 2018; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart (79) before start of game against the Nashville Predators during the first period at Wells Fargo Center.  Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

When Chuck Fletcher took over general manager duties of the Philadelphia Flyers, he made it clear the one of the top priorities the team needed was some stability in net — except suddenly things have changed. In the meantime, the team has gotten solid play from rookie Carter Hart which already brings into question whether the team intends to add a goalie to their depleted ranks.

The team’s starter, Brian Elliott, is undergoing medical tests and isn’t expected to be back any time soon. Anthony Stolarz is a few weeks away, while Michal Neuvirth is healthy but extremely injury-prone. However, with Hart performing well in three games so far, Philly.com’s Sam Carchidi writes that Fletcher now has more time to decide if Hart is the real deal and could find himself dealing from strength when the trade deadline comes around.

Carchidi writes that Fletcher had a number of interesting goaltending options in front of him with rumors that Edmonton’s Cam Talbot, Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick and Detroit’s Jimmy Howard (now injured) were available. However with Hart suddenly showing some early success (today’s loss notwithstanding) might allow Fletcher to re-think his plans. Of course, Hart may not be able to keep up his success for a long period of time and may still not be ready to be an NHL caliber goaltender, which could send Fletcher back to Plan A.

  • While it hasn’t been confirmed, Newsday’s Andrew Gross writes that New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk will likely miss Sunday’s game against Dallas. The veteran blueliner left the team after Thursday’s game against Vegas to return home to be with his wife for the birth of their third child and with a three-day Christmas break after Sunday’s game, the scribe writes it wouldn’t be surprising if he sat out Sunday’s game which could give Devon Toews a chance to make his NHL debut.
  • Newsday’s Colin Stephenson writes that while Boo Nieves, who returned to the Rangers’ lineup earlier this week after suffering his third registered concussion during the preseason tries not to worry about suffering another concussion and knows he can’t let that affect him when playing. “No, because that’s too much hesitation, and hesitation is what’s going to get you hurt,’’ he said. “So you have to just go into the game like you normally would, and you can’t worry about other things that are out of your control, like guys in your peripheral, and things like that. Things are going to happen, and you just have to be ready for them.’’

This article first appeared on Pro Hockey Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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