Carter Hart has a ton of fans.
The 20-year-old rookie captured the city when he won eight straight games, tying the NHL record for most consecutive victories by a goalie before his 21th birthday.
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Bernie Parent, who knows how to win the hearts of Philadelphia, is one of those fans.
"The Flyers are going to win the Cup with him," Parent said of Hart last month in an interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia's Marc Farzetta.
Big fan, indeed.
That prediction is music to the ears of Flyers fans, who are experiencing no playoff hockey for the fourth time in the last seven seasons. The Flyers haven't made the postseason in consecutive years since 2010-12, when they last won a series.
And, of course, the last time the Flyers won the Stanley Cup: 1975 with Parent tending the pipes for the franchise's second straight title.
Hart, a 2016 second-round pick, is the club's goalie of the future and the Flyers are excited for his first full season in 2019-20.
"Hartsy is a great young goalie and is going to be good in this league for a long time," Brian Elliott said last Sunday. "The Philly fans have a lot to look forward to. He was really good, especially as a young guy coming in."
In particular, Parent is impressed by Hart's hockey instincts.
What he has, you can't teach this, is the ability to anticipate. It's a God-given talent. You can't teach that, because when the play happens, it has got to be natural and within you. [Wayne] Gretzky had that. Gretzky would always go not where the puck was, but where he thought the puck would go and always made the right moves.
You look at this kid and that's what he does. He will anticipate while the play goes and then makes his move. He'll drop to his knees and make the saves, but then if there's a rebound or something happens, he's right up again. A lot of goalies don't do that today.
Hart has been lauded for his maturity and approach at just 20 years old. He works hard and thinks the game at an advanced level.
"Going into next year, it's important I have a good summer of training so I'm prepared for a long season, 82 games, so I'm mentally and physically prepared to handle whatever workload I'm given," Hart said last Sunday. "Obviously I want to play every game, it's just the mindset that I have. This summer is important for me to get stronger and faster.
"In an 82-game season, we're playing almost every second day. A huge part has been the off-ice approach, making sure that you're taking care of your body, getting enough sleep and you're eating the right things. That's really important in a season where you're playing almost every second night."
And into the playoffs, possibly to a Stanley Cup Final.
Parent likes those chances.
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