The No. 1 goalies for the two MassMutual East Division teams playing in Pennsylvania have developed a friendship through offseason workouts together in Sherwood Park, Alberta, and have added a bit of fun to their games this season.
"We work out and we train together," Hart said. "We're just buddies. Off the ice, that's just the way it is. And then when we play each other, it's a lot of fun but it's competitive. We're playing to win. It adds that competitiveness between the two of us, and with the fact that we're training buddies and we're trying to see who can get one up on the other guy between the games and who can outdo who, it's a lot of fun."
The goalie who wins the most head-to-head games against the other will have some extra fun in the offseason. A friend of Hart and Jarry who is the co-owner of Sherwood Motorcars has offered up the free use of a 2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante for one week to either Jarry or Hart.
"There's not many cars like that around so it would be pretty cool," Jarry said of the car with a $339,000 sticker price. "It'd be even better showing up to workouts driving it and knowing the other guy lost. Puts a little extra on the line."
Hart leads the series, 2-0-0, with their next game scheduled for Monday at Pittsburgh (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SNE, SNO, SNW, ATTSN-PT, NBCSP, NHL.TV).
"I got the ups now," Hart said. "We've got to play them six more times, but right now I'm up two."
Neither goalie has had the start to the season he was looking for. Hart has a 3.68 goals-against average and an .891 save percentage in 11 games but established himself as the long-term answer in goal for the Flyers last season. Jarry, who signed a three-year, $10.5 million contract ($3.5 million average annual value) with the Penguins on Oct. 3, has a 3.14 GAA and an .894 save percentage in 14 games in his first season as the No. 1 goalie.
"It's good to have a little rivalry and maybe a dinner or two on the line," Jarry said. "It's fine to put that little extra fire in your game that you want to win that much more, especially with the Penguins and the Flyers. I think it brings that much more to the table."
Their relationship dates to 2013, when Hart was a 15-year-old student at Vimy Ridge Academy in Edmonton and Jarry, an 18-year-old goalie with Edmonton of the Western Hockey League, would come to the school for hockey clinics.
Among those running the clinics was Dustin Schwartz, who was Jarry's goaltending coach with Edmonton and has worked with Hart since he was 12 years old.
Hart and Jarry previously had trained together off the ice, but this offseason was the first time they were able to skate together with Schwartz, who has been the Edmonton Oilers goaltending coach since 2014, running the sessions.
Schwartz said there were interruptions to their work because of provincial COVID-19 protocols, but he was able to get on the ice with Hart and Jarry about three times a week starting in November.
"We identified a couple things in each of their games that they felt, in conversations with their goalie coaches from their respective teams, a couple areas they wanted to target and focus on and then we built our plans from there," Schwartz said. "What I would do is take an area where Carter needed some work, see how it overlapped with what Tristan needed and then just build out a practice plan accordingly."
One of the focuses for Hart was his puck-handling, and with Jarry it was post play. Schwartz said what stood out was the goalies helped each other as much as he coached them.
"The dialogue that goes into our ice times when we were on the ice together was outstanding," he said. "Tristan is a very good puck-handler, most of the time he does a good job with his feet, he's strong with the puck, so there were lots of little takeaways for Carter. Carter's post play and skating is really good. There are things I know Tristan can take away.
"There was a really good, quiet competitiveness when they were on the ice together while still working to improve their game. And both incredible people. They go out there with good intentions and the right intentions to get the most out of their practice individually but supportive of each other. It's a good working environment."
Hart said having Jarry to share ideas with made it a very productive offseason.
"It was nice to have his perspective on my game and my perspective on his game and just different opinions and different things we see in each other," Hart said.
Jarry felt the same way. As important as it was to get Schwartz's perspective on what was needed in his game, hearing it from one of his peers resonated a bit more.
"It was helpful this summer just to see a different aspect of it rather than just kind of bouncing ideas off a coach and then seeing if it works for myself," Jarry said. "It was nice to be able to see somebody else do it and try and mimic it. ... I think being able to bounce ideas off someone out there and just doing it different ways, I think that helps both of us be a better goalie. It adds more tools to our bag."
Schwartz certainly will be watching the next chapter of the Flyers-Penguins rivalry to see if Hart and Jarry can put their vast set of tools to good use and one can take another step toward winning the Sherwood Park Bowl.
"The fact that they put so much time into their game and the two of them have such incredible abilities to work and be detailed in their approach and then get on the ice and go head to head, whether it be in summer training or when the chips are all in and it really matters, I think it says a lot about their willingness to continue to grow and get better," he said. "I think as two young goalies that do that in the offseasons and work so hard at it, is really impressive."
Photo: Phil Pocklington/Sherwood Motorcars