Scott Hartnell’s return to the Flyers lineup is inevitable.
Certainly it’s going to be a huge bonus getting back the team’s leader in goals scored last season with _. But a bit of a dilemma will hit head coach Peter Laviolette when his star left-winger does return.
Unfortunately for the Flyers, the guys for them who are playing their best hockey are the guys who aren’t doing the scoring. And those who need to step their game up and perform better are those relied upon to put the puck in the back of the net.
(Pictured: Mike Knuble battles for a puck on February 11. Chris Young/The Canadian Press/AP)
After what was looking to be a year without hockey, we found ourselves at the quarter-mark of the 2013 NHL season.
It's already been a fun-filled first three weeks of hockey. Perennial giants are struggling, some super stars are still in search of their scoring touch and even the Chicago Blackhawks have managed to play their first 11 games without a regulation loss.
12 games into the 48-game shortened season, the Flyers find themselves with a 5-6-1 record and 11 points, good for third place in the Atlantic Division.
At that point, they sit behind the first place Devils (7-1-3; 17 points) and second place Penguins (8-4-0; 16 points). It could be much worse, especially since the Flyers were at one point 2-6-0 to start the season.
(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov and Zac Rinaldo after the Flyers won, 4-3, in overtime on Saturday. Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Poor play in the third period almost cost the Flyers two points once again.
This time, Danny Briere came to rescue of those points, beating Cam Ward in overtime to send the Flyers to a 4-3 win over Carolina. It was their fourth straight game earning a point, going 3-0-1 on the four-game home stand.
It was also the second straight game the Flyers spend in overtime, having lost to the Panthers 3-2 in a shootout on Thursday.
The Flyers were able to end it before they got to the shootout this time. Briere broke into the zone and skated across the slot, faking a pass to Kurtis Foster before squeezing the wrister through Ward's legs to win the game.
(Picture: Matt Read celebrates after scoring in the second period. AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Maybe there is something Peter Laviolette knew that no one else possibly could.
Two years without any goals? No problem. A reputation of being a goon that can’t do anything else? Players can change.
Brought to Philly in a controversial trade that no one agreed with? You have to work with the players you have.
Laviolette has been scrutinized every time he has worked Tom Sestito in the lineup. He is a player that Flyers fans usually love to hate. His reputation is terrible, and he has never given people a reason to think otherwise about him.
But with the injury to Wayne Simmonds, Sestito was placed into the lineup again. And as cliché as it is, it was a reason for him to prove himself.
(Pictured: Tom Sestito scores the first of two goals in the second period. AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)