Peter Laviolette

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Flyers, Sens Get Physical; Could See Suspensions

The Flyers and Senators made some noise outside of the Wells Fargo Center Saturday afternoon.

The big hits and the fights got the crowd vocally active in the Flyers 2-1 win over the Senators, and it will get the NHL's head disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan vocally involved sometime in the next couple days.

The highlight of the extracurricular activities came midway through the first period. Flyers winger Harry Zolnierczyk came flying across the ice to deliver a massive hit on Ottawa's Mike Lundin.

Zolnierczyk left his feet to deliver the hit, driving his shoulder into the head of Lundin. Lundin was knocked out of the game due to the hit, and Zolnierczyk got a five-minute major for charging and a 10-minute game misconduct.

(Pictured: Harry Zolnierczyk lays out Mike Lundin as Zac Rinaldo looks on. AP Photo/Michael Perez)

Gervais, Gustafsson Making the Most of Playing Time

Many people have expressed concern with the defense of the Flyers this season.

It’s one of many concerns fans have when it comes to this team. Unfortunately, controversial offseason acquisitions and an injury to Andrej Meszaros have complicated things.

The third pairing for the Flyers is currently Bruno Gervais and Erik Gustafsson.

If it were up to the fans, Gervais would have never come to Philadelphia and Gustafsson would have been in the lineup all season. But agree or disagree with the signing, it happened, and Peter Laviolette can only play the guys that he has.

But when you actually think about it, things are not as bad as they seem. Let’s take a look at the two main concerns of fans right now.

(Pictured: Erik Gustafsson takes down NJ's Adam Henrique in last year's playoffs. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Hartnell Returning to Form

All it takes is one ill-fated blast from the point to ruin a season.

At the time, that unfortunate situation struck Scott Hartnell down on January 24—a 3-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils. A rocket propelled puck off the stick of Kimmo Timonen broke the first metatarsil in his left foot, keeping him out of action for a while.

Hartnell has since returned, and in his return, he has scored a goal and added two assists since then. The team also won two of its last three games in its homestand at the Wells Fargo Center since the #19 orange sweater stepped back onto the ice.

(Pictured: Scott Hartnell celebrates after scoring his first goal on Monday. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Like He Never Left: Simon Gagne Scores In Return to Flyers

Like a page written out of a movie script, Simon Gagne's return to Philadelphia had all of the necessities.

Gagne scored, he sparked his team and the fans, and the Flyers beat the Washington Capitals, 4-1, in Philadelphia in front of 20,000 Flyers fans awaiting the arrival of their prodigal son.

It couldn't have happened any more perfect for Gagne, who took a red eye flight from Los Angeles yesterday after he learned he was traded back to the team that drafted him in 1998.

(Pictured: Simon Gagne skates during warm ups. Photo by John Russo/TCL Flyers)

Flyers Acquire Simon Gagne From the Kings

The Flyers have acquired former left winger Simon Gagne from the Los Angeles Kings.

The Flyers sent a conditional fourth round pick to the Kings in exchange for Gagne, bringing the 33-year-old winger back to Philadelphia where he spent the first 10 seasons of his career here. If the Flyers make the playoffs, it becomes a third round pick.

"Simon is a guy who has a lot of experience and played in a lot of positions, penalty kill, power play and regular shifts," general manager Paul Holmgren said. "He is a good two way player that can skate. We think he will add to us a lot.”

(Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

After Six Failed Attempts, .500 Seems to Be Elusive For Flyers

Six times the Flyers attempted to get their record back to .500 and six times they have failed so far this season.

At 9-11-1, you have to start to wonder why that has been the case. It happened again last night when the Flyers dropped a home game 4-2 to the Maple Leafs, playing flat for the first 50 minutes of the game.

Is it mental? Are they snake-bitten? Or is this all just one big coincidence? Regardless, the Flyers need to earn every point they can get their hands on because this is a shortened season and every point matters just a little bit more if a team wants to make the playoffs.

(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov cannot stop a rebound shot by Mikhail Grabovski in the third period. Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

Flyers Struggle to Get to the .500 Hump Again; Lose to Toronto, 4-2

Getting to .500 has been an uphill battle for the Flyers and it continued on Monday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

An absolute sluggish outing until the final half of the third period cost the Flyers a chance to even up in the standings and get some much-needed points. And though the Leafs were almost equally as sluggish, they came out with the 4-2 win in Philadelphia.

Perhaps the Flyers are pressing to get to .500, but whatever it is, the effort was poor once again. Head coach Peter Laviolette didn't think they were pressing though.

(Pictured: Jakub Voracek battles with Toronto's Cody Franson in front of goalie Ben Scrivens. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

JvR Returns to Philadelphia as the Flyers Host the Maple Leafs

Former Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk returns to Philadelphia for the first time since being traded this off season for Luke Schenn. He already has a goal against his former team back in Toronto and he is looking for more.

Scott Hartnell's Return Had His Team Pumped Up

Flyers forward Scott Hartnell may not have registered a point but his return was a welcome addition to the lineup.

Hartnell had five shots, a hit, and had two penalties in the Flyers' 5-3 win over the Jets. He played 14:54 of ice time which was sixth on the team in terms of that category.

The Flyers winger didn't shy away from his usual game of crashing the net and wreaking havoc on opposing goaltenders.

(Pictured: Scott Hartnell warming up before Saturday's game. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Losing Read is "No Excuse"

Matt Read will be out for the next six weeks due to torn chest muscles. This latest development proved to be the exclamation point to an already disappointing start for the Philadelphia Flyers, especially how Read had shaken the sophomore slump and scored seven goals and six assists in 18 games.

The Flyers already have to deal with Scott Hartnell out of the lineup for the next 7-10 days, and Andrej Meszaros out for about that length of time as well. Each of these losses seem akin to a blow-by-blow beatdown. When will the bleeding stop?