After being seemingly invisible through the first six games, R.J. Umberger made his presence felt in his home town. The Pittsburgh, Penn. native scored a goal, registered an assist and dropped the gloves in Philadelphia's 5-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.
That is a Gordie Howe hat trick, and it provided a much-needed boost to a Flyers team that was just 24 hours removed from an embarrassing 4-0 loss to the Blackhawks on Tuesday.
The Flyers are going to rely on a balanced offense this season with the woes coming on the back-end. How fast the offense can start up this season will be key.
The first month of the season won’t be easy either. The Flyers begin their first week with back-to-back games in Boston on Wednesday and home on Thursday against New Jersey. The rest of the month is harder than running the gauntlet with games against Montreal, Anaheim, Dallas, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Los Angeles and Tampa Bay. On the Devils didn’t make the playoffs last season, but were in the Stanley Cup Final two years ago.
The Flyers have traded left winger Scott Hartnell to the Columbus Blue Jackets for winger R.J. Umberger and a fourth round pick in the 2015 draft on Monday.
Umberger, 32, recorded 18 goals and 16 assists for 34 points to go along with 26 penalty minutes in 74 regular season games this past season, his sixth with the Blue Jackets. He played three seasons for the Flyers from 2005-2008.
It has been a long week for the New York Islanders. The early season road trip has been an absolute disaster for the Isles and dropping a 5-2 decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets Saturday continued the misery. Columbus came into the game losers of five straight, but clearly was a team that just wanted it more last night as they did something that has been the bugaboo of the Isles all season; they played the full 60 minutes.