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)
24 saves by Ilya Bryzgalov, a rejuvenated defensive effort and two assists by Jakub Voracek propelled the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.
The Jets swarmed the Flyers early. Amongst a deafening chorus of "Il-ya" chants from the Winnipeg faithful, a bank off the end boards took an odd hop and Bryzgalov stretched out to make a great save on Bryan Little to keep the game scoreless early.
(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov makes a save in the 2nd period. AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Trevor Hagan)
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)
There is a certain code that players adhere to in the NHL in regards to fighting.
If a combatant wants to participate in a fight but is wearing a shield, he will take his helmet off. If he notices another fighter is seriously hurt, he will stop the fight.
And if a guy is on the ice or in a defenseless position, punches must stop being thrown.
There have been times where these codes have been broken and the player has had to answer for his sins. But in Tuesday's 2-1 win over the Lightning, Zac Rinaldo fell subject to one of these codes, having been accused of breaking the third code.
(Pictured: Zac Rinaldo knocks out BJ Crombeen. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
With a 1-1 score at the start of the third period, the Caps scored twice on the visiting Flyers and managed to hang on to it for the first time in three games, with the final score 3-2 in the home team's favor.
The win took the Caps from 15th in the East to 13th. Although it's not a huge leap, not being last anymore is just fine.
This game, a home game against a rivalry team after two come-from-ahead losses was a must-win game early in the season. The Flyers had been struggling similarly in the first weeks of the new season.
Spots that were problematic for the Caps started to look a lot better.
The Flyers have brought back a familiar face to their organization.
Grizzled veteran Mike Knuble, who turned 40 last July, agreed to a one-year, $750,000 deal with the Flyers. It has been four years since Knuble was last a Flyer, and he will look to continue his long career back in Philadelphia.
Knuble's signing came as a result of losing Scott Hartnell for most of the season. Hartnell broke his foot on Tuesday and will miss 4-8 weeks according to general manager Paul Holmgren.
(Photo: Mike Knuble playing for Washington in 2011. Photo by Kevin Dietsch)