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The Orange And Black Will Need Scott Hartnell To Continue To Shine

In the beginning of the season, forward Scott Hartnell was sitting on the bench and not playing more than ten minutes per game.  Now he’s the leading goal scorer for the Philadelphia Flyers and is on pace to have the best season of his career.

Hartnell was struggling to find his game early in the season and then Coach Peter Laviolette decided to switch up the lines.  Laviolette put Hartnell the line with Jagr and Giroux and since then he and his line mates have taken off.   He has 25 goals and 20 assists for a total of 45 points, but the most telling stat this year is that he’s a plus 19.

Hartnell is playing good on the offensive side of the puck as well as the defensive side.  It helps that he doesn’t kill penalties and only plays at even strength and on the power play.  He has 13 power play goals and most of them have come from being in front of the net screening the opposing goalie or from being at the top of the circle and just blasting it by the opposing goalie.

He also seems like he’s skating harder to back check and not taking the “lazy” hooking penalties like he has in past years, which leaves him on the ice to get more points.  Hartnell also seems like he’s staying on his skates more and isn’t falling down as much like he has in past years.

At even strength, Giroux and Jagr do most of the cycling down low and Hartnell does the dirty work in front of the net looking for deflections or rebounds to bury on front of the net.  On the power play, Wayne Simmonds and Hartnell are the big bodies in front of the net looking for the deflections.

Hartnell has also taken on more of a leadership role this season especially with all the young kids on the team.  With Danny Briere being out with a concussion, he’s currently wearing a ‘A’ on his jersey.  He also seems to be a big part of the new leadership group both on and off the ice.

Here’s to hoping that Hartnell can keep up his pace for a career year in the second half of the season.  The Orange and Black will need him if they expect to go anywhere in the playoffs come April.

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Posted by on Feb 5 2012. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Flyers, Forwards, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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