Scott Hartnell is having one of his best seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers. He’s set his career goal record at 35 this season, he’s doing great things for charity, he went to the All-Star Game, and right now every Penguins fan hates him. While he still does show why he has so many PIMs, when it comes down to it his performance in terms of goal scoring for the Flyers is remarkable. Due to this he’s a perfect Flyer. He’s the second leader of the team following behind linesmate Giroux with 64 points, and he can fight as well as score some pretty awesome goals. That’s the kind of guy we want in Philadelphia. Especially when he can win a game in overtime with only .9 seconds left on the clock.
In case you missed it, this is what Hartnell achieved a few hours ago. The Flyers who seemed in a downward spiral in February, have been forcing their way out of it during the playoff crunch time. They have played pretty solid in March, with only a few losses here and there, so when they played heated rivals the Pittsburgh Penguins, they were not going to quit. That’s what I love about the Flyers, when they seem down and out they turn it around and surprise even the home fans sometimes. After two periods, where the Penguins were dominating the Flyers’ home ice, something had to be done. That’s where Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell came to the rescue.
Timonen pulled the flyers out of the goal deficit in a powerplay goal, which was followed closely by Hartnell’s wrist shot. Hartnell had been pretty active the whole game, especially when he took a roughing penalty in the second period, but he made up for it by tieing the game with the help of teammates Giroux and Simmonds. Then it almost looked like the two teams were going into a shootout period as the time was ticking down fast on the five minute overtime period, but Hartnell wristed a goal in with only .9 seconds left on the clock. This not only won the Flyers the game, but ended the Penguins 11 game winning streak. If it comes down to a Penguins-Flyers playoff quarter-finals game, we can already see that this it would be an interesting match up to say the least, and Hartnell will definitely be a key figure in figuring out how to defeat the Pens.
As the season has continued, Hartnell has remained on my list of favorite Flyers. Although my favorites tend to change on a weekly basis, mainly because the Flyers have a lot of good goal scorers. The only way Hartnell could work on to improve his game is in penalty minutes. He needs to continue focusing on putting pucks behind goaltenders and less on fighting.