The Philadelphia Flyers started their season off on a high note with a 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. It increased their season-opening point streak to nine games, having gone 7-0-2 in their last nine games to open the season. It is the longest active streak in more than 15 years. It also broke their two-game road losing streak against Columbus.
While there was a lot to like from what the Flyers did, there was a touch of controversy as well. Garnet Hathaway, one of the newest additions, was called for kneeing Zach Werenski. The play took place behind the Columbus net as Hathaway’s knee catches Werenski as he’s going in for the hit. Originally called for a major, it was later reviewed and lowered to a minor penalty. Werenski would have to be assisted to the locker room as he had a hard time putting weight on his right side.
Werenski missed most of last season after suffering a shoulder injury, also against the Flyers. This one doesn’t appear to be as serious as he was placed on IR and is only expected to miss 1-2 weeks with a quad contusion. A lot better than it appeared it could’ve been. For Hathaway, he has been fined $5,000 for the play. It’s not the first time that Hathaway has faced supplemental discipline. He was suspended for three games with the Washington Capitals in 2019 for spitting on then Anaheim Ducks defenseman Erik Gudbranson during a fight.
Hathaway is a part of a new-look Flyers fourth line that has carried their strong play throughout camp and into the regular season. Labeled the “PHD” line, the trio has given Philadelphia a strong option to use whenever the team needs energy and even has some scoring ability as well. Luckily the team won’t be losing Hathaway to a suspension for this play as the three have developed a fair amount of chemistry together. And hopefully this doesn’t turn into anything long term for Werenski.