Right now the Philadelphia Flyers are 6-7-1, and in a shortened 48-game season, that is not going to bode well for anyone. They definitely have their work cut out for them in the weeks to come, so they really needed that win against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.
Right now the Flyers are 10th in the Eastern Conference and 21st overall in the league, so they need to strengthen up the weakened defenses in front of Ilya Bryzgalov’s net. However, good news may be on the horizon as they are calling up Harry Zolniercyzk from the Adirondack Phantoms and Scott Hartnell may be close to returning to the lineup. Speculating reports are citing that Saturday might be the earliest possible game that Hartnell could return to.
As desperate and slightly disappointed Flyers fans, we really want Hartnell to be back. He and Claude Giroux dominated alongside veteran Jaromir Jagr last season, and although losing Jagr has been rough on the team, Giroux losing his best linemate so early on has impacted the team captain very negatively. Giroux needs Hartnell to come back so they can work off each other. The top linemates are pretty vocal on the ice together and seem to know when to find each to make some nice plays to score goals.
Giroux and the team need that back. However, it would also be unwise to rush Hartnell back on the ice. There is still some time left in the season, so Hartnell’s presence on the ice will be imperative if they get to the playoffs. Hartnell brings not only assists and goals to the team, but charisma and a fighting mentality that the Flyers need right now. They still appear a bit sluggish despite their more aggressive playing style.
All of you Michael Leighton haters and Brian Boucher fans might be happy too, because Leighton is injured (again) and Boosh has been called up to the Flyers. I think most fans, myself included, would prefer to have Boosh as Bryz’s backup over Leighton, who hasn’t played much, and when he has, has played like he’s still playing in the AHL with the Phantoms.
So the Flyers have some potentially good things about to happen to the roster, but they need to continue to fight hard for those Ws. For me, I’m more disappointed in a regulation loss than an OT loss, because in overtime we see the team are working their tails off to get to that W. Sometimes it’s hard when it has to end in the gimmicky shootout round, which is a huge problem for the Flyers.
Winning against Winnipeg did wonders for the Flyers, so they just need to continue from here on out. They have to change something about their game fast or this may be the first season in years that they haven’t faced a playoff run.