After the first nine games of the 2009-10 season, Flyers’ winger Scott Hartnell had become a target for finger pointers, who believed a better, more workman’s effort was needed from him if the team was going to be anything more than .500%. At the time, the Flyers stood 5-3-1 and Hartnell had just one goal and three assists to go along with his putrid minus-5.
But the sudden awakening of the curly-haired pest has sparked a fire under the Flyers’ offense, who despite missing two of their top scorers to injury, are now pumping on all cylinders, ranked second in the NHL at 3.57 goals per.
Last week, the Buffalo Sabres were fighting the flu and it resulted in a lopsided 5-0 loss to the Islanders. This week, it’s the Flyers turn. With Arron Asham, Dan Carcillo and Jeff Carter all battling the bug, the sickly Flyers will find out where they stand in the Eastern Conference pecking order, as they visit the 9-2-1 Sabres, Friday, 7:30 P.M., at the HSBC Arena.
Coming off an impressive 6-1 performance against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday afternoon, the Flyers (6-4-1) face another struggling Southeast division team. The Tampa Bay Lightning (4-3-4) visit the Wachovia Center on Monday, in what is the first meeting of the season between the two squads. The game will be played at the odd game time of 5:00 P.M., due to the World Series.