Flyers

Flyers Notes: Hartnell avoids serious injury

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Flyers Notes: Hartnell avoids serious injury

It could have been a lot worse for Scott Hartnell.

This was one time when his signature “#HartnellDown” battle cry on Twitter was far more serious and nothing to joke about.

With 10 minutes left to play in Tuesday’s 2-1 Flyers win over Florida (see story), Panthers’ defenseman Erik Gudbranson ran Hartnell along the right boards.

The Flyers’ left wing fell awkwardly before crumbling to the ice, where he remained motionless for a few moments.

Gudbranson received a five-minute boarding major for the hit, and Hartnell, somehow, got up on his own power and was able to return to the ice for the Flyers’ ensuing power play.

He’s OK, he said, but he’s definitely feeling the hit.

“I was more scared than anything -- I don’t know if ‘scared’ is the right word,” Hartnell said. “But you never want to see a guy go awkwardly into the boards like that. Hasn’t happened to me in a couple years, but yeah, my shoulder’s not feeling that great, more just a little dazed or whatever.”

Schenn’s year?
Brayden Schenn’s contract expires at the end of this season. If ever there were a season for the 22-year-old to prove that he can live up to his much-talked about potential, this is it.

And so far, it seems like Schenn’s received that memo. 

Through four games, the young forward has three points -- two goals, one of which was scored in Tuesday’s win, and an assist.

Is he on his way to a breakout season?

“It’s still early,” Schenn said. “I just want to keep on contributing. Getting the opportunity to play with Vinny Lecavalier and Jake Voracek right now, you’ve got to make the most of those opportunities. That’s what I’m trying to do.”

At least by the numbers, Schenn is off to his best start. Last year, he had just two assists through his first four games and the year before, he had no points at all. In his first NHL experience in 2010-11 with the Kings, Schenn had just two assists in eight games total.

Berube’s choice
Craig Berube’s first game was a success -- a 2-1 win. It was a lot easier than Peter Laviolette’s first game as Flyers coach, which was a rather unforgettable 8-2 penalty-riddled loss to the Capitals.

Dan Carcillo took a penalty that resulted in a record nine-minute power play for the Caps, who torched the Flyers for three goals.

Now, Jay Rosehill took a four-minute double minor and received a 10-minute game misconduct in Berube’s debut that brought back memories of the Carcillo incident. The only difference is, the Flyers survived Rosehill’s.

Regarding Rosehill’s penalty, the officials gave the Flyers a choice of a four-minute, 5-on-4 penalty kill or a two-minute, 5-on-3 kill. Berube chose the 5-on-4.

“That’s kind of weird,” Berube said. “For me, I’ve never seen that before. For me, it was an obvious one -- 5-on-4. I didn’t want to kill a two-minute 5-on-3. It’s tough.”

In that situation, per the 2013-14 NHL rulebook, Table 17, Example 7, the Flyers were given the “choice to play one player short-handed for four minutes or two players short-handed for two minutes.”

The double minor for roughing was assessed as two separate minor penalties, and such results in two separate power-play opportunities. The Panthers’ power play was 0 for 5 on the game.

Machete man
That would be actor Danny Trejo, who was in attendance wearing a Flyers jersey. He’s done some films here -- “Machete” was not one of them.

Anyway, rumor was Trejo threatened to do some surgery on the Flyers if they didn’t win this one for Berube.

Trejo was accompanied by actress Alexa Vega. Both were promoting their next film, “Machete Kills,” which opens Oct. 11.

Guests
United States Army Staff SGT Paul D’Agostin, who currently serves as a Detachment SGT with the United States Army’s Striker Reserves Center in Trenton, N.J., escorted Lauren Hart on the national anthem.

Petty Officer Stanley Maculewicz is in his fifth year of service with the Navy, and just returned home from his first tour of deployment in Afghanistan.

Giroux’s Crew (Club Suite F) honored United States Army 462nd Transportation Battalion stationed out of Trenton, N.J. 

Andrew MacDonald out 4-6 weeks with lower-body injury

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Andrew MacDonald out 4-6 weeks with lower-body injury

A roster spot for Samuel Morin appears to have opened up.

Andrew MacDonald will miss 4-6 weeks with a lower-body injury, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall announced Sunday. MacDonald will likely land on injured reserve.

The injury likely occurred midway through the third period against the Oilers on Saturday, when MacDonald blocked a Mark Letestu slap shot with 10:48 left in regulation and 1:44 left on an Edmonton power play.

MacDonald hobbled around on basically on one leg before being able to clear the puck and make it to the bench after 44 seconds. MacDonald blocked a game-high six shots Saturday.

“You just got to get up,” MacDonald said after the Flyers’ 2-1 win. “If you don’t get up, it’s 5-on-3. There are other opportunities that can arise from it. Do your best and try to hang in there. Wait for some help. Wait until you clear it. Everyone battles through it.

“You take a shot. You just get up, get back in there and help your guys.”

With MacDonald injured, the Flyers now have six defensemen. Brandon Manning has been a healthy scratch the past two games as Travis Sanheim drew back into the lineup.

The Flyers have yet to make a corresponding roster move, but considering Morin nearly made the team out of training camp and hung around for the four-game season-opening West Coast trip, it’s a safe assumption that Morin will find his way back to the NHL.

Morin had a goal and an assist for the Phantoms on Saturday night, an assist Friday night and points in all his three games in Lehigh Valley.

If Morin does come back up, the question is will he play?

The Flyers were reluctant to play three rookie defensemen on their season-opening trip and scratched both Sanheim and Morin for the season opener.

Things have changed now, though. MacDonald is third on the Flyers in ice time, averaging 19:36 while playing with Ivan Provorov, who will now find himself with a new partner.

Dave Hakstol could insert Manning into the lineup, which is a strong possibility. How Hakstol draws up his pairings remains to be seen, though it’s unlikely he’ll break up Shayne Gostisbehere and rookie Robert Hagg. It’s possible Provorov finds himself with Manning or Morin, or perhaps Radko Gudas. We’ll know more after Monday’s practice.

Calling up Morin is not Hextall’s only option. The Flyers also have T.J. Brennan in the AHL, who is a better fit as a seventh defenseman.

Scott Laughton credits longtime skating coach Dawn Braid for NHL rebirth

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Scott Laughton credits longtime skating coach Dawn Braid for NHL rebirth

After spending nearly the entire 2016-17 campaign at Lehigh Valley, Flyers center Scott Laughton looks like a whole different player this season. But the demotion and time spent in the minor leagues aren’t the only reasons behind his NHL rebirth.

Laughton also became a far better skater.

Through eight games, Laughton has two goals and one assist with a plus-one rating – hardly the kind of numbers that typically garner a lot of attention. However, the former first-pick is centering a quality fourth line for the Flyers, a grouping that has been strong in its own end while also generating impressive offensive opportunities at the other. Laughton leads the club’s forwards in shorthanded time on ice as well, playing a huge role in a penalty-killing unit that’s managed to ward off all but one of the last 13 power plays it’s faced.

The difference is apparent, and Laughton knows it, too. Some of that comes with age and experience – he’s only 23, with 117 NHL games under his belt. Yet Laughton directs much of the credit for his growth on the ice to his longtime skating coach, Dawn Braid.

“Worked with the same skating coach I have been for the last six, seven years,” Laughton said Friday of his offseason regimen. “She actually just got hired with Arizona. She was a skating coach there.

“I've been working with her. I did a lot of tight edges, a lot of tight work, and I did a lot of crossovers to try and develop speed. I think everything kind of comes together though — your off-ice training combined with that — and just getting stronger as I get older. I'm getting older and coming into my body.”

A former figure skater, Braid was named the Coyotes' skating coach in August of 2016, become the NHL’s first full-time female coach in the process. From the sound of things, the hiring was long overdue.

Braid had built a following around the league, and from players vastly more acclaimed than Laughton.

“She works with (Islanders center and four-time All-Star) John Tavares and helped him,” Laughton said. “She's got (Stars center Jason Spezza). She's got a bunch of guys. A lot of guys go to her. She's like Barb Underhill in Toronto. They were partners.

“I've been skating with her since I was in first year of juniors, so I really like her.”

It sounds like Laughton is getting an education in more than how to be better on his skates. As Braid has worked with more NHL stars and teams, she’s began teaching more than just being quicker and more fluid on the ice.

There are applicable hockey lessons and techniques involved in their training.

“I think she's really incorporated puck work,” Laughton said. “It used to be no pucks. She watches game film and things like that, and sees what's going on in the game and tries to help you that way.”

Whatever Laughton is doing, it appears to be working. A year ago, he couldn’t crack the Flyers’ main roster, managing to appear in just two games. He finished with 19 goals, 20 assists and a plus-17 rating in 60 games for the Phantoms in 16-17, with an additional two goals and one assists in five playoff tilts. Despite finishing with a 39-33-10 record and missing the postseason, the big club never felt as though Laughton was needed.

It’s early into the 17-18 campaign, but it’s already difficult to imagine this Flyers squad without Laughton’s contributions – so give the assist to Baird on this one.