Four-for-Four: The Chase Utley Damage-Control Edition

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In the past week, the Flyers have faced two opponents (Buffalo and Nashville) starting their second-string goaltenders. This would normally be an advantage for a team with an impressive collection of scorers, but the Flyers had some issues with Buffalo’s Jhonas Enroth and Nashville’s Carter Hutton. Though the team would beat the Sabres, they would fall to Nashville.

Most notably between these two netminders was the caliber of goal-preventing saves that they had against Philadelphia. Both goalies put forth potential ‘save of the year’ candidates at the expense of the Flyers.

First, Enroth on Claude Giroux

Then, Hutton on Michael Raffl

Might want to get these backup netminders figured out if the team wants to make a legitimate playoff run.


For all of his critics and his sometimes streaky play, Scott Hartnell serves a very important role on a young Flyers team. He manages to keep the locker room loose, serves as a mentor figure to some of the younger talents on the team, and plays the part of agitator to a perfection. At the beginning of the season, Hartnell’s struggles were almost impossible to overlook. He didn’t score a goal in the team’s first nine games, had been demoted from the top line, and had seen his lack of top-end speed catch up with him faster than one would have hoped.

Lately, along with linemates Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds, Hartnell has helped pace the Flyers scoring effort in classic fashion. Hartnell is an expert at scoring in the ‘dirty places’ on the ice and occasionally, such as he did in the team’s win in Buffalo, unleash an impressive snap shot from the slot. The team has recorded a point in every game he has scored a goal (9 wins, 2 overtime / so losses) and is one of seven Flyers with at least 10 goals (11).

Hartnell probably won’t replicate his 2011-2012 campaign that saw him bury a career-high 37 goals. That said, he is part of the team’s best line at the time and, sitting at a team-leading +5, is showing he is not a liability on the defensive side of the ice.


Jan 16, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros (41) celebrates his goal with right wing Wayne Simmonds (17), center Brayden Schenn (10) and left wing Scott Hartnell (19) against the Nashville Predators during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports


As in seven double-digit goal scorers on the Flyers. There are many that feel that, despite Claude Giroux being an extraordinary talent, the Flyers are hampered by not having a ‘go-to’ scorer to help take over games. While this is a concept that teams like the Washington Capitals and Penguins are happy with, a key to the Flyers’ recent ability to come back in games is the fact that the opposition cannot key in on stopping one player.

Philadelphia is riddled with ‘streaky’ scorers who tend to gather goals in bunches. Players like Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn tend to ride waves of confidence and can often pace the offense for games at a time. With Giroux and Voracek being consistent in the playmaking department, goal-scorers all have ample opportunities to get theirs. If the Flyers do happen to make the playoffs, and the Capitals and even the Penguins recently know full well, having several players that can score is more desirable than one prolific line or scorer. I am not necessarily saying the make up of the rest of the Flyers team, most notably the defense, is geared for a playoff run. The fact that they can turn to several different figures to score at any point of the game has to be comforting if the Flyers are able to work out some of their other issues.