Flyers MVP – Scott Hartnell

In Philadelphia Flyers on March 24, 2012 at 10:03 am

When looking at an MVP of a team it’s very easy to look at its best player, the highest scorer, highest batting average, most home runs or most yards gained. There are so many other things that go in to “Most Valuable Player”. With 8 games remaining on the Flyers schedule their regular season MVP is Scott Hartnell. As stated above, it’s very easy to select Claude Giroux. Giroux has had a fantastic statistical season tallying 27 goals, 58 assists for 85 points. He is second in the NHL in scoring behind Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin, who has 95 points. “G” is also second in the NHL in assists behind Vancouver Canuck Henrik Sedin, 59. Giroux has also done everything asked of him on the power play and the penalty kill units as well. He’s truly had a great season. With 8 games remaining, Giroux scoring 15 more points to reach 100 is not unreasonable if the Flyers can find the offense that has disappeared since Ilya Bryzgalov has gotten hot and carried the team through March.

When the Flyers traded Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and lost Ville Leino to the Buffalo Sabres in free agency the big question was how would they make up for the loss of these goal scorers. The team was dealt another blow when newly named Captain Chris Pronger was lost for the season after only 13 games and the question was who would provide the leadership that is required in every locker room. The answer to both of those questions is Scott Hartnell.

In the past, Hartnell has been criticized for his sloppy play and taking “bad” penalties at the wrong times. That is in the past. In 2012 Hartnell is having his best season. After 74 games, Hartnell leads the Flyers in goals with 35, +/- rating with +22, power play goals with 15 and game winning goals with 6. He is 2nd in total points, 64, shooting percentage, 16.7% and penalty minutes, 130. All of these are career bests for Hartnell.

Hartnell is also among the NHL leaders in these categories. He’s presently 4th in goals scored and 23rd overall in points. He is ranked 15th in the NHL in +/-  and is tied for 1st in power play goals with 15.

The statistics are impressive; however, Hartnells’ leadership has stood out as much as his play. Playing on the line with Giroux and Jaromir Jagr, Hartnell has been the protector of his linemates. He still plays his “chippy” game and continues to be an irritant to all opponents. He also never hesitates to drop with the gloves with anyone. This has become more apparent as opponents have taken liberties with Giroux. Hartnell always does a good job of protecting himself and his linemates. Lay a hard check or a cheap shot on his linemates you better be prepared for a word, a hit or the gloves being dropped by Scott Hartnell.

Hats off to Hartnell for “stepping up” and filling the void left by other players. He’s had a great season!

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  1. […] The Flyers continue to get outstanding play from goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. The defensive improvement can be seen every night with contributions coming from every player.  Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Wayne Simmonds, Matt Read and a couple goals on Saturday night by Danny Brierre have led the way on offense. (See the link to our article on our MVP Scott Hartnell.) […]

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