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A LUCKY RABBIT'S FOOT?

Scott Hartnell will take extra precaution to protect his feet moving forward
Thursday, 01.16.2014 / 1:26 PM
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out
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A LUCKY RABBIT\'S FOOT?

PHILADELPHIA – When Scott Hartnell came back from a fractured foot last season, he decided to wear skate guards to protect his feet for the remainder of the season.

But, old habits die hard, and Hartnell started this season without the guards – a plastic outer shell that surrounds the soft part of a skate boot – once again tempting fate.

Considering what happened in Buffalo Tuesday, he's got to wonder if he's got a little rabbit DNA, because the status of his left foot can only be described as lucky.

Hartnell was again hit on the foot while blocking a shot and was immediately in pain as it caught him just below his left ankle.

He left the ice, not to get checked out, but finally to swallow his macho pride.

“I put [skate guards] on after I blocked the shot last game… how convenient,” Hartnell said. “I think they will stick this time.”

For good?

“Probably, yeah,” he said, before realizing that he would be matching up against Nashville’s Shea Weber tonight. Weber has one of, if not the hardest shots in the NHL. “I’ll definitely be wearing them tonight since I’m a left winger and he’s a right point shot and I’ll be in the lane a couple times on him.”

Hartnell had his foot looked at twice – both after the game in Buffalo and again yesterday back home. The Flyers listed him as day-to-day, but after taking the morning practice it appears he’s good enough to go.

“I felt good on the ice - better than I thought it would,” Hartnell said. “Any time you block a shot it’s going to be sore, but I was a little bit more worried about this one, but I’m ready to go. It feels better in my skate than in my shoe.”

And that’s a good thing for the Flyers, who have been getting strong production out of Hartnell as well as linemates Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds since the trio was put together by coach Craig Berube five weeks ago.

“We weren’t sure yesterday, but the injury could have been a lot worse,” Berube said. “You don’t want to lose anybody for that length of time. That line’s been good so it’s good that he’s ready to go.”

Now that he’s been dinged in his feet a few times and he’s dodged another fracture that would keep him out a longer term, Hartnell has finally seen the error in his ways when it comes to protecting his feet.

“Skates have changed a lot,” Hartnell said. “They’re lighter and softer. Some guys go through pairs every few games because they break down so fast. Guys shoot a lot harder too and when you have softer skates it’s going to lead to more foot injuries. [Wearing skate guards] is a lot like wearing a visor. It’s stupid not to wear a visor with sticks going everywhere and pucks being deflected. I bet in a few years you’ll see a lot more guys wearing [skate guards].”

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NOTES: Although Berube called Steve Downie a game-time decision, it looks like he’ll be back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for two games. Berube reiterated that Downie had gotten away from what makes him an effective player. “To me it was intensity in the game,” Berube said. I talked to him about it. His fight on the puck and his style of play wasn’t there. He says he’s fine so everything’s good. It’s just mental. He needs to play an intense game He needs to be an in-your-face player but play disciplined at the same time.” If he plays, he’ll likely get fourth line right wing duty with Adam Hall and Chris VandeveldeSteve Mason gets the start in goal. He is 16-4-3 in his last 21 starts… The Flyers have had the second best record (20-9-3, 43 points) in the Eastern Conference in the past nine weeks behind only Pittsburgh (23-7-2, 48 points). Only three teams out West have been better as well: Anaheim (23-5-4, 49 points), St. Louis (22-6-3, 47 points) and Chicago (20-6-7, 47 points).

To contact Anthony SanFilippo email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 CBJ 74 35 35 4 203 230 74
13 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 75 21 53 7 74
C. Giroux 74 22 46 1 68
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
M. Streit 75 9 36 -10 45
B. Schenn 75 14 25 -7 39
S. Couturier 75 13 17 1 30
M. Read 73 7 22 -7 29
M. Del Zotto 57 9 19 -5 28
M. Raffl 60 19 6 6 25
V. Lecavalier 51 7 11 -10 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 15 17 10 .926 2.25
R. Emery 10 10 6 .892 3.15
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