September 24 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Don’t tell Scott Hartnell that NHL exhibition games are meaningless.
The Flyers winger might take offense. To him, performing well in the preseason is the first step to his team’s goal of winning the Stanley Cup.
“Even though it is an exhibition, it’s time to prove yourself,” Hartnell said Thursday before the Flyers dropped a 3-2 shoot-out decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs at the John Labatt Centre. “You want to start off well even though it’s an exhibition, get some hits, make some good plays, score a couple of goals, and get ready for Game 1.”
The Flyers served as hosts of a preseason game at the London arena for the seventh straight season. The arena is managed by Global Spectrum, a subsidiary of Comcast-Spectacor, which owns the Flyers.
Because all of the Flyers did not make the trip, Hartnell skated on a line with Andreas Nodl and rookie Andrew Rowe. Last season, Hartnell, Danny Briere, and Ville Leino teamed up on the Flyers‘ best line of the postseason.
Hartnell had a lot to do with the Flyers’ advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder scored eight goals in the final 14 games of the postseason. He was one of the club’s best players against the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Finals, with five goals and nine points in the six-game series.
“I thought he played his best hockey down the stretch,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. “He seemed to be getting stronger as the season really wore on in the end, to the point where he was one of our players that factored most in the opportunities we got.”
That was a big difference from the 28-year-old’s regular-season performance.
Coming off a career-best 30 goals in 2008-09, Hartnell was expected to dominate last season. However, he scored just 14 goals in the regular season and had three goal-scoring droughts of at least 12 games.”
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