Scott Hartnell was benched last week against the Islanders because coach John Stevens felt that he was not giving the team a full effort. Since the benching, the Flyers mounted a 3 goal comeback against the Penguins (only to lose in OT), beat the Canadiens in Montreal, and halted a 6 game win streak for the Atlanta Thrashers. Sure, they probaly should have won the game against Pittsburgh and not made the game against Atlanta look closer than it should have been, but they've registered points in 4 straight games.
Hartnell on his benching:
"I think it had an effect [on the team]," Hartnell said before last night's game against Atlanta. "Now we've had two games in a row with 60-minute efforts and guys not taking shifts off and that's what we're going to need to take this team to the next level.The Flyers are finding a way to play much better hockey, even with all of the injuries. Their early season schedule sure did not help them, but that's what they'll have to deal with because of the strong parity in the NHL now. The Flyers will have a long break to sure up some things, but long breaks between games usually turn in to a negative result. A negative result that they cannot afford to have up in Boston. The Montreal win will be a good win to turn the corner on and the Flyers need to make sure they do that.
"It seems like we needed something to send a message to everyone and if I needed to be the one to send the message I'm OK with that." [Daily News]