Flyer'd Update with Sarah Baicker: Flyers-Hurricanes - 11/5
Scott Hartnell hasn't registered an assist since Feb. 27 -- 35 games ago. (USA Today Images)
RALEIGH, N.C. -- It's truly baffling and yet it’s likely something that can only happen in Flyerdom.
Scott Hartnell has gone 35 games dating back to last season without registering an assist. What makes it so baffling is that he has played nearly all of those games with Claude Giroux and has also worked on the first-unit power play.
It’s just another in a long line of reasons why the Flyers have scored just 21 goals in 13 games and are 29th in the league in scoring (averaging 1.62 goals per game).
“I know, it’s unheard of,” Hartnell said. “I check the stats every now and then. It’s almost embarrassing, to be honest. You play with some of the best players in the world and you can’t muster a little assist or whatever. And it’s not like it’s been 10 games. It’s been 30-plus.”
His last assist was last season, Feb. 27, when he had two against Washington in a 4-1 victory over the Caps.
Hartnell comes into Tuesday’s game against the Hurricanes with zero points in nine games played and a plus/minus of minus-3. He is averaging 15:30 in ice time.
“Not that I am thinking about it, but the last few games, I have had quite a number of shots and opportunities," Hartnell said. "If things are going my way, I get two goals last game against New Jersey. I can’t get too frustrated about it.
“Collectively and personally we have all been playing better, and I’ve been playing better -- going to the net more. Good things happen when you go to the net. That’s been my philosophy my whole career. I’ve gone through some scoring droughts before but nothing like this assist drought.”
Giroux didn’t know about Hartnell’s assist drought. Then again, he has his own share of troubles. No goals but six assists in 13 games.
“That’s another stat you guys take care and we don’t read into it,” Giroux said. “Hartsy is playing good for us. Obviously, he doesn’t have a point this year but he’s doing a lot of good things for this team.
“You look at the last game (1-0 win over the Devils) and he made a lot of good plays. That’s normal.”
As Giroux walked away, he turned and smiled.
“If you guys see a positive stat, let me know,” he said with a grin.
Jay Rosehill, Luke Schenn and Erik Gustafsson are healthy scratches tonight. … Ray Emery will back up Steve Mason in goal. … The Flyers need to pick up points against equaling struggling teams such as Carolina, New Jersey and Edmonton this week.