Let's just talk about how remarkable it is that Scott Hartnell has 35 goals. Not only is he defying the odds -- a 17.3 shooting percentage for a guy who's never gone higher than 14.7 percent in that department -- but he's far-and-away the Flyers' team leader in goals. Scott effing Hartnell.
To really understand just how crazy this season is for Hartnell, though, we have to remember back to the beginning of the season. By game No. 7 of the year, the calls for Hartnell to be traded out of town had already begun. He had just two points in that time, both assists, one of the secondary variety. All he's done since is score 35 goals in 65 games.
He's obviously benefited from playing with Claude Giroux and Jaromir Jagr. Any idiot would know that. Of his 35 goals, either Giroux or Jagr have assisted on 25 of them. Both players combined to assist on four goals, Jagr on five others and Giroux on 16 others, which is surely a product of extra power play time Nos. 28 and 19 have played together.
Is that to say that if you took Hartnell away from Giroux or Jagr he'd be a bum? Who knows? We can't answer that since he's barely played with any other forwards this season.
This all comes back to the shooting percentage, but as Eric has taught us in the past, linemates don't have too much of an impact on the shooting percentage of their cohorts. Hartnell is shooting better this season than he ever has, but is that a product of playing with Giroux and Jagr? Maybe to a certain extent, but probably not. Who knows what it is -- and I'm curious to see if it's something he can keep up beyond this season -- but for now, I'm going to enjoy the ride.
Dude. Scott Hartnell has 35 goals. How awesome is that?