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Hartnell earning reputation as a great agitator for Flyers

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TSN.ca Staff
6/7/2010 3:19:03 PM
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Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Hartnell punches the clock every day and once he gets to his office he gets to throw a few.

It's what has earned him the reputation of a great agitator and has emerged him into one of Philadelphia's most potent weapons.

The 28-year-old Saskatchewan native thrives on dishing out punishment, registering 18 hits in the Stanley Cup Final, and he can usually be spotted mixing it up after the whistle.

''My game is pretty simple,'' explained Hartnell. ''It's how I've played since I was 15 or 16 years old - skating, getting on the forcheck and hitting bodies. ''Ville (Leino) and Danny (Briere) are pure goal-scorers, I'm just trying to feed them the puck and maybe get a rebound or two.''

And Hartnell's game has not been lost on his opponents.

''He's a hard nosed guy and he seems to do everything well,'' said Blackhawks centre Patrick Sharp. ''He battles hard and tries to get under people's skin while doing a good job of staying disciplined.''

Hartnell scored just 14 goals in the regular season and was held without a goal for the first nine games of the postseason. Now, the orange-maned mucker has 15 playoff points - with three goals and four points against the Blackhawks.
 
''Points come when you work hard,'' Hartnell said. ''It's nice to contribute, but points are a far second thing to W's in the win column.''

And Briere wouldn't want Hartnell to play any other way. The two linemates, along with Leino, have been the best trio during the Final, accounting for eight of the Flyers' 18 goals. And Hartnell is having his best offensive series of this year's post-season with seven points.

''Right now, he is making it tough on other teams to play against,'' said Briere. ''He's been strong and playing with that edge right now.

''I remember playing against him and he's just annoying, plus he gets in the dirty areas and does a lot of the grunt work for our line. It makes it tough on other teams.''

Hartnell's style of play has drawn plenty of attention, but perhaps not as much as his hair style. His flowing locks (reminiscent of defenceman Mike Commodore's from a few years ago) have overflowed so much; he's had to change helmets. The faithful in Philly don't seem to mind, with legions of fans at the Wachovia Centre donning frizzy red wigs as a tribute.

''I've had to go up a helmet size, Hartnell said. ''It's kind of a pain in the butt; some mornings it's all over the place, but ever since I've been in Philly I've basically let it go. I've had a couple of trims this year, but have no plans to cut it anytime soon.''

With files from TSN's Brent Wallace.

Scott Hartnell (Photo: Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
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