Originally written January 25, 2013 on Buzz On Broad:
Washington_capitals_v_9519
Another day in the office for Knuble (photo via zimbio.com) When the news broke that forward Scott Hartnell would be missing at least a month with a broken foot, the Flyers and general manager Paul Holmgren knew that they had to go outside of the organization for help. While the Flyers were battling the New York Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center in front of almost 20,000 fans, Holmgren was busy trying to find the glue that might hold the team together until they can get healthy again. Enter Mike Knuble. The 40-year-old forward, who needs to pass a physical today to officially become a member of the team, signed a one-year, $750,000 deal to bring his veteran talents back to Philadelphia. Knuble played in Philadelphia for four years from 2005-2009, scoring 221 points in 310 games in that span for the orange and black. Despite his age, Knuble still has a chance to provide some offense and a vast amount of veteran leadership to the Flyers' young group of forwards. The Flyers have struggled to score so far this season, tallying just five goals in their four games played. Last night was their best performance, as they scored two goals and played much better defense en route to a 2-1 victory over the Rangers. If you take a look at why the team has struggled to score goals so far this season, and why they netted both of their goals last night, you can see why Knuble could be of value to the Flyers this season. In both of their goals last night, the Flyers had a heavy net presence. Nick Grossmann threw a  decent shot towards the net, but it was Wayne Simmonds placement in front of the net, and the redirection off of his skate, that really put them up 1-0. In their second goal, it was more of the same. Claude Giroux blasted one towards the net from the circle to get the play started, but it was the presence of multiple Flyers around the net that got the puck home.  Simmonds chipped at it first. Sean Couturier got a solid chance off of Henrik Lundqvist's pad, and Jakub Voracek was backdoor to poke in the rebound in what would end up as the game-winning goal for the Flyers. The Flyers' net presence on this play lead to the game-winning goal If you have seen Mike Knuble play, you'll understand that this is a big part of his game; causing havic in front of the net and in the crease and punching home rebound opportunities. Another big reason that the Flyers won last night was the big shot advantage that they held. They fired 33 shots towards Lundqvist, which obviously created more scoring chances and opportunities for rebounds. Knuble has recorded over 200 shots in a season twice; once with the Flyers in '05-'06 and then again with the Washington Capitals in '10-'11. Look for him to place his big 6'3", 235 pound frame in front of the net and create some scoring opportunities over the next several weeks. C.J. Burns is a lead contributor for Buzz on Broad. Follow him on Twitter @CJBurns215
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