High-sticking penalties are beginning to appear more often and it has to be a concern for the Flyers coaching staff. On Thursday night against the Sabres, defenseman Mark Streit was whistled for a high-sticking penalty in the first period that ended up turning into a Tyler Myers power play goal to give Buffalo a 1-0 lead. It was Streit's second high-sticking penalty in the last four games as he was called for it last Wednesday on a play involving Penguins' enforcer Joe Vitale.
Just 1:27 into the second period, Scott Hartnell was called for a four-minute double-minor for high-sticking on Sabres defenseman Mike Weber as Hartnell cut Weber above his eye. Hartnell only had one hand on his stick when he swung it around as the puck left the zone.
Overall, the Flyers have been whistled for 12 high sticking penalties with Hartnell's being the only double-minor so far this year. This does not even include Luke Schenn's high-stick that knocked out several of Teemu Selanne's teeth three weeks ago. Streit, Hartnell, and Zac Rinaldo all have recorded more than one penalty for high-sticking.
More often than not, these penalties can be avoided. It's usually a mental lapse or a bit of laziness. Streit's high-sticking in the first period Thursday was just a mental lapse as he crashed the net on the Flyers power play but came in guns blazing with his stick up and caught Christian Erhoff in the throat.
These penalties are dangerous to other players but are also hurting the Flyers. Philadelphia has allowed at least one power play goal in each of the last four games so spending time in the box due to an errant stick is less than ideal.
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