Luke Schenn Returns to Toronto on Monday
When the Flyers acquired defenseman Luke Schenn from the Toronto Maple Leafs, expectations obviously were extremely high.
On Monday night, the elder Schenn returns to Toronto to face the team that he spent the first four seasons with.
"When the schedule came out, with this being the first game out, it’s something you look forward to," Schenn said. "One that you definitely look for on the calendar is the return to Toronto. I think both teams have obviously moved on and they’re both having success too and we are starting to too. There is no question that I look forward to going back there."
As Flyers fans know, Schenn was acquired from the Maple Leafs for rising star forward James van Riemsdyk this past summer in a trade that filled needs for both clubs.
Schenn comes into Monday's contest with a goal and an assist to go along with a plus-3 rating. The Saskatoon native recorded both of his points in a 7-1 rout of the Florida Panthers back on January 26.
But it wasn’t the offense that the Flyers acquired Schenn for. His physical presence on the ice was one of the appealing characteristics he possesses.
Through nine games this season, Schenn has been one of the most physical defensemen in the entire NHL as he has totaled 46 hits. Over the course of a 82-game regular season, he would be on pace for 314 hits.
Meanwhile, van Riemsdyk has netted seven goals for the Maple Leafs thus far. However, Schenn isn't always statistic-watching to see how the player he was traded for is performing.
"I wouldn’t say every night no, but he plays in Toronto so you’re going to see it, whether you check or not," Schenn added. "It looks like he is having a lot of success and I know him a little bit and obviously wish him the best. He’s getting a few goals and that’s good to see."
Schenn has played a large part in the Flyers recent success and has been playing some very solid hockey.
Schenn's presence was very important in Saturday afternoon's overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes. He dished out five bone-jarring hits in the third period, two of which came on Hurricanes captain Eric Staal. Schenn also blocked a shot in the period.
In just five games in February, the Flyers defenseman has 23 hits including eight against the Hurricanes on Saturday.
"It’s always a little bit challenging when you got back to a team that you started with or that you played for," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said of Schenn's return to Toronto after Saturday's win. "But he’s really found a nice home here and he’s really become a valuable player for us on the back end. Every night you look at his hits and his blocked shots. Tonight I thought he was terrific with the puck. He made a lot of nice exits out of our zone. He joined and skated the puck up the ice at times."