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Break? What Break?

The Flyers are about to get a five-day break. Not that they are admitting to knowing it's on the horizon.
Monday, 03.18.2013 / 2:14 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out
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TAMPA – It was the most glaring thing on the Flyers schedule when it was released a little over two months ago and now we’re almost there:

A gaping hole of five consecutive days off in a condensed schedule.

It was unexpected in a season of 48 games in 99 days. But it definitely stood out. Especially for a Flyers team that played more games than any team in the league to this point.

The players are being given two complete days off to do as they please – vacation with the family, sit at home and vegetate… whatever – before returning for practice Thursday as the prepare for the final playoff push and a grueling 18 games in the final 35 days of the season.

In a lot of ways, this is the hockey version of “Get Away Day” which, in baseball, is often viewed as a day when players’ minds are elsewhere, leading to a less than stellar effort.

The difference is, no one in the Flyers locker room is viewing it that way. After all, they can’t afford to do that at this stage in the season.

The Flyers enter play tonight four points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, and although they can close that gap to two with a win coupled with a victory by the New York Rangers over Carolina, they have to sit around and watch for five days while both teams they are chasing and those behind them play in 17 games that will have an affect on the Flyers position in the standings.

“I think they’re pretty focused on the game,” coach Peter Laviolette said after the morning skate. “There’s hasn’t been any talk about the break…. I’m [also] going to stay away from [discussing] the three day break. There’s a big game tonight. I haven’t even thought about the rest of the week. I’m going to focus on the game tonight. That’s where I’m going to stay.”

To a man the players pretty much had the same attitude, choosing to focus more on the task of defeating the Lightning to get in the best possible position in the standings heading into that break.

Although some admitted the break does come at a good time in the season as it allows the team a chance to get fresh and healthy before that last push.

“It’s going to get us some rest, which is good,” Max Talbot said. “Also, we’ll get a few hard practices in and be ready for the rest [of the season] come Sunday.”

………………………………………………..

Laviolette mentioned that he was sticking with the same line combinations and defensive pair from the shootout win against New jersey last Friday despite struggling some offensively.

“We didn’t generate a lot last game. Offensively I don’t think we were firing on all cylinders last game. We have to do a better job of winning puck battles in the offensive zone; moving the puck and moving for each other.

“I think lines always move around a little bit from day-to-day, but there won’t be any adjustment to them tonight.”

……………………………………………..

Ilya Bryzgalov will make his 28th start of the season for the Flyers tonight, most in the NHL. He, along with Evgeni Nabokov of the New York Islanders are the only goalies in the NHL to be credited with each of their team’s victories this season.

…………………………………………….

Vincent Lecavalier is out of the lineup for Tampa Bay. The Lightining are loading up their top line, playing Martin St. Louis with Stephen Stamkos and Teddy Purcell. Anders Lindback is in goal for the Lightning.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Gostisbehere 6 1 1 0 2
B. Schenn 6 0 2 2 2
W. Simmonds 6 0 2 -1 2
S. Gagner 6 0 2 1 2
J. Voracek 6 1 0 -1 1
M. Raffl 6 1 0 0 1
R. White 6 1 0 0 1
C. VandeVelde 6 1 0 -1 1
A. MacDonald 6 1 0 0 1
B. Manning 6 0 1 -2 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 2 1 0 .981 0.67
S. Mason 0 3 0 .852 4.09
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