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POST GAME THOUGHTS: FLYERS 4, PENGUNS 0

Saturday, 03.15.2014 / 6:00 PM ET
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out
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Flyers Inside Out

PHILADELPHIA – Before the game, assistant coach Ian Laperriere went on a local radio show and described the Flyers as a team “that never quits.”

After the 4-0 win over Pittsburgh, head coach Craig Berube called his team “composed.”

Sean Couturier said that now, more than ever, especially in these rivalry games, “there an edge” to the team with the way they play.

However you want to describe it, the Flyers have been building an identity under coach Craig Berube and that identity is one that can take them a long way.

The Flyers haven’t been garnering much in the way of attention, either on a national stage, or even here at home. Sure, the hardcore fan base knows what is going on with the Flyers around every turn, but I can’t help but shake my head every time someone asks me how the job’s going with a “mediocre” team.

The Flyers are far from mediocre. They’ve accrued 63.7 percent of available points over the span of 51 games. That’s nearly two-thirds of a season. If anything, they’ve been among the best stories of this season, overcoming a dreadful start to being in position to control their own destiny to earn home ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.

And all the while, they’ve been putting this identity together.

But what is the identity to be exact?

Is it that of a team that is never out of a game? With a franchise record 11 wins when trailing in the third period and a league-leading seven wins when trailing after two periods, that is certainly one way of putting it.

Or, is it a team that once it gets a lead, hardly ever gives it up? After all, the Flyers are now 24-5-4 when scoring the first goal of a game. They are also 22-2-4 when leading after two periods and both of those regulation losses came in October.

The Flyers are good on special teams (top 12 in both categories), they have the most-balanced team scoring in the NHL (tied with Boston with seven or more players with 15-plus goals) and they have been getting solid goaltending all around, but specifically from Steve Mason, who registered his fourth shutout of the season against Pittsburgh.

So what’s that add up to as far as identities are concerned? How about that of a very good team who is playoff bound and might stick around longer than expected.

Not convinced yet?

Talk to me after the next 16 games and let me know if you’ve changed your mind.

NOTES: Today marked the Flyers’ first regular-season shutout of the Penguins since April 6, 2008 (Marty Biron) and just the fourth in the last 31 years. It’s the first time the Flyers have shut out the Penguins in the regular season with Sidney Crosby in the lineup (46 games)…Today’s game marked just the 10th time the Flyers held Crosby without a point… It was the Flyers’ first regulation win against the Penguins at the Wells Fargo Center since Dec. 8, 2011. Their one win in five games since then came in overtime on March 18, 2012 when Scott Hartnell scored with nine-tenths of a second remaining in OT… The Flyers took 71 total shot attempts towards net (40 on goal, 20 that were blocked and 11 that missed) to Pittsburgh’s 44 (25 on goal, 14 blocked, five missed)… The Flyers forced 14 Pittsburgh giveaways while only committing three giveaways themselves… Matt Read recorded his seventh career game of two goals or more and his fourth of this season. He led the Flyers with six shots on goal.

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

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HOME
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 82 22 59 1 81
C. Giroux 81 25 48 -3 73
M. Streit 81 9 43 -8 52
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
B. Schenn 82 18 29 -5 47
S. Couturier 82 15 22 4 37
M. Del Zotto 64 10 22 -5 32
M. Read 80 8 22 -4 30
M. Raffl 67 21 7 6 28
V. Lecavalier 57 8 12 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 18 18 11 .928 2.25
R. Emery 10 11 7 .894 3.06
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