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Flyers Aim to Improve Behind the Red Line

Tuesday, 11.15.2005 / 12:00 AM / News
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Flyers Aim to Improve Behind the Red Line


Voorhees, NJ – As well as the Flyers have played so far this season, the new NHL rules are proving that getting used to the "new" league is a process and teams will have to adjust quickly in order to keep up. One area in particular that Flyers Head Coach Ken Hitchcock would like to see his team improve upon is the way it handles pressure in its own zone and an aggressive forecheck, such as the one that caused the Flyers problems in Tampa Bay on Monday night.

In an afternoon practice at the Sovereign Bank Flyers Skate Zone, Hitchcock focused his attentions on better breakouts and handling a team with well-skating forwards.

"We worked a lot on breakouts under pressure and all kinds of stuff, to continue to get better," he said. "For me, from the red line, back is the area where we have to get a lot better."

The Lightning forced the Flyers into mistakes that ended up in their net in ending the team's six-game winning streak. They did so by getting the puck deep into the offensive zone and giving the Flyers little time to clear the zone, taking advantage of the crackdown by officials of holding up and impeding the offensive player who is chasing after the puck.

"If you can't hold up the forechecker anymore, they are going to come with speed at the defense the whole time, and you have to find a new way to figure stuff out," said Kim Johnsson. "You have to have strong play behind the net, and we have to do that better."

"It's not just the defense, the forwards have to come down and help out, and that's what we wanted to work on today," added Peter Forsberg. "Tampa has some good skaters and they came at us hard. We turned it over a couple times every period and they created a lot of chances. The forwards are coming quickly and you can't hold them up and the defense is getting pressured right away."

Stevenson and Kapanen Getting Closer

Turner Stevenson and Sami Kapanen both took part in Tuesday's practice, but neither was skating on a specific line. Hitchcock gave an injury update on the pair, saying that Stevenson could be cleared to play as early as Wednesday's home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"We'll see how [Stevenson] feels tomorrow. He skated hard today and we'll see if he's got any lingering effects. If he doesn't, then he'll be available starting Wednesday.

"Sami has a date of November 29th for availability right now."

Road Record Falls to 2-3-1

While Philadelphia has been outstanding at home, currently riding a nine-game winning streak at the Wachovia Center after dropping the season opener, the team has not played quite as well away from its home ice.

Still, they have played just six road games and want to get into more of a groove on the road before jumping to any conclusions.

"I think by the end of November we'll know a little bit better what kind of road team we have," said Hitchcock. "When you get to play Tampa with the loudness and tenacity of the game, that's like playing five road games. You get a real good feel for how hard it's going to be. It was a playoff atmosphere and intensity and both teams played pretty hard."

"We came off a 5-0 homestand, so I think our confidence at home is really high," said Mike Knuble. "We're making it very hard for teams to play well in our building. If we're going to have some early struggles on the road, then you better be picking it up at home."

FLYERS NOTES
Hitchcock announced after practice that Antero Niittymaki will face Pittsburgh on Wednesday night and Robert Esche will get the call on Friday against Atlanta. Michal Handzus did not practice, but will play on Wednesday. Mario Lemieux will not play on Wednesday. He stayed in Pittsburgh due to a stomach virus.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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