Welcome to the Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Facebook of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Twitter of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Instagram of the Philadelphia Flyers Official LinkedIn of the Philadelphia Flyers Official DeskSite of the Philadelphia Flyers Flyer Wire
 
 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

BUDDING CONFIDENCE

Flyers starting to feel like a team ready to break out

Friday, 03.1.2013 / 4:07 PM ET / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
X
Share with your Friends


BUDDING CONFIDENCE

VOORHEES, N.J. – There’s certainly a different feeling in the Flyers locker room these days then there was even two weeks ago.

It’s hard to put a finger on the reason why, but just being in there, you get the sense that they know something that no one else does. There are smiles. There are positive attitudes. There is confidence and a belief in the team.

Heck, even Peter Laviolette is joking around with writers lately.

But why?

The Flyers still sit a game below .500. They still are on the outside looking in of a playoff spot. They still have not won three games in a row.

So, why the optimism? Why the positivity? Why the shift from pervading uncertainty to burgeoning confidence?

It’s hard to say really, but it’s there.

Maybe it’s the break in the schedule. After playing 15 games in 27 days in February, the Flyers have just 13 in the next 34 days. Having time to relax and recover as well as time to work and practice will only be beneficial for the Flyers moving forward.

Considering the team went two full weeks without having a chance to have a full practice, the break in the schedule is welcome.

Friday, the Flyers practiced for nearly two hours, and coach Peter Laviolette was thrilled about it.

“It’s been a long time,” Laviolette said. “It was really good to get out there. There were 12 things we were able to touch on. The power play, the breakout, the shootouts… everything. It was a real productive day, but it was a busy day because we were still preparing for Ottawa tomorrow. It was good though that after having an off day yesterday to put in the work today.”

Maybe it’s also because the team is getting healthier.

Scott Hartnell has been back, but he’s started to look more like himself in the last game or two and is showing no lingering effects of fractured foot.

“It took a couple games to be comfortable and up to speed with (Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek),” Hartnell said. “They were hitting the blue line four or five strides before I got there. (Wednesday) I was right there with them if not ahead a couple times… I felt pretty good.”

Not just Hartnell, but it looks like Erik Gustafsson’s lower-body injury was minor enough that he won’t miss any time and is expected to be back in the lineup Saturday against Ottawa.

“It’s good to see Gus out there,” Laviolette said. “Just moving the puck, moving himself and [being] mobile back there, he’s really come in and done a nice job since coming back from his injury.

“He was finding his game. It was good to see him back out there and not hung up from the other night.”

Then there’s Andrej Meszaros, who is ever-closer to returning as well. Only Matt Read is sidelined long-term, but the fact that he skates with the team regularly suggests his recovery from torn rib cage muscles will be closer to the four week portion of his diagnosed return than the six week portion.

Maybe it’s the calming influence of a more veteran team. Sure, the Flyers are still young up front. But when you consider the roster moves that have been made to this team during the season – adding Brian Boucher, Mike Knuble and Simon Gagne – all three veterans who get what Flyers hockey is all about and can impart that on the younger players in the group – you can sense that they, along with the leadership group, keep things on an even keel and don’t let panic set into the locker room.

That’s why even though the Flyers are 10-11-1 and have yet to reach the .500 mark this season, the team isn’t focused on getting the one win needed to achieve that level of… well… mediocrity, but instead have their sights even higher.

“I don’t know if there’s a lot made of the .500 level,” Laviolette said. “Five hundred is not going to do anything for us. If we finish .500 we’re going to be looking back at this year saying, ‘What a mess.’ We need to win hockey games and get way above the .500 level if we’re going to have an opportunity to play for the Stanley Cup. We continue to chip away at things and move in the right direction and try to put wins in the column.”

To contact Anthony SanFilippo email asanfilippo@comcastspectacor.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 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 78 22 45 -8 67
W. Simmonds 81 32 28 -7 60
B. Schenn 80 26 33 3 59
J. Voracek 73 11 44 -5 55
S. Gostisbehere 64 17 29 8 46
S. Couturier 63 11 28 8 39
M. Raffl 82 13 18 9 31
M. Read 79 11 15 -5 26
M. Streit 62 6 17 -1 23
S. Laughton 71 7 14 -2 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 23 19 10 .918 2.51
M. Neuvirth 18 8 4 .924 2.27
Privacy Policy | AdChoices | California Privacy Rights | Contact Us | Advertise Employment | NHL.com Terms of Use

Philadelphiaflyers.com is the official Web site of the Philadelphia Flyers. Philadelphia Flyers and philadelphiaflyers.com are trademarks of Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.