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By the Pale Moonlight

Flyers have to dance with the Devils... twice... to be back in playoff contention

Tuesday, 03.12.2013 / 3:08 PM / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
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By the Pale Moonlight
VOORHEES, N.J. \u2013 In case there was any doubt that these Flyers aren\u2019t aware enough of the position they are in as they stand on the precipice of a home-and-home series with New Jersey, Iyla Bryzgalov pretty much confirmed their recognition.\r\n\r\n\u201CIf you check the standings [the Devils] are four points ahead of us and have one game in hand,\u201D Bryzgalov said. \u201CIf you win both games, you\u2019re tied with them and you have a good chance to continue to battle for the playoffs. If you lose both games, you\u2019re done. You\u2019re done. That\u2019s it. \r\n\r\n\u201CThis is it. This is probably the reality. You\u2019re going to be eight points behind with \u2026 not many games left to catch up. It\u2019s going to be very difficult. It wouldn\u2019t depend on you but it would depend on how the other teams do. That\u2019s how important these games are.\u201D\r\n\r\nTwo games with the season on the line against the hated Devils. In a lot of ways, it\u2019s like bonus playoff hockey\u2026 in March.

VOORHEES, N.J. – In case there was any doubt that these Flyers aren’t aware enough of the position they are in as they stand on the precipice of a home-and-home series with New Jersey, Iyla Bryzgalov pretty much confirmed their recognition.

“If you check the standings [the Devils] are four points ahead of us and have one game in hand,” Bryzgalov said. “If you win both games, you’re tied with them and you have a good chance to continue to battle for the playoffs. If you lose both games, you’re done. You’re done. That’s it.

“This is it. This is probably the reality. You’re going to be eight points behind with … not many games left to catch up. It’s going to be very difficult. It wouldn’t depend on you but it would depend on how the other teams do. That’s how important these games are.”

Two games with the season on the line against the hated Devils. In a lot of ways, it’s like bonus playoff hockey… in March.

“We’re facing a team that’s four points ahead of us and a lot of teams have games in hand, so yeah, it’s a huge two games for us,” Danny Briere said. “We said that last week about the three games and we went 0-for-3. We’re putting ourselves in a tougher position every week. If we would have done well last week we would have probably said we would be happy with a split [of these two games]. But we won’t be happy with a split at this time. We need to win both games.”

Coach Peter Laviolette agrees too, but he doesn’t want his team to get ahead of itself.

“We have to start with one,” he said. “I don’t like to coach two games [at once]. You can’t play both. You can only play one. Bryz has a valid point because it’s a big week because the Devils are a team we need to be successful against. Not only would it help us to climb out of the hole we are in, but it will also help us catch the teams directly in front of us.

“He has a valid point, but we will shift our focus to the one game in New Jersey [tomorrow] and then reload when we get back home [Friday].”

And the Flyers will have no excuses any longer. Everyone is healthy and well-rested. The schedule has lightened considerably as the Flyers are in the midst of a schedule that has just three games in a span of 13 days.

That’s a lot of time off. Which means that the magnitude of each of the three games is even more paramount than usual.

Because, when this quirk in the schedule is over, the Flyers will resume play with another war in Pittsburgh followed by a five-game homestand that includes games against the New York Rangers, Boston, and Eastern Conference –leading Montreal.

Those six games happen in a span of 10 days and lead right up to the April 3 trade deadline.

So the Flyers need to know where they stand heading into that 10-day stretch, and how they play against the Devils this week, and next Monday in Tampa will go a long way in letting them know.

Each game will have a sense of do or die for the Flyers and will present different challenges.

“Whatever you call it we need to win the games,” Bryzgalov said. “That’s it. We need to win. That’s the challenge.”

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 - 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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