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A BELIEF IN ONESELF

Flyers not ready to throw in the towel, despite recent heartbreaking losses

Thursday, 03.14.2013 / 5:47 PM ET / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
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A BELIEF IN ONESELF

VOORHEES, N.J. – If there was a message that came out of practice today for the Flyers it was delivered best by captain Claude Giroux.

To steal a line from Monty Python’s Holy Grail: the Flyers are “not dead yet.”

While it may seem like everyone is ready to write off this team after a less than stellar start, the fact remains that they are within striking distance of a playoff spot and despite what people may think, the team still believes it can find it’s way out of the hole it has dug for itself.

“I don’t truly believe we’re done if we lose [Friday against New Jersey],” Giroux said. “Obviously it’s a big game for us because we need to climb back into the standings but we can’t be saying the season is over if we lose. We have to play the way we can play and just go one game at a time.”

The Flyers will be five points out of a playoff spot with 20 games to play after tonight. And while the number may seem a little daunting, it’s not as bad as it seems.

Really, it’s like being 2 ½ games out with 20 play. It’s definitely doable.

“I still like our team,” general manager Paul Holmgren said. “I’d like them to play better… it’s as simple as that. We have a good, young group of players here.

“[This is still a playoff team.] If we play better. We have our work cut out for us with the schedule we’ve already played the points we’ve missed out on attaining. It’s a difficult task but it’s something that can still be had.”

The Flyers only have two games in the next nine days – a rematch with the New Jersey Devils at Wells Fargo Center tomorrow and a trip south to take on the Lightning in Tampa Bay Monday – and then will sit back and assess where they are situated when the schedule ramps back up again in Pittsburgh on March 24.

“We need a big win, but we need to get on a bit of a roll too,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “One up, one down isn’t cutting it. We definitely need a big win an then try to build off it and put that into some sort of a streak.

“Whatever we do we have to find it quick.”

It’s not a lack of effort, as some might suggest. This Flyers team does try and does care, it’s just been the victim of it’s own self-inflicted wounds sometimes and those are creating a fine line some nights between winning and losing.

“We need to play better obviously,” said Ruslan Fedotenko. “But how to play better [is the question]. We have to go back to our foundation and work on the little things. It’s not necessarily about having to score goals but the little things are what matters most – supporting the puck. Finish the checks. Be in the right spot where you need to be. Communicate. If we do that, if we focus on the basics and our foundation we are a very good team, but we haven’t been playing that way.”

Nevertheless the Flyers are capable of it as currently situated. They showed it with big wins this season against the New York Rangers, twice against a vastly improved Carolina team and even in Pittsburgh in the most-watched game of the season in the NHL.

But the consistency is what’s lacking. It’s something the team has talked about ad nauseum. They’ve seen video of their errors until they are blue in the face. There’s nothing more that needs to be said.

“Talk is cheap,” Wayne Simmonds said. “There’s not really much more to say. We just have to go out there and do it.”

And the Flyers believe they can. And as long as they believe it, they’re not going to give up on the season. Not by a long shot.

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

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 53 16 29 -8 45
J. Voracek 53 8 35 -3 43
W. Simmonds 53 20 16 -7 36
B. Schenn 51 15 15 1 30
S. Gostisbehere 35 9 20 4 29
S. Couturier 40 9 15 9 24
M. Read 51 9 9 -5 18
M. Raffl 53 7 7 5 14
S. Laughton 52 4 10 -7 14
M. Del Zotto 51 4 9 -8 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 13 14 7 .917 2.65
M. Neuvirth 11 6 2 .933 2.14
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