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PRIDE. OPPORTUNITY. CULTURE.

Flyers find things to play for in the final four games of the season.

Friday, 04.19.2013 / 7:30 PM / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
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PRIDE. OPPORTUNITY. CULTURE.
RALEIGH, N.C. \u2013 Pride. Opportunity. The culture.\r\n\r\nIf you are looking for things that the Flyers can play for during their final four games of the season, you certainly can start there.\r\n\r\nLet\u2019s take them one at a time.\r\n\r\nFirst, there\u2019s pride. You hear non-playoff teams talk about that all the time. It could be clich\u00E9 sometimes, but the fact is, it\u2019s pretty legitimate.\r\n\r\nWhen you\u2019re competing against the best players in the world at your sport, there should never be a feeling of disinterest. If there is, then maybe you don\u2019t belong at that level.\r\n\r\nAnd for the Flyers, there is certainly a feeling of wanting to play well enough over the final week of the season to go into the summer with a feeling of not letting their pride down.

RALEIGH, N.C. – Pride. Opportunity. The culture.

If you are looking for things that the Flyers can play for during their final four games of the season, you certainly can start there.

Let’s take them one at a time.

First, there’s pride. You hear non-playoff teams talk about that all the time. It could be cliché sometimes, but the fact is, it’s pretty legitimate.

When you’re competing against the best players in the world at your sport, there should never be a feeling of disinterest. If there is, then maybe you don’t belong at that level.

And for the Flyers, there is certainly a feeling of wanting to play well enough over the final week of the season to go into the summer with a feeling of not letting their pride down.

“We’re a group that wants to win no matter what,” said Jake Voracek. “Everybody always gives 100 percent. It doesn’t matter where we are in the standings. If we didn’t have that attitude we wouldn’t be here right now. We just got to play for the win and leave it all out there.

“Its not where we want to be. Like I said, we have to learn from it. It wasn’t the best season but we have to make sure we finish it on the right note.”

They can start that way by getting back in the win column Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes, another team who won’t be going to the playoffs this season.

And they can continue it with strong efforts next week in home games against Boston and the New York Islanders and the season finale next Saturday in Ottawa.

If thy win those four games, the Flyers can take solace in the fact that they finished the season on an 11-7-2 stretch, which, if they played at that pace all season would have them in the playoffs.

“It’s an awful feeling,” said Brayden Schenn. “We expected more at the start of the year and it’s been a tough year. We have games left though and we have to play for pride.”

But it’s not just that. Players are also always playing for jobs – not just with the Flyers, but possibly with a new team next season, if they don’t return to Philadelphia. As such, turning lackadaisical at this time of year would be a bad idea.

“You always have to go out there and play hard because you are always being evaluated always being looked at,” said Schenn. “As individuals guys are looking to accomplish a few things, but we should go out there and play hard.”

And some players are going to be given an opportunity to do just that – and maybe in some instances in roles that they weren’t in prior to this point in the season – as the team tries to make evaluations on players’ futures.

“We’re still going to prepare and practice to win a hockey game first and foremost,” said coach Peter Laviolette. “But can you look at certain things? Yes. You can try some personnel in different situations, maybe on the power play and the penalty kill. There is some opportunity to do that, but the front burner is still to prepare and to play.”

But perhaps most importantly is to make sure that losing doesn’t become a part of the culture.

It never has in Philadelphia, where this is only the ninth season in the 45-year history of the franchise where there won’t be playoffs. And with a good portion of this team’s core likely to stay intact, it’s important that they don’t get comfortable being where they are right now.

“Frustration is definitely a word that comes to mind,” said Luke Schenn. “It’s not a position that coming into the year we thought we’d be in.

“I just think the level of compete and urgency and the things you need to have in this league haven’t been there all year… but you can sit here and make lists all day… but it’s inexcusable at the end of the day and now we have a few games left and we have to finish off strong.

“You feel a lot better about yourself when you get wins… The biggest thing, if you do want to start looking to next year, is you don’t want losing to become a habit and become acceptable. You have to finish off strong and play hard for your teammates because winning is always a lot more fun regardless of the standings.”

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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