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A BOLD PREDICTION

Claude Giroux said the Flyers will turn around their bad start and make the playoffs

Monday, 10.21.2013 / 7:01 PM / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
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A BOLD PREDICTION
When you are a 1-7-0 hockey team there are two ways you can go.\r\n\r\nYou can either recommit yourself to turn things around and try to get back on the winning track.\r\n\r\nOr you can\u2026 um\u2026\r\n\r\nWell, let\u2019s not think about that other way.

VOORHEES, N.J. – When you are a 1-7-0 hockey team there are two ways you can go.

You can either recommit yourself to turn things around and try to get back on the winning track.

Or you can… um…

Well, let’s not think about that other way.

So far for the Flyers, four days removed from their latest loss and still three days away from their next game, it’s a good thing the Flyers are approaching things more toward the first way than toward the second.

And they’re doing it in a variety of ways. They’re doing it by trying to build confidence. They’re doing it through self-deprecating humor.

And they’re doing it through bold predictions.

“When you have the record we have right now, you’re a little frustrated and you try to figure out what’s going on but everybody came to the rink and we know there’s a lot of hockey left to play here,” said captain Claude Giroux. “We’re not far at all. How many points are we off, six? To think that with the start we had, we’re that close. We’ve never thought that we’re not going to make the playoffs.

“We’ll take it here game-by-game and we will make the playoffs.”

Claude Giroux said the Flyers will still make the playoffs this year.

Did you hear that? The Flyers will make the playoffs.

And whether it ends up being a peerless prognostication that becomes a reality, or just another missed projection, it’s at least a sign that things aren’t as doom and gloom as you would think in that locker room.

And coach Craig Berube isn’t letting it get that way. As a matter of fact, he feels a lot of the need to build confidence can be accomplished during this perfectly-timed six day break.

It started with two days off the ice, including a nearly full-team tailgate and field trip to the Eagles game Sunday.

It was followed with an incredibly hard-skating practice Monday and will continue with three more practices this week.

“It came at the right time,” Berube said of the break. “We can regroup here, get our feet under us and go to work Thursday. Basically we can look at one game at a time. Don’t look ahead, don’t look back anymore, just focus on the Rangers, that’s it.”

And the hard skating?

“It goes back to doing things fast and getting your feet moving,” Berube said. “We want to become a faster hockey team and to do that you have to work at it in practice. It has to become natural to do things quickly and get your feet moving. That’s what we’re trying to do out there.

“If you do things quicker you’re going to be faster. It’s just having the confidence to do things faster than the way we are. Not everyone has great wheels, but the puck moves faster than everybody, right? This [the mind] has to be quicker. If you think quick out there and it becomes natural out there you’ll do things quicker and you’ll look like a faster team.”

Sounds like a simple enough formula. And the guys are buying in. Namely Jake Voracek, who, like Giroux has yet to score a goal in eight games, but who, at the same time believe that they can break out of their doldrums.

“The week off is going to help us to put more practice in and get the work done and be ready to play Thursday,” Voracek said. “It won’t hurt. When we have a week like this where you are skating – a bag skate like Chief [did today] then that’s what you have to do. The NHL is a very fast game today an you need to keep up or you are going to lose games. Skating a lot in practices is a good thing and is only going to help us.”

So will not taking things too seriously from time to time, even when things aren’t going well for the team.

Jake Voracek is taking a more light-hearted approach to correcting what ails the Flyers.

“It’s pretty funny to me when [someone] said [on Twitter] ‘The Eagles know the Flyers are at the game, that’s why they don’t score,’” Voracek said. “It’s pretty sad at the time but you have to laugh at it because we know we’re 1-7 and we’ve only scored 11 goals and that’s not good enough. But we know we have good group of players and that the odds to break for us eventually.”

Voracek even took it a step farther and criticized himself. When asked if he was fully recovered from a preseason somewhere-on-the-body injury, Voracek said he had.

“I feel like a 10,” he said. “I don’t play like a 10 but I feel like a 10. If you don’t score, that’s what happens. No matter how good you are. If you don’t score, miss an open net hit a couple posts and then lose three or four games in a row it’s going to drag you down.

“But good teams dig out of little holes and that’s what we have to do. The hockey we are playing is not that bad, but the record is showing (otherwise).”

In three more days, we’ll see if this more relaxed attitude pays off.

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 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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