What are the Flyers Missing
This years flyers team is struggling to find an identity. There is talent on this team, but something seems to be missing. After a lackluster 3-0 loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday, coach Peter Laviolette held a closed-door meeting with his players that lasted about 20 minutes.
His hope was to try and light a fire under a team that had dropped three games under .500 and into 11th place in the Eastern Conference. The team responded in the short term with a 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres Sunday afternoon. But will the coaches message stick, in a shortened season that demands a sense of urgency for a team that is on the outside of the playoffs looking in.
It has happened before for this team. Back in the 2009-2010 season the Flyers didn't earn a playoff berth until the final day of the regular season, then advanced all the way to the Stanley Cup finals.
Danny Briere, who played a significant role in that remarkable playoff run that included the improbable comeback of a 3-0 series deficit against Boston, says this year's 12-14-1 team can do the same.
"If you remember that year, we were in a similar kind of mess," Briere said after Saturday's defeat. "Halfway through the season, I think we were 14th or 15th in the conference. We sorted through, we stuck together and we were two wins away from the Stanley Cup. I know it's an uphill battle once again, but we have a lot of guys who were there and I really believe we have the horses to do that again."
The bottom line is this: These flyers need to play with more passion, a sense of urgency, and a desire to be the best. Take a one win at a time approach and cross their fingers that Bryzgalov can be what he was brought here to be, an elite goalie in this league.
"It's about attitude, supporting each other and being good teammates. We've been talking almost all year about passion, and it's about time we started playing with it," winger Scott Hartnell said. "It's frustrating to be at this point, but we realize we still have lots of time left."