The Philadelphia Flyers entered there weekend games with hope and anticipation that their team chemistry and energy was going to make their losing streak a thing of the past. Chief (Craig Berube) did not dwell on his debut win because he knew that the team still had a lot of work to do.
“It’s over,” Chief said of the first win of the season for the Flyers. “We’re worried about tomorrow and practice.”
During their downfall on Friday, 2 key players were benched with injuries and going into Saturday, a different team emerged. A more serious team, without Scott Hartnell and Vinny Lecavalier, the Flyers would have to call up players from their AHL affiliate to fill the gaps.
“We have to get better, we have to have more an attack. I know we do have good offensive players here. It’s just a matter of getting them confident,” Chief said.
Attack is exactly what the Flyers demonstrated on Friday against the Phoenix Coyotes. Zac Rinaldo, the Jerkly and Hyde player of the game, always aggressive and strong on checks did everything possible, good and bad, to help the Flyers. From his 1st period fight with tough guy Paul Bisonette, to his go ahead goal assist in the 2nd period. Then, just as it appeared that the Flyers would be ending the 2nd period with a tie, an error in judgment on part of Rinaldo, he took a reckless penalty. The penalty sent him to the box, affording Phoenix a power play where they scored the game winning goal. Holmgren comment on Rinaldo’s aggressive play saying:
“Zac’s the kind of player that needs to play on the edge. Tonight, I thought he was probably a little bit over the edge. But he’s trying to get things going.”
While the Flyers still lack offense, they lost two proven goal scorers and play makers, Hartnell and Lecavalier who will be out for several weeks but, Chief said:
“Well, it’s tougher, but it doesn’t matter does it? I mean, we’ve got to win hockey games. People will come in and fill in for them.”
And that they did. Tye McGinn and Michael Raffl, both whom made positive contributions to the momentum of the game, were called up from AHL Phantoms. The Flyers team that took the ice on Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings were a much different team than Friday’s. They were not playing with the same hard edge but they were still playing a smart and simple hockey game. Regardless, the outcome was the same —another loss. The Flyers spent too much time in the penalty box and had too many turn-overs, which contributed to all the goals during the game.
Commenting on the team’s performance last night Chief said: “...we played a solid game, a lot of urgency. We were competitive, but it wasn’t enough.”
I don’t have any answers for this team, who is suffering from the fewest goals ever scored during the first five games in franchise history; previously the lowest was 9 in 1999-00 (0-4-1). The Flyers are playing well, they just need to get the puck into the net more often; there is no a lack of opportunity, just a lack of scoring. With the record not getting any better, 1-4-0, who is next to be put on the hot seat by Flyers management, or maybe firing people, even Laviolette, isn’t/wasn’t the answer.
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