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Laviolette on struggling Flyers: “I’m not ready to paint such a negative picture”

Feb 15, 2012, 4:11 PM EDT

Peter Laviolette AP

With just three wins in their last 10 games, the Philadelphia Flyers have hit a low point in their season — something head coach Peter Laviolette refuses to dwell on.

“I’m not ready to paint such a negative picture as everybody else is,” Laviolette told CSN Philadelphia. “Through the course of a long season, there are going to be ups and downs. That happens and we’ve talked about it.

“There’s things that we can do better. We acknowledge that. We look at it. We work at it. We look to get better. This team’s had a lot of success month-to-month so far and we had a little bit of a road block this weekend to winning games and we’ll get back on track.”

The “weekend road block” is in reference to a pair of losses to NHL elites — Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers and Sunday’s 4-3 defeat to the Western Conference-leading Red Wings. Beating upper-echelon teams has been a major struggle for the Flyers this season; they’re 0-5 against the Blueshirts and just 15-12-3 against all clubs currently in the playoff picture (seeds 1-8) in the NHL.

As such, the Flyers are now a whopping 10 points back of New York for top spot in the Atlantic. That’s a far cry from Dec. 19, when the Flyers had a four-point lead on the Rangers for first in the division.

Not that Laviolette ever thinks about it.

“I don’t ever talk about the Rangers, 10 points – that never comes up,” he said. “We talk about winning the next hockey game. We talk about winning all of our hockey games and doing the best we can on a nightly basis.

“We’ve got short-term goals and we’ve got segment goals and we’ve got long-term goals. The objective is to win as many games as you can. Nothing changes for us. There’s nothing we can do about the weekend that just happened. We’re disappointed.”

  1. govtminion - Feb 15, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    Picture caption: “Damned lice… that’s the last time I borrow Bryzgalov’s comb.”

  2. dsd3 - Feb 15, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Thank you, Coach Laviolette, the voice of reason. This team loses a few games and all I hear now from the locals in Philly is “it’s a rebuilding year.” Give me a break.

    • govtminion - Feb 15, 2012 at 5:01 PM

      I don’t get that either. The Rangers are slowly pulling away from everyone else, the Bruins look like they own the Northeast at this point (despite their recent slide), and someone will win the Southeast for… some reason. But that leaves the Flyers pretty well entrenched in fourth place unless the Pens make a really strong push. Fourth in the East, with a tough team- potentially one about to get stronger at the trade deadline? Even with the Flyers net issues looking as serious as ever, this is no rebuilding year- this is a team that could (with a goalie on a hot streak) make a serious run at the Cup this year.

      Rebuilding, hell- I’d pick the Flyers as they are right now to beat any other team in the East in seven games other than the Rangers and Bruins, and those would be tough series still (I think they’d take the Penguins in seven, but again very tough series.).

      • jpelle82 - Feb 15, 2012 at 5:42 PM

        they’ve owned the pens this year and i agree no one is catching the rangers in the atlantic. saturday should be a good game, despite the losses philly will be on their A game for sure. looking forward to it.

    • gretzkyoneyzermantwo - Feb 15, 2012 at 5:40 PM

      What do people in Philly expect when you’re dressing 2-3 AHL talent level 4-6 mins a night garbage and need to find ice time and patience for their young players.
      You have Sean Couturier 19, Braden Scheen 20 getting their first real taste, ya have Matt Read just getting his 1st shot, Voracek is still a kid and getting settled and then you lose Pronger?

      Of course Philly is inconsistent and plays poor defense. This whole season had growing pains written all over it, Im surprised they have done as well as they have.

      • jpelle82 - Feb 15, 2012 at 5:53 PM

        schenn is coming on strong here lately and i would say the flyers have been unexpectedly blessed by the quality they are getting out of those young guys. that being said, flyers could get worse quickly if those guys fall off (likely) in the last month or so. hartnell’s season is a result of giroux and jagr is a freak but is old and has a shaky groin…be interested to see if he can hold up the rest of the season. its been a good year for them but without good d or goaltending they’re one more injury away from a disaster finish. i could see them getting bumped in the first round easily this year if bob or bryz dont get hot in march/april.

    • danphipps01 - Feb 15, 2012 at 8:14 PM

      Wow. Shame there are so many bandwagon types in Philadelphia. For a franchise amongst the oldest in the NHL, you’d hope that those types wouldn’t be that common anymore.

      • kellyb9 - Feb 16, 2012 at 9:42 AM

        Bandwagon is a bit extreme don’t you think? A lot of people are complaining about their play following the winter classic, but they are still selling out. Saying that the Flyers are the oldest in the league is also a bit extreme which is probably one of the biggest reasons you are getting thumbed down… maybe the oldest new team in the league when compared to the original six…. I guess.

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