Wayne Simmonds hasnt scored a goal in 14 games. Hasnt had a fight in his last three games.
Which comes first? The goal or the fight?
Simmonds just smiles.
There are times when you get chances and you feel like youre never gonna score, Simmonds said.
Whereas now, I still feel Im never gonna score, but at least Im working hard. Trying to do something for the team and were winning right now. So that is what matters.
True, the Flyers, who take on the Washington Capitals on Thursday night, are winning. Theyve gone 8-2-1 for the month of March so far, but their scoring, across the board is down.
In terms of goals, outside of Scott Hartnell (five goals this month), no other player on this club is actually hot right now.
The main reason the Flyers are winning is because of the stellar goaltending from Ilya Bryzgalov and the more physical play of the defense in front of him.
Simmonds is the kind of guy who feeds off restless energy and physical contact. Yet in terms of scoring, his shots are down.
For a guy who had a season-high 10 shots and two goals on Feb. 2 against Nashville, Simmonds has gone five games this month with none or one shot. He needs to crank it up with more shots.
Obviously, you take stuff like that into consideration, he said. Ive got to start shooting the puck more get more deflections. Things of that nature.
I feel as though I am doing something for the team. I try. I know I am not going to score every night so I try to contribute in other ways.
Hes still on the top power play unit with forwards Scott Hartnell, Claude Giroux, and Jakub Voracek. But hes not getting any goals from the dirty areas in front of the net that he used to get a while ago.
Well, they are starting to take Hartsy away a little more, obviously, Simmonds said. Guys are starting to key on him and I am starting to have to do more down low. Just getting shots to the net and converging is going to help a lot and converging with me Hartsy and Jakub on the back side.
The pucks are down there. Pucks are getting through its just sometimes I feel its just a half inch away from me. Other times, you feel you have all day to put it in the empty net. It changes from time to time.
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said hes not worried about Simmonds not contributing on the scoreboard because he feels its going to change.
Problem is, its not been changing for a lot of the Flyers right now and thats a concern with the playoffs coming up.
Wayne has been a good forward for us all year, Laviolette said. This conversation has come up in this room six other times with six other players. And yet they seem to find their way.
There are times when things go your way and times when things dont go your way. I always look to see if a guy is working hard in practice or working hard game in games and competing. Wayne is doing that. Its a matter of time before he busts out.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at firstname.lastname@example.org