Dropping the Gloves: Getting back at the Caps
Scott Hartnell said this is a "huge week" for the Flyers and that they were "embarrassed" by the Capitals at the Wells Fargo Center on Nov. 1. (AP)
This is what you might call a “home-and-home” week for the Flyers.
They played the Capitals in Washington on Sunday -- losing 5-4 in a shootout -- and they host the Caps tonight at the Wells Fargo Center.
They next host Columbus on Thursday night, then travel to Ohio to face the Blue Jackets on Saturday.
“This is a huge week for us -- it’s as plain as day,” Scott Hartnell said. “These are division games. We let a team ahead of us get a couple points on us. It hurt [Sunday] night.
“I’m not going to lie. Everyone remembers the last game. We got embarrassed by these guys [Capitals] in our building [losing 7-0]. We have to be ready to play.
“You look at the next two games, we have Columbus, a team we haven’t played in a couple of years. Those are four points, as well. Christmas is coming up. We’ve got a big break and can’t take any shifts off for any games.”
Flyers coach Craig Berube has already talked to his team about a couple of things he would like to see Tuesday that he didn’t see on Sunday.
One of them is winning faceoffs. The Caps ate the Flyers for a matinee lunch, winning 58 percent of the draws Sunday.
You start with the puck, you start with a chance to go on offense. Otherwise, you’re chasing.
“The only area I would like to see different is a couple faceoffs and we talked about it before the game,” Berube said. “Not losing draws cleanly when [Alex] Ovechkin is out there. Our centermen did a good job on that, but we didn’t help out enough.”
In other words, the wingers have to be sharp off the draw to get the puck. The Caps try to get the draw immediately back to Ovechkin for one-timers in the offensive zone.
“Especially when Ovechkin is out there,” Berube said. “He lines up where they try to win the draw right to him. We’ve talked about not losing these draws clean. For the most part, we did that.
“Our wingers have to help out more and get in there. I’d like to see us win a few more faceoffs in the third period and start with the puck. Again, just makes some plays. Don’t just get it out. Make plays, get down on their end and kill time.”
And don’t blow a three-goal lead in the third period, too.