Flyers must move past 'embarrasing' Game 1 loss

Flyers must move past 'embarrasing' Game 1 loss
May 1, 2011, 6:35 pm
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Sunday, May 1, 2011
Posted: 2:34 p.m.

By Tim Panaccio
CSNPhilly.com

Sometimes, looking at video the day after a playoff loss can be both enlightening and in the words of Scott Hartnell, embarrassing, at the same time.

Thats what the Flyers did Sunday at Skate Zone.

They watched the trailers from the 7-3 thrashing administered to them by the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

It was the Flyers worst playoff loss since last spring when they were spanked 5-1 at Montreal in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.

There were a lot of things on video that were revealing, said coach Peter Laviolette of this loss. Most of them had to do with attitude, competitiveness.

Game 2 is Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Adjustments have to be made or this is going to be a quick series, said a subdued Hartnell. You watch video and see the simple mistakes, the brain cramps We werent competitive, we werent a lot of things and it has to change.

It stinks. A 3 oclock game, you go to dinner afterwards in a bad mood Our effort and competitiveness wasnt there as it should be. Were playing for the Stanley Cup. Myself personally, it was a terrible effort.

They outhit us, outfaced-off us, they did everything better than us We embarrassed ourselves in front of our fans.

Most of the Flyers feel they need to ratchet up their physical play against a Bruins team that is almost as big and as meaty as them.

The Flyers could surely use some better goaltending, as well. As bad as the defense was in front of Brian Boucher, he didnt help himself with a couple of goals that bounced off of him into the net.

Sometimes we talk about an eye-opener, Danny Briere said. It makes you realize that the effort has to be at its highest. You cant afford to take it easy and hope that, somehow, youll be in the game.

What Im hoping is that everybody had their worst game at the same time and we can move on. We cant just go into the next game hoping to win. We have to believe we can win.

Sean ODonnell said when the game ended, players sat around the dressing room asking themselves, what just happened out there? Thats how utterly ineffective the Flyers defensive effort was during the rout.

We had a lot of blown coverages, ODonnell said, not referring to anything specific, but that could be said of Nate Hortons goal or Mark Recchis own rebound goal or David Krejcis second goal in the third period. Each of those involved missed assignments.

Our effort and execution werent acceptable, but its done, ODonnell said. We didnt win the game and we move on to Game 2. One of the strengths of this team is when we have had a performance like that, we usually respond. I think this team will do that Monday night.

The Flyers dropped Game 1 of the Buffalo series on home ice. The difference is, they felt pretty good in losing 1-0 to Ryan Miller because they had thrown everything they had at him. Miller stoned them.

We ran into a hot goalie and lost and we didnt have to change a whole lot, ODonnell said. We couldnt say that after Game 1 against Boston.

That wasnt the case here with Tim Thomas. The Flyers were pretty much mauled by the Bruins and allowed them too much ice directly in front of Boucher.

It was obviously pretty bad, Claude Giroux said of his film experience. It wasnt the game we wanted. This morning was kinda a reminder of what we did on Saturday.

Just the effort. Guys had a lot of question marks last night about what happened. I dont think we did anything wrong, other than the effort just wasnt there. As a team, its not good enough.

A 7-3 loss is easier to erase from the memory than a 1-0 shutout.

Maybe we can take that as motivation and get ticked off a little bit, especially, in front of our fans, Giroux said. Getting embarrassed like that.

ODonnell said the Flyers need to get Game 1 out of their system and focus on Monday.

To have success, you need to have a short memory, whether its a good game or a bad game, ODonnell said. Guys were more dejected and bummed out after the game. You get a chance to sleep on it. You wake up the next morning and theres nothing you can do about it.

You go to get ready for Mondays game. I think guys are ready to come and atone for Saturday and hopefully tie this up, 1-1.

Laviolette stressed a need to win Game 2. He doesnt want a repeat of last spring where the Flyers trailed the Boston series 3-0 and had to play four elimination games to pull off an upset.

We have a competitive group in here, he said. Theyve been through a lot and overcome a lot and coaches and players are both fairly honest. Last night, plain and simple, we need to come in here with a much higher level of energy and desire.

For whatever reason, from Game 7, you win that Game 7, and you take a breath and get your ears pinned back pretty good.

If there is one thing the Flyers have, it is resiliency. They are a bounce-back team. Weve seen that with this group for two years, now.

We seem to play better under pressure, Briere said. When were forced to find some desperation for some reason. I wish we didnt have to go there all the time, but for some reason, this team plays better in those situations.

E-mail Tim Panaccio at tpanotch@comcast.net

Related: Flyers pregame notes: Boucher to start in Game 2 Flyers notes: 'A loss is a loss' in playoff hockey

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