Flyers need to keep playing like they did vs. Lightning

Flyers need to keep playing like they did vs. Lightning
February 7, 2013, 3:15 pm
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As good as the Flyers were Tuesday, in what resembled a playoff game against Eastern Conference powerhouse Tampa Bay, there’s a hill to climb.
 
And the Flyers can’t afford to let up against Florida tonight at Wells Fargo Center, nor can they allow a 7-1 rout over the Panthers in their last meeting to influence how they start the game.
 
“We’re at the bottom pack of the league and we need to move up in the standings,” Laviolette said. “You do your best to prepare and guard against that happening. The reality is, if you look at the standings, it’s still a wakeup call.”
 
The Flyers remain the 12th seed in the East. The good news is, they are just one point out of a playoff spot, with the Islanders holding down eighth spot with nine points.
 
Wayne Simmonds remains “doubtful” for the game, according to general manager Paul Holmgren (see story). He is recovering from a concussion suffered last Friday in Washington.
 
It would seem ill-advised to risk further injury to Simmonds without first having some contact with his own players in a practice setting. That hasn’t happened.
 
The Flyers did everything right against the Lightning. If they open with a similar type of attitude and follow through defensively, they have a chance to build their first, three-game winning streak.
 
“I would certainly like to take that ratio you just threw out there,” Laviolette said. “I don’t think there are any guarantees. You can always rely on what you’re seeing.
 
“If your team goes out and plays the game a certain way and at the end of the night you look in the mirror and are satisfied with the effort and determination and execution of everything you did, you’d hope that the ratio comes into play somewhere close. We need to continue playing that way.
 
“I’d like to see that. [The effort] needed to be improved in a lot of games from where it was. It wasn’t good enough. [Tuesday] it was better. I still think there is room to grow.
 
“Tampa has been pretty stingy defensively. When you face teams that have been tough defensively, those chances and wide-opens game are not as easy to come by. You have to fight for everything … We need to try and continue to grow and build off that.”
 
Ilya Bryzgalov is expected to make his third straight start in goal. He was again dominating on Tuesday and has been the Flyers most consistent player this season.
 
Around the NHL, few people realize how good Bryzgalov has played given where the Flyers are seeded.
 
A few more goals, and the Flyers would be right up there with the conference leaders as some of these losses would have been victories.
 
“Bryz was solid again,” team captain Claude Giroux said of Tuesday’s effort. “If we keep working like that, we’re gonna give ourselves a chance to win every game.”