Flyers skate update: The proverbial measuring stick game

Flyers skate update: The proverbial measuring stick game

February 20, 2013, 1:15 pm
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PITTSBURGH – Kimmo Timonen says there is no secret on what the Flyers have to do tonight against the Penguins to come away with a 3-3 road trip.
 
Skate. Just skate, baby.
 
“Skating is not a system,” Timonen said. “It’s mental preparation and giving everything you got. If you are not skating, you don’t do the system right.
 
“Our system is about skating hard and forechecking hard. That is what we did in Long Island and what we have to do tonight.
 
“The way we played the other night that is our game. It’s Flyers hockey. I don’t want to put any more pressure on our forwards, but when they work and they forecheck, we win games.
 
“They were awesome. When we skate we are a really good team. When we don’t, it’s breakdown and turnovers.”
 
The Penguins are on fire right now, having won eight of their last 10 games. The Flyers continue to sputter along with a 5-4-1 record.
 
Pens captain Sidney Crosby admits he thought the Flyers would be in better shape at this point.
 
“Yeah, but they are still right there in the hunt,” Crosby said. “They have had to deal with injuries, as well. Every team goes through that. They are a good team. Probably better than their record shows.”
 
He predicted another “intense” match.
 
“That is always the case no matter what [with them] -- intense,” Crosby said. “We would expect the same here tonight. They’re coming off a good game.
 
The Flyers still are without Scott Hartnell. The earliest he could play coming off his foot injury would be Saturday against Ottawa. That’s still questionable.
 
“Yeah, they still have the size and grit, even without him,” Crosby said of Hartnell. “He is obviously a great player and he had a big season last year.
 
“I am sure they miss him, but they have other guys who can score and provide a physical game as well. They have that depth.”
 
Based off the morning skate, there are no expected lineup changes for the Flyers. Several players called this a “benchmark” game to see where the Flyers really are.
 
“Any time you play Pittsburgh, for us, with the rivalry with them, it’s not hard to get up for a game like that,” Danny Briere said. “They’re a great team, too. They been playing well and for us it is just the opposite. Kinda roller coaster and get back on our game still.”
 
Added Timonen, “We’ve been talking about finding a consistency level. Tonight is a good measure stick for us.”