Flyers know they need to create their own spark
The Flyers concluded their trip to Florida with an 0-2 record after falling to the Lightning 4-2 Wednesday. (AP)
TAMPA, Fla. -- Goalie Ray Emery said it was as if the Flyers were waiting the entire game for some magical spark of life to appear in front of them.
When in reality, that spark should have come from within. A chance to go over .500 on the trip with two games. A chance to get into a playoff spot. A chance to piggyback on Vinny Lecavalier’s return.
Instead, the Flyers carelessly let things slide after a 4-2 loss to the Lightning, concluding an 0-2 road trip in Florida (see Instant Replay).
“The first goal, there was no excuse for that, and I think you could tell we were waiting for a spark to get us going,” Emery said. “That deflated us for a while.
“You saw sat the end when Vinny got one [power-play goal], we had a chance to win the game. Sometimes you have to make your own luck.”
Shouldn’t the spark have been that you were two points out of a playoff spot when the trip began?
“I agree, definitely,” Emery said. “There’s no excuse for not being motivated. You could have found tons of stuff to get motivated. Vinny coming back here. Having put ourselves in a spot where we could have gotten into the playoff picture, it’s disappointing to come up like we did.”
It was inexcusable.
“The spark should have been ourselves,” said Wayne Simmonds, who played hard in the game and even had a penalty shot chance.
“We needed it. We should have played for Vinny. Get that win for them. We didn’t play to the best of our ability. Getting too fancy, not getting pucks deep, not supporting each other on the breakouts or in the offensive zone.”
Flyers coach Craig Berube said his team lacked for compete.
“We didn’t compete hard enough in the battles right from the start,” he said. “Not the same [as Monday]. Monday we were fine and turned the puck over. Tonight, they came hard with pressure and forechecked hard.
“We didn’t handle it. We didn’t compete on the walls and battle the puck out and do all the little things that needed to be done. … You got to handle adversity better than we do right now. Teams are going to come hard at us. Play us hard. Got to be able to handle that and play composed.”
All in all, a blown opportunity.
“Obviously it sucks,” Simmond said. “It’s unfortunate we couldn’t get any points out of this little trip. We can’t dwell on it. We have to play to the best of our ability when we go home and that two-week road trip.”
Lecavalier said the Flyers lacked for execution on the trip.
“Execution wasn’t there. They had puck possession and capitalized on their chances,” he said. “That team is a quick team. You turn the puck over and they will get chances.”
The Flyers are off on Thanksgiving Day before meeting Winnipeg at 11:30 a.m. on Black Friday.