Flyers chairman Ed Snider says he’s a tad concerned about the way the club is playing, but believes it won’t take gargantuan efforts for the club to return to form the way it was a month ago.
“I think we were slipping when we were winning those games in the third period,” Snider said, a reference to the club's tying a franchise record with nine third-period comeback victories that ended Jan. 20 with a shootout loss to the Islanders in Uniondale, N.Y.
“We weren’t playing that well and it just culminated in the fact we really got into bad habits.”
Snider made the remarks Monday night at the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association's 110th annual banquet.
After winning 10 straight at home, the Flyers will try to break a two-game losing streak Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center against the Detroit Red Wings.
The team practiced on Sunday. Several players and coach Craig Berube said they saw better system execution from the drills they were doing.
“One practice isn’t going to change the world, but I hope it will set us in the right direction,” Snider remarked.
The condensed NHL schedule, a byproduct of the upcoming Olympic break, has made it difficult to find time to schedule practices, especially with the CBA mandate of four off-days a month for the players that can’t be altered once scheduled.
“Every team has had scheduling problems, and I haven’t looked at everyone else’s schedule, but I know someone said Boston was well-rested for us,” Snider said. “We didn’t have any rest recently. We had it early on. Everybody has it at different times. In October, we had a light schedule when we were playing terrible. But since then, I don’t remember when we practiced last before [Sunday]. And we couldn’t practice [Monday] because of the league rule about four dates a month, and you can’t change it.”
Snider admitted he was unaware of the four off-days rule or that the CBA prevents teams from changing off-days once players have been told in advance of the practice schedule.
He also said there are on-ice things that need resolved.
“Our team, unfortunately, has some shortcomings which we got to correct,” Snider said. “And work hard to do that.”
The trade deadline is March 5.
“I don’t know anything about trading,” Snider said. “It’s not a quick process. There is no quick fixes in this game. I think we’re a good team, and if we pull it all together like we did during a good chunk of that [9-2] run, we can beat anybody.”
Snider supports the job Berube has been doing behind the bench as Peter Laviolette’s successor but said he left the decision to hire Berube up to general manager Paul Holmgren.
“Paul Holmgren had great respect for him, felt he had a great hockey mind, said to me he’s got one of the sharpest hockey minds of any guy he knows, and Paul was very bullish on Craig,” Snider said. “I never had enough interaction with Craig to know. It’s no different than when Fred Shero was hired by Keith Allen. I didn’t know Fred at all. I go by what my GM tells me.”