Timonen: Flyers 'can control our destiny'

Timonen: Flyers 'can control our destiny'

March 25, 2013, 3:30 pm

Five games at home. Five chances for the Flyers to save their season and put themselves in playoff contention.
 
And as coach Peter Laviolette would tell you, can’t play all five at once.
 
So what’s the message from the Flyers' leadership group to the dressing room with the eighth-seeded Rangers invading the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday?
 
“We’ve got five home games coming up - this is our week,” Timonen said on Monday at Skate Zone. “We got to get some wins together. If you look at the last two games, I think we played pretty good. Tampa Bay, we played pretty well and didn’t get the result. Last night we battled hard and didn’t get the results but now we’re coming home and now it’s the time to get some wins. Everybody knows the standings. It’s everywhere. I can’t deny I am not looking at the standings. To me, my personal message to the guys is: 'It is still in our hands. We can control our destiny.'
 
“This week coming up is huge for us. And it starts tomorrow with the Rangers in the eighth spot. That is a huge game.”
 
It figures to be one of the toughest weeks in the Flyers' lockout-shortened season. After the Rangers, they’ll face the Islanders (on Thursday) and then back-to-back games against Boston and Washington this weekend.
 
“It’s an important game coming up,” Laviolette said. “We can’t play the fifth one. We can play the one tomorrow night and make sure we’re  ready to play.”
 
The Flyers remain tantalizingly close to the eighth spot – five points away - but they haven’t had a sniff of the eighth seed since March 5.
 
“We got a break with the five, six days off that more ground [wasn’t lost] there,” Luke Schenn said. “We’re still in the same position. We’re still very much in control of what goes forward and getting a chance to play in the playoffs. If we get some wins here, we’re right back in the thick of things.”
 
Only three times this season have the Flyers won a game and found themselves the eighth seed the next morning.
 
No matter how you slice it, it’s daunting odds for them to gain that spot over these final 17 games.
 
“Every game is important from here on out and especially, with them in front of us,” Braydon Coburn said. “They’re one of the teams we have to chase down. It’s huge … It’s a challenge.”
 
Ilya Bryzgalov had 33 saves against Pittsburgh while teammates blocked 19 shots, four from Schenn.
 
Timonen says Bryzgalov gave the Flyers timely, crucial saves that boosted the team's chances to win, and made it clear that if the Russian goalie continues to play that way, the Flyers have a chance.
 
He made veiled references that Bryzgalov raised his game and needs to keep it where it is.
 
“[It] starts with Bryzgalov, and how he played last night,” Timonen said. “He was unbelievable. Hopefully tomorrow, he can play the same way. There were some really key saves he made last night. That is what we need. Some of the key saves, once in a while, it helps the team and build the confidence. Hopefully, he can play the same way and we can play the same way in front of him.
 
“Like I said, we can be better. As tight as we can keep the game, not giving up 3-4 goals, there’s a lot of games we can win. Bryz was unbelievable. ... If he plays like that, we’re going to be hard to beat.”
 
It figures to be the only way the Flyers can make the playoffs, too.

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