Orange and Black welcome Canucks
Already one coach down, with two key players on the shelf, the Flyers (1-5) go back to work tonight against Vancouver. While it’s been awhile since they have faced the Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrik, at least the Canucks do have one familiar face behind the bench: John Tortorella, the former Rangers coach.
But Craig Berube’s team has a lot more to worry about than watching Torts fume. He’s dealing with resurrecting a team that has scored just eight goals for the season, only two in the third period. And then there’s the power play. The unit was third in the league last season. They are currently 28th, with two goals in 27 chances.
“The power play’s all about chemistry and confidence,” said defenseman Kimmo Timonen, usually the point man on the No. 1 unit which lost Scott Hartnell and Vinny Lecavalier to injuries. “We don’t have it right now, but it will come. We have the same guys as last year and we were on top of league. We just have to do the same things we’ve been doing the last couple of years.”
They also need to stay out of the box. The Flyers were burned for three power-play goals in Saturday’s 5-2 loss in Detroit. The night before, a foolish Zac Rinaldo penalty spelled the difference in a 2-1 loss to Phoenix.
“I’m not sure if it’s an attitude or mental thing,” said Berube. “We’ve just got to become a good third period team. We’ve got to shut teams down when we have the lead and when we don’t when we have to get it back.”
They’ll see if that works against Vancouver, a team beginning a seven-game road trip over the next two weeks. Both Sedins have seven points, while Mike Santorelli has four goals, and goalie Roberto Luongo (2.99) has been inconsistent.
Of course, the Flyers can’t take any team for granted. They need to get their own act in order.
“If we can get those four points, we’re right back into it,” said Jake Voracek. “Being 1-5 is not what we want, but it is what it is. We just have to execute better.”