Tick tock. It’s now 11 days away.
On Feb. 27, the trade deadline will be upon us and the Flyers are in a position to be buyers. Rumors have swirled about the team being interested in everything from one of Nashville’s two prized defensemen, to a third goalie to Columbus winger Rick Nash. None of those options are likely, but it’s not rare for the Flyers to be mentioned in such rumors.
“Guys aren’t really nervous because it’s not about guys leaving,” center Danny Briere said. “It’s more about that we might get some guys coming our way. There’s not too much worry.”
In years past, players have read their names in trade rumors that have them leaving Philadelphia. This year, it’s more about the Flyers adding.
“You’ve got [Ryan] Suter and [Shea] Weber apparently off the market,” Briere said. “Those were the two guys that would really make a huge difference. I don’t think we’re waiting for them. We’ve proved early on that we can win when everyone is on the same page.”
Recently, they haven’t been. The Flyers have lost six of their last eight, and had three days to contemplate the direction they’ve been heading before tonight’s game.
“It’s better to be down now than at the start of April,” Max Talbot said.
The Flyers have experience in that sense. They won three of their last four games two seasons ago and got into the playoffs on the last day. Then, they advanced all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.
“There’s no method to the madness,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “I think what you hope for — and what I certainly hope for — is that you play well down the stretch and you’re confident about your game and you’re into the playoffs. There’s no guarantee of how you’ll do. There’s no winning formula, I don’t believe. It’s been done every way.”
3 things we saw
1. On the mend — James van Riemsdyk practiced with a regular jersey, shedding the no-
He took on a little bit of contact and filled in for the absent Jaromir Jagr who was home with the flu on his 40th birthday. Despite the apparent progress, van Riemsdyk said he is “not feeling any different.” Andrej Meszaros did not practice and is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
2. Hot Sabres —Buffalo has won five of its last eight, but still comes into the Wells Fargo Center
second to last in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers have beaten them in both meetings so far this year, each time by a goal.
3. Back to Bryz— Look for Ilya Bryzgalov to get the start in goal tonight. Sergei Bobrovsky is 1-3 in his last four games and allowed 18 goals over that span. His 2.42 goals-against average has risen to 2.90 and his .919 save percentage has dropped to .902. Bryzgalov is 3-3-0 in his career against Buffalo, including two wins this year.