The Flyers are not delusional. They can look at the standings and do the math. They know where they stand and can figure out just how challenging it will be to make the playoffs this season. They are realistic. They know the odds are against them. And yet, maybe that’s what they need to start playing better. Because, playing with stress, or the pressure of high expectations hasn’t worked at all. Now, instead, everyone assumes the Flyers are done. Everyone figures the postseason possibilities are as remote as ever. And ultimately maybe everyone is right, but as far as the Flyers are concerned, maybe now is the time to let loose. Now is the time to let everything that weighed the team down go. Now id the time to be the underdog without any expectations. Now is the time to just play hockey. “There is nothing to lose,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “We talked about that a little bit today. We put ourselves in this situation and there’s nothing we can do about it except to prepare to go and play a hockey game and plan to be successful against the Boston Bruins. “Carrying the stress – I don’t know if it’s going to do any good. We have to focus on what we can control. We can’t change what happened last night. We can’t go back and save one of the goals or try a different move in the shootout to get the other point. It’s over with.” Sometimes teams tend to play better when there is less pressure. Kimmo Timonen talked about the mounting pressure – especially on young players – and how sometimes that’s the toughest thing to get through. But, if you take the pressure off and just play the way you know how, it might yield surprising results. “We don’t want to be one of those teams that people can come in and think they can dominate,” said Scott Hartnell. “That should make us play with some heart and some passion and good things will happen for us. “Obviously we have to go on a pretty epic run – like Pittsburgh – if we’re going to get in. You got to believe in something though. You got to believe in yourself.” And the Flyers are going to have to believe in a defense that will have two players who last week were playing with the Adirondack Phantoms and two other defensemen who have shared duties as the No. 7 guy on the unit. Braydon Coburn did not practice Friday after suffering a left shoulder separation in the second period of Thursday’s game that will keep him out of the lineup indefinitely. General manager Paul Holmgren did not provide an update on his injury Friday, but the fact that the team recalled defenseman Oliver Lauridsen and placed Coburn on injured reserve suggests the injury is more than just a nagging one.
Dealing with Stress
NHL.com | Mar 29