Staying on right track Flyers’ goal down the stretch

Sean Couturier
      VOORHEES – There’s more than just pride at stake as the Flyers embark on the final 35 games after the bye week.
      You might say there are jobs involved, starting with the interim coach Scott Gordon and then working your way down through the roster.
      Aside from a handful of players, hardly anyone is untouchable as the Feb. 25 trade deadline approaches.
      The Flyers enter Monday night’s home game against Winnipeg seeking a season-high fourth straight win.
      Philadelphia will have rookie goaltender Carter Hart back in goal against the Jets, according to coach Scott Gordon.
      Hart finished up the pre-bye week/All-Star break with wins over Minnesota, Boston and on the road at Montreal.
      Sean Couturier gives the impression the Flyers want to keep this rhythm going and feeling good about themselves.
      They’re double-digits out of a playoff spot, so they don’t want to even think about getting back into contention.
      “It’s always fun when you’re winning,’’ Couturier said after Sunday’s practice at the Skate Zone. “You want to kind of be in that environment.
      “Obviously we’re in a tough situation that we’ve put ourselves in. It’s not over until we’re told it’s over. If we can get on a roll, you never know what happens. That’s the approach we need to have – take it one game at a time.’’
      Last season, which saw the Flyers come on with a rush after the furlough break to make the playoffs with 98 points, Philadelphia won five out of six to push themselves back into contention.
      “We’re playing three games in four nights (Winnipeg, at Rangers, at Boston),’’ Couturier noted. “You want to keep it simple the first few shifts. Get everybody going.
      “From there, you just play the game. You don’t want to overthink it. Especially it’s been a while since you’ve played the game.’’
      Jake Voracek liked the way his team was playing before the break and hopes to continue that good vibe.
      “We got six days off to kind of charge the batteries,’’ Voracek said. “That helps. We have a tough three games coming up. We just have to play the same way we did before the break.’’
      Robert Hagg is one of the steadiest players on the Flyers. He believes that simplicity is the key.
      “We have to keep it simple,’’ he said. “You can’t try to do anything crazy. I believe Winnipeg is going to feel the same way we do.
      “Keep it simple then start to play your game.’’
    Hart ready to roll
      Hart said a start with the Phantoms on Saturday night was helpful in shaking off some of the rust from being off for a week.
      Hart made 32 saves in a game which Allentown lost to Bridgeport, 4-1.
      “It was kind of good to get out there again,’’ Hart said on Sunday at the Skate Zone. “A couple days off the ice for me was good to go home, get some rest and hang out with my family and friends.’’
      At one point, Hart made 20 consecutive stops against the Tigers.
      “It was good to go and feel the puck a little bit,’’ Hart said.
      Anthony Stolarz was activated recently and he will start Tuesday night’s game in New York against the Rangers.
      For now, the Flyers are keeping three goalies on the roster (Mike McKenna the third). With so many injuries, it’s good to keep some spare parts in the building.
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About Wayne Fish 2451 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.

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