Flyers want to hit All-Star break on positive note

Derick Brassard practiced at the Flyers Training Center on Sunday (Zack Hill photo).

It’s easy to see why the Flyers’ immediate goals are rather modest at the moment.

The bad taste of a 13-game winless streak doesn’t get washed away by just one win. Even though Saturday’s 4-3 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Kings lifted spirits somewhat, there was still the matter of blowing a 3-1 lead – the tying goal coming with just 38 seconds left in regulation.

So the Flyers have just a single game against visiting Winnipeg on Tuesday before the NHL All-Star break and interim head coach Mike Yeo simply wants to keep improving in certain areas.

“You want to go into the break feeling good about yourself,’’ Yeo said during a media Zoom call after Sunday’s limited practice at the Flyers Training Center in Voorhees, New Jersey. “At least feel better about ourselves than we have been. It was good that we got a win yesterday but certainly not in any way are we satisfied with winning one game. It’s just the process of continuing to get better.’’

While the Flyers are trying to turn their fortunes around in the standings, they’re also getting a good look at some young call-ups such as Isaac Ratcliffe, who turned in a strong performance against the Kings in his NHL debut.

“Ratcliffe comes in and if he played that type of game and we didn’t win, he would probably still be quite deserving of playing another game,’’ Yeo said. “It (a win) makes things easier and more logical. You can go back with the same roster with the players who played that game. They have to show they can contribute to winning. I think that’s what he did in that game. We had that line out on D-zone faceoffs, his physicality showed up and he was able to generate some looks offensively.’’

>Brassard getting closer

Derick Brassard, still in rehab mode since his last game back on Jan. 6, took part in some of Sunday’s drills and hasn’t been completely ruled out for Tuesday’s game against the Jets.

“He hasn’t had a full practice yet,’’ Yeo said. “I’ll see what his availability is. The other day (Friday) he was able to participate in a couple drills. We’ll see what he’s capable of doing tomorrow (at Monday’s practice).’’

>Provorov making the sacrifice

Defenseman Ivan Provorov blocked seven shots in Saturday’s game. That’s about as big a sacrifice as a player can make.

“I thought he was awesome last game,’’ Yeo said. “When you’re thinking about his best games, you want to see him involved in doing things offensively. But more importantly, it’s the defensive presence that he is when he’s out on the ice. Early in the first period, he makes a great read off the rush to kill a play. That’s what I think of with his game. . .how quickly he closes on people. I thought he did a real good job killing those plays early, executing to allow us to get up the ice in a hurry, get on the attack and that’s the game we want to play.’’

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About Wayne Fish 2446 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.