Oilers facing 'angry' Flyers team
ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency
|The Oilers are facing a fired up Philadelphia Flyers team Tuesday in Philly. (QMI Agency file photo)
PHILADELPHIA - The Flyers aren’t happy. And that’s never a good thing.
Mired in their worst slump of the season and coming off a 7-0 loss to the rival New York Rangers, the Flyers are breathing smoke in their dressing room, poised to take out their frustrations on the next team they see.
You’re up, Oilers.
“It’s not about them, it’s all about us,” said Flyers centre Daniel Briere. “It doesn’t matter who we play. It wouldn’t matter if it was the best team in the world - we have a lot of anger that we need to let out.”
Briere is not alone. There were a lot of stern faces in the Philly dressing room Tuesday morning, their first time on the ice after being given a day off to try and figure out what’s going wrong.
“We need to turn the page from Sunday afternoon’s beating,” said defenceman Chris Pronger, who hopes everyone in orange and black is fuming. “I would hope everybody is angry. It’s never fun getting beat the way we did. We have something to prove to ourselves, that’s for sure.”
Normally when a slumping team sees a 29th place opponent they breathe a sigh of relief, but these are a pair of clubs playing role reversal; the first place in the East Flyers on a four-game losing streak and the last place in the West Oilers on a three game win streak.
“I hope we’re past (overlooking teams),” said Flyers coach Peter Laviolette. “We’ve played a lot of those teams lately and we’ve got a lot more coming up. You look at the teams that are on the bubble or have a long to go to make the playoffs, they’re probably the teams that are hottest in the league right now. Toronto, New Jersey, Edmonton is 7-3 in its last 10. It’s not really about the opponent tonight. It’s about our guys, what we do and how we play the game.”
They had all kinds of jump at the morning skate.
“The skate was good,” said Laviolette. “I called the league to see if we could get the points off the skate but they said no, we actually have to play the game. So, we’ll see. We’ll be ready.”
So will Edmonton, hopes head coach Tom Renney.
“We really have to be,” he said. “They’re going to try and right themselves through us. We have to use these opportunities against these types of teams to see where we are.”
The Flyers, in search of more intensity in their lineup, are expected to dress tough guys Jody Shelley and Dan Carcillo.
“We’re good with that,” said Renney. “Whatever anybody wants to dress against us, we’re fine. We have to learn to deal and cope with that, too. We won’t sit back and let them play with us, we’ll go after them.”