Rangers Leave the Flyers Embarrassed, Without An Answer
Despite having been curt with the Flyers media most of the season, Ilya Bryzgalov is not one to be left speechless.
Last night left him speechless.
The embarrassing 5-2 loss to the Rangers was probably the most telling game of this dismal season in which the Flyers dropped to 13-17-2 and closer to the cellar in the Eastern Conference.
There was no "we must play better," or "we're not getting the bounces." It was a sign of submission by the Flyers, and they did so on a national stage.
“I don’t know what to say," said Bryzgalov after the game. "I wish we [would] win one. And two more the next game, but let’s start with the one. You know, not go farther than one. I don’t know, I don’t remember when we [won] last time. It was a long time ago. We need one win at least in the next game.”
After the game, pictures floated around on Twitter of Bryzgalov sitting in the corner reflecting on the loss. He was still half-dressed and hadn't moved from that spot for several minutes before finally speaking to the media.
The game was especially huge for the Flyers because it would have brought them significantly closer to New York, who was five points ahead of them in the standings going in. But the loss to New York as well as Tampa Bay's victory that night knocked the Flyers down a spot in the conference.
“I don’t know. It was a big game," Bryzgalov said. "We win tonight, we’re three points behind the Rangers. But now we’re seven points behind the Rangers. To be honest, I don’t know. I don’t have an answer."
The other voice of reason within the Flyers locker room has been Kimmo Timonen. Timonen was honored before the game for his 1,000th game he played back on March 18 in Tampa. This was the first home game since that milestone.
Timonen suggested that some of the Flyers simply weren't prepared to play against the Rangers. It was made apparent at certain points in the second and third periods when New York made the score 2-0/3-0 and then 4-2/5-2 respectively.
"It comes down to one-on-one battles and we didn’t win many of them today," Timonen said. "I think it was all Rangers; they were hungrier and a better team today."
The Flyers started out flat too, surrendering a breakaway to Carl Hagelin in the opening minute. Bryzgalov came up withe huge sprawling save, deflecting the puck away with his glove hand.
It didn't get better from there though as the Flyers were out-played in the first period, including Rick Nash's 300th career goal late in the period to make it a 1-0 game.
"I think it always comes down to individual preparation; you’re either ready or play or you’re not," Timonen added. "A lot of people blame coaches, but if we’re out there making plays, like I said you have to be ready to play or not. When you’re not ready to play you’ll lose one-on-one battles a lot."
During his press conference, head coach Peter Laviolette redirected the elephant in the room -- the question on whether or not this is a playoff team.
“It’s a disappointing night. We needed to compete better than we did and we didn’t,” Laviolette answered.
When asked where the Flyers go from there, he opened up a bit more on the topic, giving quite possibly the most telling answer he could give that night.
“There’s nowhere to go except to the rink tomorrow for practice, and to get ready for the next game," Laviolette said. "Regardless of how the night went, the season’s not over. We need to win hockey games, the objective remains the same. Like I said, tonight we didn’t give ourselves an opportunity to do that. We need to go back and keep working on it. I’m not sure where else you go with it.”