After winning bronze at the Olympics, Kimmo Timonen says he knows how Philly needs to “Finnish” the regular season.
“I’ll show you the medal and maybe you change your mind now,” Timonen said, per CSN Philadelphia. “It’s a team sport. We played as a team. It was a good showing for the Flyers, too.
“You play as a team, you can beat anybody.”
Finland did exactly that en route to its fourth Olympic medal since NHL participation began in ’98. Despite losing the services of top centers Mikko Koivu and Valtteri Filppula prior to the tournament — then losing prized youngster Aleksander Barkov during — the Finns stuck to a disciplined, hard-working and gritty gameplan. They were the only team to take Canada past regulation and racked up quality wins over Russia (3-1) and the U.S. (5-0 in the bronze medal game.)
The way Timonen sees it, that approach is something the Flyers should emulate down the stretch.
“If we play as a team, I really believe we have a good chance,” Timonen said. “The way we ended before the break with goalie playing really well and playing as a team, we have a good chance. It takes everybody.
“The way we played on Finland was as a team, and we didn’t have any big stars other than [Teemu] Selanne. You play as a team with a good goalie, anything is possible.”
Philly has 23 games remaining over the final 46 days of the regular season, and currently sits third in the Metropolitan Division with 66 points.
Looking ahead, it’s safe to suggest Philly’s final standing could be decided between Mar. 15 to Apr. 1. It’s a good-bad scenario — the good part is that the Flyers play seven of 10 at Wells Fargo, where they’re 16-10-1 this year.
The bad? Philly has extremely tough opponents during that stretch: the Penguins (twice), Blues (twice) Blackhawks, Stars, Blues, Kings, Rangers, Leafs and Bruins.