Philadelphia Flyers

Hextall: ‘My biggest concern is consistency’

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The Philadelphia Flyers play host to the New York Rangers on Friday afternoon looking to snap a two game skid.

Philadelphia (8-10-3) has just one win in their last seven.

The biggest concern for GM Ron Hextall is his team’s in ability to play 60 minutes.

“I don’t know if it’s passengers,” Hextall told CSNPhilly.com. “My biggest concern is consistency. (Wednesday) night was a prime example. We play extremely well in the first period. We play well in the third period …

“We played really well for two periods and very poorly for one period. Is that trying? Is that frustration because we play well the first period and come out down a goal? That’s a thing we have to overcome as a group and respond to adversity.”

The Flyers have lost six straight on the road, but are 4-2-0 at home this month.

Despite being 26th in the league in points (19) and wins (8), they’re just three points out of a playoff spot.

“It is a concern,” Hextall said. “You think, ‘Well, we’re only three points out … we’re all right’. But we need to get going. Make no mistake, we need to play with some urgency.”

In saying that, Hextall isn’t ready to pull the trigger on a major trade.

“I’m not going to make a trade for the sake of making a trade,” Hextall said.

The Flyers also own the league’s worst penalty kill and have a goal differential of minus-7.

“We are under .500 and that’s not gonna cut it,” Hextall said. “We need to be better. We’re a better team than our record shows.”

The Rangers go to Philly having won two of three.

New York won the only other meeting between the two clubs, 2-0, on Nov. 19.

The two teams play the second of a home-and-home on Saturday at MSG.

Flyers waive Akeson

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The Flyers put forward Jason Akeson on waivers Thursday.

Akeson, 24, has spent his entire professional career with the Flyers organization since signing as an undrafted free agent in 2011. A dynamic scorer with OHL Kitchener — he had 108 points one year on a team that featured Gabriel Landeskog — Akeson has been a quality scorer at the AHL level, scoring 24 goals and 64 points with Adirondack last season.

In 12 games this year with the Flyers he has no points, with a minus-1 rating and six PIM. His last game came two weeks ago in a 6-3 loss to Montreal.

 

Flyers’ latest loss prompted players-only meeting

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After a 5-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Rivalry Night, the Philadelphia Flyers held a players-only meeting, CSNPhilly.com reports.

It’s understandable that players aren’t divulging specific details about that meeting – let’s face it, a good chunk of the content would probably need to be censored heavily, anyway – yet Steve Mason clarified that the team knows it can’t slip too far in the standings.

“It’s pretty easy to see things slipping away,” Mason said. “Points are up for grabs but other teams are grabbing them and you’re not and you’re falling behind.”

Head coach Craig Berube might not have been part of that meeting, but he probably echoed some of those sentiments in asking for better efforts from his team.

“We need to fight through adversity better,” Berube said. We need to stick with the game plan a little bit more. We stopped doing the little things.”

“We had some guys that aren’t competing and it results in goals against. It can’t happen. You need everybody on your team competing at the highest level all the time in this league; otherwise you will not win.”

With a road-heavy schedule through the start of 2015 (as detailed here and here), the Flyers will need to put forth maximum effort to stay in the hunt through a tough stretch of games. It’s never fun to lose, especially on national TV, yet last night’s defeat might just be the kind of wake-up call Philly needs to brace itself for the challenges up ahead.

Datsyuk scores twice to lead Wings over Flyers

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Pavel Datsyuk returned after a four game absence to score twice leading the Detroit Red Wings past the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 Wednesday night.

Stephen Weiss, who was playing in just his second game since returning from a groin injury, scored a goal and added an assist. Tomas Jurco and Henrik Zetterberg had the other Detroit goals.

Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek had the Flyers goals.

Steve Mason was saddled with the loss after allowing three goals on 14 shots.

Jimmy Howard improved to 10-4-4 with a 22 save performance.

Video: Datsyuk shows excellent hand-eye coordination

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Pavel Datsyuk returned from a four-game absence to score twice tonight.

Late in the second, Datsyuk showed his his excellent hand-eye coordination batting in a bouncing puck for his seventh of the season.