The Philadelphia Flyers have won four of their last five games. Tonight, they’ll be favored to win again when they host the last-place Sabres. And that’s exactly why head coach Craig Berube is wary.
“We’re not in a playoff spot, are we?” Berube said, per CSN Philly. “We can’t overlook anybody. I’ve said that before. You don’t overlook any team in the NHL anymore. Every game’s tough. Every single game.”
The Flyers need only look to what happened Tuesday in Vancouver, when the Canucks admittedly took the Florida Panthers too lightly and ended up losing, 3-2, in a shootout.
That performance led to coach John Tortorella ripping his team for doing exactly what Berube hopes his squad doesn’t do tonight.
“It’s lack of respect and we have no business to show a lack of respect to any hockey team,” said Tortorella. “In the situation we’re in going into tonight’s game, I just don’t know what we’re thinking as far as how we started the game.”
Speaking of starting the game, Berube has been stressing the importance of that for the Flyers.
“The start of games are huge,” Berube said. “Set the tone, forechecking, get your skating going, get on the forecheck, be physical. Doing things properly early in games. Getting the crowd into it. It’s all important. Same as the end of the games – start and finish are really important.”
After beginning the season 4-10-1, Philadelphia has climbed to within three points of a playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers also have at least a game in hand on every other team in the division.
“We’ve come a long way from where we were at the beginning of the year,” d-man Braydon Coburn said. “But we have a long way to go.”