From the Mouths of Veterans
Just a few quotes from the veterans for this off-day.
I have seen many a fan on message boards write off Sami Kapanen for next year because he’s lost his scoring touch and frankly, money is tight for next year. Admittedly, if losing Kapanen from the roster is the cost of keeping Umberger and Carter, then I’d do it in a heartbeat. But sometimes tested veterans like Kapanen have terrific insight to impart on their younger teammates.
Sami Kapanen on taking advantage of opportunities: “I waited my chance for seven years in Carolina, and finally got a chance to play in the Finals [in 2002] and ended up losing. For most players, that’s once in a lifetime. I’ve been working on it ever since then and I thought coming to Philly I’d get another shot to play in the Finals, and it hasn’t happened yet, even though throughout the years we had some outstanding teams.
“You can’t take it for granted as a younger player. You don’t know when it’s going to happen. Any time you’ve got a chance to get in the playoffs, you have to make the best out of it. I tried to tell the guys that we’ve shown some signs throughout the season that we can compete with any of the teams in the league; we just have to get together and get into it. I think it needed to be said, so hopefully we’ll bounce back and make the best out of it right now.” Click here for the rest of the article on PhiladelphiaFlyers.com.
Jason Smith on inconsistency and injuries: “There are guys in this room that can play better than we have. We’re going to get into the playoffs, and we’re going to be team that’s a hard team to play against.” You definitely want to see optimism and determination from the captain, and that’s what Smith delivered in his post-practice interview. Hopefully, that will permeate the rest of this team – making the playoffs depends upon it.
Mike Knuble reacting to the recent serious of bad breaks: “We’re looking for anything, any kind of break . . . it seems like we’re the whipping boys for everybody who needs a break. It’s our turn at some point. I guess you don’t achieve those breaks until you go out and put yourselves in situation to get them and do the right things. Again, Jeff Carter has a breakaway in Boston and we just can’t get that real timely goal right now, the timely thing to happen. You need those things. All the successful teams get those. Whether you make them or they sort of happen magically on their own, it’s hard to say.
While I appreciate what Knuble’s saying here, I believe breaks are not the problem right now. Boston did get a good break by tying it up with 20 seconds left, and Carter could have won the Boston game on Saturday had he scored on that breakaway. But the Flyers might never have been in that situation in the first place had they come out swinging in the first period. With the continuing string of injuries, it’s imperative that they start playing from the very first puck drop. Because the teams getting breaks right now don’t wait for the final 20 seconds to start playing.