Scott Gordon, the Flyers’ interim coach, normally addresses his team the morning after a game.
Not Wednesday, a day after a devastating 3-1 loss to Montreal, one of the teams they need to pass to earn a playoff spot.
“We’ve played a lot of hockey here … and sometimes it’s good not to watch any video and not to hear the coach barking and telling you what you did wrong and what you need to do better,” Gordon said after an optional skate Wednesday attended by seven players in Voorhees. “This is just a chance for the guys to get in a light workout today and if they need treatments, get treatments.
“It’s more of a mental break than anything else,” Gordon added. “There’s nothing we’re going do in practice that’s going to make us better [Thursday].”
The Flyers, who play Thursday in Chicago, are coming off a stretch in which they had four games in six nights. Three of the games were in four nights.
The Flyers looked like a tired team in Tuesday’s loss to the speedier Canadiens.
“You play the three games in four days, you travel, and we get back late on Sunday night,” Gordon said. “Monday is an off-day, but I know how I felt Monday, and I didn’t receive one [body]check the whole weekend. So never mind the physical aspect, but I know mentally it’s a grind.”
The Flyers are six points out of the final playoff spot with nine games left. It’s seven points if the tiebreaker (regulation and overtime wins) is used.
“It’s not over,” insisted defenseman Phil Myers, who missed Tuesday’s game with the flu but practiced Wednesday and is expected to play against a Chicago team that is four points out of a Western Conference playoff spot. “I think we have a good group of guys to make the playoffs this year if we keep pushing and sticking together. I’m a believer. I believe in this group of guys.”
“We’re still playing important hockey, so there’s no reason to feel down on yourself – or feel sorry for yourself, because no one really feels sorry for you,” right winger Ryan Hartman said. “You’ve got to keep fighting until there’s nothing to fight for.”