The Flyers, coming off consecutive shutout losses, are 13 points out of the Eastern Conference's last playoff spot with 37 games left.

Ed Snider's head probably tells him to forget about this year, that's it's time to rebuild and look to the future.

His heart, however, tells him not to give up on the season.

"I'm not there yet. I can't be there yet," Snider, chairman of the Flyers' parent company, Comcast-Spectacor, said before the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association's 111th annual banquet in Cherry Hill on Friday. "It would take all the joy out of everything we're trying to do. It's a difficult season. You feel they've turned the corner _ like the first three games of a long road trip. Against three tough teams, and then, pfft. They immediately didn't do well against lesser teams."

Snider said a lot of the Flyers' problems stem from the loss of veteran defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who has missed the entire season because of blood clots.

Timonen, 39, who was honored Friday night as the winner of the PSWA's Good Guy award, visited a specialist earlier in the day to determine if he will be able to ever play again. Timonen said he has been feeling "great," and that he could get the test results as soon as Saturday.

"Hopefully, I can put the skates on one more time," Timonen said.

If the blood clots have dissolved, there is a chance he can return. If they haven't, he will announce his retirement.

"It's been as year of question marks," Snider said.

The Flyers have won just seven of 22 one-goal games.

"It's not like we're chopped liver," Snider said.

Snider said first-year general manager Ron Hextall "has a plan, and I'm confident he's going to execute it well."

That plan figures to include a fire sale as the March 2 trade deadline approaches, with Hextall trying to acquire draft picks.

"Hexy wants to win a Stanley Cup, and I want to win a Stanley Cup," Snider said. "Maybe we've been impatient (in past years) to make the deal at the deadline and make the deal during the season to strengthen us to make the playoffs, but not strengthen us enough to win the Cup."

Breakaways.  At the banquet, Snider made an emotional, heartfelt introduction of Drew Katz, who accepted the Ed Snider Lifetime Humanitarian award for his dad, Lewis, one of seven people who died May 31 in a crash of a private jet in Massachusetts…...The Flyers play in Buffalo on Saturday night, and they will be trying to avoid a franchise-worst third consecutive shutout. They have been blanked over the last 144:59, the eighth-longest drought in franchise history….Buffalo has lost nine straight in regulation; the last NHL team to lose 10 in a row in regulation was Pittsburgh in 2006…..Andrew Gordon scored his team-leading 11th goal and Nick Cousins netted his 10th, but the Phantoms fell to Albany, 3-2, before the eighth sellout of the season Friday at the PPL Center.