TAMPA, Fla. - They have been roasted by their new coach, and told they lacked heart by their captain.
But on Monday, the free-falling Flyers heard it from another group.
The Flyers were booed during some of their inept, pass-happy power plays, booed at the end of periods, booed at other portions of their listless 4-1 loss to Florida at the Wachovia Center.
Booed by the folks who generally fill the building and are sick of the product the 15-18-2 Flyers are producing.
"When we don't play well, they let us know and they should," scrappy right winger Ian Laperriere said. "That's what's great about Philly. They let you know when they're happy with you and they let you know when they're not happy with you. If you can't take that, you're in the wrong business."
"This is a sports town where people are demanding," said goalie Brian Boucher. "They have a right to be. They're not liking what they're seeing right now. We, as players, are not happy with what's going on right now. You've got to take it. Be a man and take it and try to be better every day. . . . There are expectations here. People are passionate about their sports and passionate about the Flyers, and they expect us to win."
The Flyers have lost 14 of their last 17, but at least they're starting to get most of their injured players back.
Speedy forward Darroll Powe, sidelined since Nov. 20 with a strained left shoulder, has been cleared to play and could be in the lineup tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
If all goes well at today's morning skate, Powe is expected to join the Blair Betts-centered fourth line.
"It's been tough sitting back, watching things not go so well," said Powe, a Princeton University product who has six goals in 19 games. "So it'll be good to get back in the lineup and try to turn things around."
The Flyers, who are still learning the nuances of new coach Peter Laviolette's system, had yesterday's practice in Tampa canceled because of a sewer leak near the visitors' locker room. (Insert joke here about the Flyers' smelly offense.)
In their last 10 losses, the Flyers have scored a total of nine goals. They will try to regroup tonight against the 13-14-9 Lightning, a team led by Steven Stamkos (21 goals) and Ryan Malone (18).
"I don't know if it's as much about Tampa as it is about us," said Laviolette, whose team is 2-7-1 since he replaced John Stevens (13-11-1). "We've got to let loose on the ice. I think sometimes you are carrying around everything else that goes with you and we have to drop all that, play a better game, play a game that's more creative. We just seem weighed down by what's going on. We need to drop that."
Tonight is the Flyers' final game before a two-day Christmas break.
"It's definitely something that we need at this point," said forward Danny Briere, referring to the days off. "It would be very nice if we can finish on a good note and go into the break with a win. Hopefully, we can reenergize and refocus, because those last two or three weeks have been extremely tough."
Captain Mike Richards is hoping Monday's players-only meeting will wake up the team.
"It's a big game for us to try and get on track," he said. "We need the points right now, so we're kind of looking at it as a little bit bigger than normal."
Breakaways. Johan Backlund was recalled from the AHL's Adirondack Phantoms to replace Boucher, who suffered a lacerated right ring finger while making a diving save Monday and is day-to-day. Laviolette said he will decide today whether Backlund or Michael Leighton starts tonight. . . . Jeff Carter leads the NHL with 159 shots but has scored goals in just three of the last 19 games. . . . The Flyers' penalty-killing unit has fallen to 26th in the 30-team NHL at 77.5 percent. . . . Outraged Boston city officials say they gave away 3,200 free tickets for skaters to use the ice at Fenway Park on the first two Sundays in January - and that they are being scalped on the Internet for as much as $1,800, according to NECN.com. The Flyers will play the Boston Bruins in the Winter Classic at Fenway on New Year's Day.