If it weren’t for last season's 6-1 start, the Philadelphia Flyers would not have made the playoffs last year.
Now the Flyers are 0-2. This week they still have to play the Pittsburgh Penguins, Colorado Avalanche, and San Jose Sharks—all teams which are not too bad themselves.
The Flyers lost last night 5-3 to the Montreal Canadiens in a 40-minute hockey game played by the men in orange and black. Obviously, they are not happy with how this season has started.
"It's obviously not something we're happy about," said Mike Richards, who scored in the second period with a slap-shot that could have blinded somebody.
Richards knows how this team is capable of playing, and the effort in last night's game is not what this is all about in the captain’s eyes.
"We played pretty good for 40 minutes. In the third period they capitalized on their opportunities and we didn't. It's something we're concerned about. At home, with a goal up, we have to be careful about the situation and tonight we weren't," Richards said.
He knows a rebound has to happen fast, and they don't have a lot of time to think about it, with a game tonight in Pittsburgh in which they will face the hated Penguins.
Instead of starting strong while knowing they play five games in eight days, they now have two losses and are 10 points out of the division lead. Winger Mike Knuble knows how much a good start means to this team and how they have to accomplish it.
"Our quick start last year was huge come April," Knuble said. "We don't even get in the playoffs if we don't start 6-1 last year. Come October, you won't put yourself out of the playoffs, but if we have a tough October, we could have a very tough time making the playoffs. You have to have a solid October to make the playoffs."
One of the positive things that came out of last night's game was the play of Simon Gagne, who netted his second goal of the season in the third period to reduce Montreal's lead to one. Gagne, who is one of the leaders of this club, expressed his issue with the team’s slow start.
"It's tough starting the season 0-2, especially at home," Gagne said. "We need to go on the road and think about winning one game at a time. It's still early in the season. A lot of things can happen in the season, but for us right now, we have to focus on the next game in front of us."
The Flyers know what is in front of them and they have to forget about what is behind them now. This team is very talented and has the right leadership to break out of this quickly.
Now they have to put it together and with no time to think about it.
Their game against the Penguins at the Igloo is on the Versus Network.