Philadelphia Flyers Thriving Since Players' Meeting In Colorado

Chris DiFrancescoAnalyst IDecember 10, 2008

When the Flyers were at their lowest stage of the season fans thought this could very well be a season like '05-'06, where the team was the worst franchise in hockey. The players themselves weren't too sure about themselves either.

Today at practice, only a dozen or so players skated while the others were participating in "dry land" work. A couple of the guys who are in the team's leadership group talked about in Colorado.

"I think at that point we knew we had to do something, and I think it was time that we talked to each other," Simon Gagne said. "At first we got one(meeting) with Johnny (Stevens) then after that we all sat together here and let some things out."

Gagne said during the player meeting, there were a couple guys who were more outspoken than others.

"Kimmo (Timonen) was probably the loudest one for sure. Richie(Richards)was the one who closed out the meeting with words of his own. It was just a tough time the club at that time," Gagne added. "We knew we weren't playing well so the best way to resolve it is to let the air out between each other."

Before the team meeting, the team was 0-3-1. The Flyers record since the meeting is 14-4-6, so obviously whatever was said behind closed doors in Colorado really made this team kick it up a notch.

Mike Knuble, who has been here long enough to understand what the difference is between a slump and a nice win streak elaborated on what Gagne was talking about.

"I think that what was happening at that point in time we knew as a group that something was up and we have to fix it fast," Knuble said. "I don't what it was after that meeting, but whatever was said must have climbed into guys' head that we are much better than this."

"We went into San Jose and took them to overtime, we proved we could play with them. It's just a matter of putting it together," Knuble added.

Other Notes:

As of today, the Flyers are only four points away from the division lead with the Rangers. At one point the Rangers were 12 points ahead of the Flyers, and now the club is only four points ahead of the orange and black.

Matt Carle, who has been out for the last week and a half, skated with the team today for the first time since his injury. Carle said the injury seems fine when he doing everyday normal things but when he gets on the ice, it's a different story.

"I thinks it's the intercostal, which is by the ribs, the MRI was negative because its something that the exam won't pick up," Carle said. "That's kind of where were at, I wake up one morning and I start to feel better then its the little stuff when I practice that it starts to bother me."

"Im not going to stand here and say that it has gotten better, but I don't think it has gotten any worse," Carle added.

The Flyers feel they are fine right now dealing with the Carle injury. Coach Stevens thinks everything is fine with who he has now.

"It is tough right now without Matt (Carle) but I think as a coach I can't dwell on the guys that aren't playing. I think the guys that have come up in place of him and other have done a great job and will continue to improve until the normal guys are healthy and ready to go," Stevens said after practice.

Flyers play at home tomorrow night against the Carolina Hurricanes. Antero Niittymaki will get the start between the pipes.