The Flyers, subscribers to the popular "getting late early" theory, are doing everything possible to right their reeling ship before it is indeed too late.
That’s why Peter Laviolette is juggling lines and spending extra time trying to get their anemic power play working. He knows full well that after a 2-5 start, which has left them 13th in the Eastern Conference through the first two weeks, the Flyers need to start shaping up now.
As does team captain Claude Giroux, who hasn’t scored a goal in the last five games. Laviolette had reunited him on a line with Danny Briere, along with Wayne Simmonds, hoping to jump start their best player.
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"Obviously, I’m not happy with my game but it’s only seven games,” said Giroux following Thursday’s practice. "I’m staying positive. Things are going to turn around pretty quick.”
And Friday, in Washington, D.C. against the equally-struggling Capitals (1-4-1), would be a good place to start. The Flyers begin a four-game homestand versus Carolina (2-3) Saturday, followed by Tampa Bay, Florida and a return engagement with the Hurricanes next Saturday.
“I think it’s a nice complement,” said Laviolette, of the Giroux-Briere tandem. "One sees the ice really well. One can put the puck in the back of the net really well. We’ll try it and see where it goes.”
At this point, with the Flyers ranked 25th in the NHL in goals scored (14), they have to try something.
“It's not the start we wanted," said Giroux, "but we have to deal with it right now. In a season you will have a little slump like that. Maybe it is good that it is happening right off the bat.’’
As long as they can turn it around — preferably sooner than later.