The Phillies, shockingly, are out of the playoffs. The Eagles are 1-4 and on a road to nowhere. The 76ers _ and the rest of the NBA _ may not play this season, and the Union are still trying to find their niche among fans.
And, so, suddenly, the Philadelphia sports nation has turned more of its attention toward the 2-0 Flyers.
They welcome the focus.
“Why not? We’re entertainers, I guess, and go out there and play an awesome game that we grew up playing,” winger Scott Hartnell said after Monday’s practice in Voorhees. “The city is behind us, and we know they’ll be there, win or lose.”
Having a good start “obviously helps the momentum and people are focusing on us,” Hartnell said. “We have to go out there and use that to our advantage. Play hard and win games.”
The city’s other teams’ woes “doesn’t change anything for us, really,” defenseman Braydon Coburn said. “For us, the focus doesn’t change with outside pressure. We have a goal and we’re trying to build on our regular season. We’re a young, new group and we’re trying to build some chemistry.”
The Flyers are 2-0 for just the 14th time in franchise history. They will aim for the franchise’s 11th 3-0 start _ they last did it in 2009 _ when they open their home schedule against Vancouver on Wednesday.
“The first two games were a great first step,” said Coburn, referring to road wins over the defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins on Thursday and the Devils on Saturday. “Anytime you play in home openers, everyone’s adrenaline is running a little bit _ on both teams. You have to try to control that and play relaxed and energized.”
They will attempt to keep that mindset Wednesday against the Canucks, who lost to the Bruins in last season’s Stanley Cup Finals.
“I heard a quote the other day and it’s (true),” Coburn said. “You’re playing ‘hormone hockey’ " in an opener. "You’re so jacked up. Your hormones are going and it can be a little sloppy at times. I think there are definitely some things we can clean up, but there were some good positive steps. It’s good to see we’re building some chemistry with the new guys.”
Breakaways. The Flyers play seven of their remaining nine games this month at home…..Blair Betts, whom the NHL returned to the Flyers after he failed his physical in Montreal, did not skate but was working out. Betts has a knee injury and said he doesn't expect to play again for the Flyers. GM Paul Holmgren said Betts passed the Flyers' physical before being put on waivers.....Andrej Meszaros was given the day off…..Coburn’s wife is expecting the couple’s first child in a few weeks….
* * *
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter at BroadStBull.
Get exclusive videos and analysis in our new app for iPhone and Android. Download it here.