The Flyers, coming off a 2-0-1 road trip, have three winnable games this week as they face Ottawa, Buffalo and the Islanders.
The problem is, all three games are at the Wells Fargo Center.
For the Flyers in the season’s first six weeks, home is where the hurt is.
The Flyers (7-10-2) are 3-7 at the Wells Fargo Center, and 4-3-2 on the road. They have points in their last six road games, going 4-0-2.
“It’s obviously important that we get going at home and set the tone in our building,” coach Craig Berube said after Sunday’s practice at the Skate Zone in Voorhees. “We need to have a little bit different mindset at home; take it to teams at home. We need to get our fans behind us and get it going.”
Boos have echoing around the Wells Fargo Center in many of the games, especially after a futile power play. The Flyers’ power play is clicking at just 7.3 percent (3 for 41) at home, and 15.8 percent (12 for 76) on the road.
“We don’t like boos in our own building,” winger Scott Hartnell said. “It sucks when you’re trying hard and you hear them, but we have to be better.”
Hartnell said the Flyers have “gotten jacked up” to play on the road, but have been “soft” at home. “We’re not winning battles, not ready to play at the beginning of hockey games. We’ve been better the last few games and have to continue with that, whether it’s home or away,” he said.
This week, the Flyers will have rematches against Ottawa and the Islanders, teams they have defeated 5-0 and 5-2, respectively. They will face lowly Buffalo for the first time this season.
“We’ve put ourselves in a little bit of hole at the beginning of the season,” said Hartnell, mindful of the team’s franchise-worst 1-7 start, “and we have to work our way out of it.”
"It’s a huge week, especially since we have a chance to make a statement at home,” said Nick Grossmann, who has probably been the team’s most consistent defenseman. “We have to bring the same type of game we’re playing on the road to home….Go back to basics and hard work.”
Hartnell pointed out that the Flyers are on the road for most of December, playing 10 of 14 games away from the Wells Fargo Center. “That’s going to be a tough stretch, so we have to make these games count,” he said. “We have to be excited about being home. I think we’ve been waiting for the boos and not playing Flyers hockey. We have to be intense, be passionate (have the) effort, and turn this thing around at home.”
The Flyers got five out of a possible six points in last week’s journey to Ottawa, Pittsburgh and Winnipeg.
“We had a good road trip and have to build off it,” winger Steve Downie said.
Breakaways. Downie, whose late penalty contributed to Friday’s 3-2 shootout loss in Winnipeg, abandoned his full cage and was wearing a shield. “I can see a lot better; the cage was kind of distracting,” Downie said….Winger Michael Raffl, who has sat out the last three games, alternated on the fourth line at practice…..The Flyers have outscored opponents in the first period, 17-10, but have been outscored in the third period, 20-10.
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