Scott Hartnell sounded perplexed.
“When we play like we did in the last 10 minutes I don’t think there is a team in the league that can play with us,” the Flyers’ left winger said after his team’s 4-2 loss to visiting Toronto on Monday night. “We were skating. We were hitting. We were beating them to the pucks, winning battles. That is something in the first 50 minutes that we hardly did.”
Yes, it’s a 60-minute game. Yes, the Flyers rarely play well for all 60 minutes. You can count the number of times they have played three solid periods this year on one hand.
As a result, they are 9-11-1. They are 0-6 and have been outscored by 29-12 in games in which they have had a chance to reach the .500 mark.
“Maybe we should put a little more pressure on ourselves to realize where we’re at in the standings and hopefully it gets into guys’ heads,” said Zac Rinaldo after delivering six hits in 7:49.
The Flyers are just 1-2 on the five-game homestand, with games left against Washington on Wednesday and Ottawa on Saturday afternoon.
“We haven’t been able to put 60 minutes together for a long time,” said defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who got beat by Phil Kessel on Toronto’s first goal. “I have to go back probably to Long Island when we won, 7-0. That was a full 60 minutes. That’s the best we can do and the best day. For some reason, we haven’t been able to do that since.
“We play a good two periods or half a game really well, but then there’s just dark moments or bad periods,” Timonen added. “You lose games in this league just by that. So we’ve got to finally play for 60 minutes.”
Timonen said it’s time for the players to walk the walk.
“We can talk in a room as much as we want; once we go on the ice, everyone has to show up and do that,” he said. “It comes from the 20 guys in this room to do it on the ice, not here. We can talk about the urgency, whatever great word you want to make up, but it has to happen there. For some reason we haven’t been able to do that. Like I said, it’s been two periods, 35 minutes, 30 minutes; maybe once or twice in these 21 games we’ve played a full 60 minutes so far.”
The abbreviated season is almost halfway over.
The clock is ticking.
Breakaways. Winger Jody Shelley will have hip surgery Wednesday in New York…..Hartnell (plus-1) was the Flyers’ only “plus” player…..The Danny Briere line was a combined minus-5…..Tye McGinn lost a first-period fight to Toronto’s Mike Brown and played just 5:46. Toronto coach Randy Carlyle called the fight the game’s turning point, saying it set the tone and showed that the Leafs wouldn’t back down on the road....Backup goalie Michael Leighton practiced with a stick Monday for first time since breaking his right index finger. He said no date has been set for his return….For the first time since he was traded to Toronto for Luke Schenn, winger James van Riemsdyk played at the Wells Fargo Center, and he received a mixed reaction from the fans when introduced. JVR (11 goals) said his hot start is because he has been given more of a chance to play in all situations with the Leafs.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.