NEW YORK – It’s interesting on a Flyers team that has a good share of playoff experience despite missing the postseason last year, that defenseman Kimmo Timonen suggested that nerves could have played a part in Thursday’s 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers in the first game of their opening Stanley Cup series.
“In my mind we didn’t play Flyers hockey, we were a little nervous maybe or something,” said Timonen, who played nearly 17 minutes and was a minus-2 in the opener. “We have to enjoy this moment and go out there and play our game and really enjoy it because you never know when you will be in this spot again. Overall I think everybody can give more.”
When asked if he could explain how a veteran team like the Flyers could be nervous for a playoff series, Timonen characterized the team in a different manner.
“I wouldn’t call it a veteran team, you can call it,” he said. “There are some guys who played in some playoff games but we have a young team.”
Still it is one with ample postseason experience.
Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell all played in the Stanley Cup finals in 2010 against the champion Chicago Blackhawks.
Game 1 was the 87th postseason game for goalie Ray Emery. It was the 64th playoff game for VInny Lecavalier, the 28th playoff game for Nicklas Grossmann and the 24th for Wayne Simmonds. The list goes on and on.
Timonen’s next point will bring no argument.
“It’s not easy playing the first playoff game at Madison Square Garden,” he said.
He has a point there, especially for a Flyers team that has lost nine in a row in to the Rangers in that building.
What is most important to Timonen is that the Flyers can’t dwell on their Game 1 performance.
“That is over,” Timonen said. “We lost that game and didn’t play that well and we have to move on and we have a new chance (Sunday) and I am sure we are going to play better.”