PITTSBURGH -- After what was arguably their most impressive win of the season, a 2-1 win at CONSOL Energy Center against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Flyers coach Craig Berube tried to slightly temper the enthusiasm.
Berube was asked if the Flyers have turned the corner and even though it was the first time his 7-10-1 team has won three in a row, he wasn’t ready to proclaim that everything is fixed, but does like what the has seen recently.
“I think it is a work in progress all the time, I really do,” Berube said. “You can’t take a break.”
And so he won’t.
“My job is to keep teaching and make sure they are focused,” he said.
So he won’t declare that the Flyers (7-10-1) have turned the corner, but he certainly understands there have been several positive developments recently.
One of them comes in the skating department.
Since he was hired after the team’s 0-3 start, Berube talked constantly about how he wants his team to skate faster, which puts more pressure on the opposition.
“We are skkaing and getting on people and forcing turnovers,” Berube said.
This win was a classic case of forcing turnovers. Pittsburgh had 10 giveaways, while the Flyers had just one.
With Berube’s reputation as a player of an enforcer, one would have thought that he would put his stamp on all-out physical games, with some fists being thrown, but actually, the type of game the Flyers played in Pittsburgh is more what Berube is looking for.
“It was a disciplined hockey game and I am not a big fan of those type of games to be honest,” he said. “I want to play disciplined, smart hockey.”
One other thing the Flyers showed was some grit. They won a 5-0 decision the night before in Ottawa and there are few more difficult tasks than back-to-back-road games. Couple that with the fact that the Penguins were rested, since they had last played in Saturday, and the win carries even more weight.
“We had a great night in Ottawa and a tough back-to-back against one of our rivals and a real good team in Pittsburgh and we got a good road win,” said goalie Ray Emery, who was outstanding in making 30 saves. “It definitely is a step in the right direction.”
That is the thinking of this team. They were humbled by such a difficult start and now they are focused to continue improving while still feeling it’s too early to suggest that they have turned the corner. Yet even Berube would likely admit, it’s a team that is at least is heading in the right direction.