Flyers need to become dominant at home

    Who says the Flyers haven't been consistent?

     They've been consistently mediocre this season. At home, they're 9-9-2. On the road, they're 10-10-1.

     The home record is particulalry eye-opening. The Flyers have had just five losing home records since the franchise started in 1967 _ and it's happened just once in the last 14 seasons.

     If the Flyers (19-19-3) are going to reach the playoffs, they need to become a dominating home team in the season's second half, which begins Wednesday against the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs (15-19-9). The teams will meet at the Wachovia Center at 7 p.m.

    The Flyers have played 41 of their 82 games.

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     Flyers coach Peter Laviolette told Toronto reporters Tuesday what he has been saying to the Philadelphia media: His team is a work in progress _ on and off the ice.

      Asked if the Flyers were a close-knit team, Laviolette said, “I think that you work on that over time. I don’t think you become a close-knit team overnight. I don’t think in any organization or any group, you stick 24 guys into an organization and say, ‘OK, we are good,’ like your powerplay, like your forecheck, like your systems.

    "You need to work and invest in that. Once you do that, then you can start to care a little bit and you can start to become a team. I do think that is a really important part of the game. We are working on that.”

   So you haven’t seen the alleged rifts that you read about in this wonderful day of the Internet?

   “No. I don’t," he said. "Again, we are we working on that. We have guys in here that care about this organization and care about each other. But like anything, you need to continue to work on that so this foundation grows and builds."
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   Defenseman Ryan "Bernie" Parent (lower-body injury) will resume skating in a few days and should return to the lineup in two weeks, GM Paul Holmgren said Tuesday. It is believed that Parent is bothered by back spasms, though the Flyers won't confirm it.

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