Flyers nervous about lowly Sabres
They may have been pondering that Sunday as a half-locker room full of them came in from a morning skate talking about the importance of tonight's game against the Buffalo Sabres.
That's the minor-league maxed, worst-record-in-the-league Buffalo Sabres, who won't know any better other than play all out when the puck drops at 7:30 at Wells Fargo Center.
"I'd say it's a must-win for us," Scott Hartnell said. "We have to treat this as the last game of the year to get into the playoffs. We need two points. It's getting a little too close for comfort right now, with the way we've played the last couple of games. I think we need to be sharp, we need to be skating, we need to be hitting. Those are the things that make us successful."
Those are the things, Hartnell and Co. said, they did for at least two periods Saturday against the Boston Bruins. When they got away from it, the best-record-in-the-league Bruins blew them out of TD Garden in the third period en route to a 5-2 win.
That was the Flyers' fourth consecutive loss, and they are 1-4-2 in their last seven games heading into this clash against the unknowing Sabres (21-47-9), who feature several minor grads and barely resemble the same Buffalo lineup, coaching office and front office that began the season.
Nonetheless, in a less than confident Philadelphia locker room, caution flags were raised.
"They're still a good team. They've still beaten the teams at the top of the standings," Jake Voracek said of the Sabres, who actually are on a prolonged slide of 2-12-1. ... Just don't tell that to the Flyers.
"We have to be ready for that game tonight because it won't be easy at all," Voracek added.
"There's a lot of guys probably playing for jobs next season, trying to make a good impression," Hartnell said about the Sabres. "If you take those teams lightly it can end up hurting you at the end of the night. But ... the last few games they played well. So we need to have our best effort and nothing less."