A determined Vigneault not going to cry on Flyers' circumstances


Alain Vigneault was ready to get after it on Friday.

His team held its first practice since March 14. It was competitive and energetic.

As doubt continues to swirl around their 2020-21 season, the Flyers (15-13-4) will face their latest gut check in March on Saturday when they meet the Rangers (15-13-4) again.

Let's get into the essentials for the game:

  • When: 1 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at noon ET
  • Where: Wells Fargo Center
  • Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
  • Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• Vigneault is a put-your-boots-on, go-to-work kind of guy.

He had a laser focus Friday. With his Flyers coming off another disconcerting lopsided loss, the latest in a 4-9-1 March for his club, the determined Vigneault was champing at the bit to practice.

The Flyers' season is in the balance and Vigneault doesn't care for excuses. In a strange season with a crammed schedule and a world of adjustments because of the coronavirus pandemic, a team can be even more susceptible to fighting its confidence through trying stretches. There's more time for thinking and less opportunities to reset.

Following Friday's practice, Vigneault was asked if it's challenging to rebuild confidence with the mental strain and everyday restrictions of playing during the pandemic. In no disrespect, he simply wasn't in the mood for cop-outs.

"I think it's been a challenge for society," Vigneault said. "Everyone's had their own pandemic situation, so I don't want to cry on ours and say we're worse than everybody else. We're like the rest of the world in other areas and we're like all the other teams in the NHL: we've got to deal with it. Obviously since our stoppage, we haven't been dealing with it the right way. Today was a good step in us improving as a team I feel and we're going to get an opportunity to show it tomorrow. That's all we can control is coming to work tomorrow, putting a good game on the ice and that's what we're going to try and do tomorrow."

There was an extra determination to Vigneault in the playoffs, the time when the stakes are raised. He's bearing down right now, as well. He's trying to get his team right in the most adverse time of his Flyers tenure to date.

• Problems on the ice have compounded for the Flyers this month. In March, they've been outscored 65-38 and have allowed an NHL-most 4.64 goals per game. In the last 10 days, they've had losses by the scores of 9-0, 6-1 and 8-3. The Flyers have been outscored 23-9 in the first period this month. They stared down a 3-0 first-period deficit Thursday night, which finished with an 8-3 loss to the Rangers.

"It's never easy to go through stretches like that," Michael Raffl said Friday. "And when you're in a situation like that, stuff like yesterday happens. You have to be a man and battle through it; nobody feels confident about it. You have to go out, you have to work through this. You do it together as a team, not as an individual. We have to bring our A-game tomorrow and we will.

"It started already today in practice, I thought we had a really good one. Guys we're going very hard at it. Take it a period at a time tomorrow and try to win a hockey game and go from there."

Projected lineup



James van Riemsdyk-Sean Couturier-Joel Farabee

Claude Giroux-Kevin Hayes-Travis Konecny

Oskar Lindblom-Nolan Patrick-Jakub Voracek

Michael Raffl-Scott Laughton-Nicolas Aube-Kubel


Ivan Provorov-Justin Braun

Travis Sanheim-Philippe Myers

Samuel Morin-Shayne Gostisbehere


Brian Elliott

Carter Hart

Subscribe to and rate Flyers Talk

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Contact Us