Tortorella on what's ‘a bunch of bulls–t' and what the Flyers need


VOORHEES, N.J. — The Flyers aren't playing with the juice of a playoff push.

But is there something to be said about playing with a spoiler's mindset? Inflicting harm on another club's postseason aspirations?

Is there anything to that?

"Nope," John Tortorella said Tuesday. "It's a bunch of bulls--t. We're just going to play our game, as we have. Just play hard. I never talk about spoiling. I want us to continue to work on our game."

Fair enough.

The Flyers do have much more important things to play for the remainder of this 2022-23 season. Their president of hockey operations and general manager was fired fewer than two weeks ago. An offseason in which just about anything could happen is not far off in the distance. Everyone has something to prove and potentially win in the future.

As the Flyers closely evaluate and mull decisions the rest of the way, the team will face some clubs in the final leg of a playoff race. On Tuesday night, the Flyers host a Panthers team that is clinging to the second and final Eastern Conference wild-card bid. Florida comes to the Wells Fargo Center just one point ahead of the Penguins and one point behind the Islanders, who hold the first wild-card spot.

The Flyers also have a matchup left with both Pittsburgh and New York.

Tortorella, though, is focused on the Flyers' process of building for next season. He was candid about what's needed when this season finishes in three-plus weeks.

"I'm looking at some of the encouraging things and that comes to our young players and where some of them have grown and some of them haven't. Some of the veteran guys haven't. So that'll be discussed," Tortorella said Monday. "But for me, the next step with this organization is you don't start adding players until you subtract players. I think there needs to be some subtraction here. Those will be in discussions at the end of the year."

A younger player who has taken significant strides forward this season has been Owen Tippett. The 24-year-old winger scored a hat trick last Friday and has 21 goals and 39 points.

"Who knows what happens with some of the older guys here," Tony DeAngelo said four days ago, "but I'll tell you what, this guy's going to be here for a long time."

Tippett has meshed well with the coaching staff and is playing the biggest role of his NHL career.

"Since Day 1, there's been no gray area," Tippett said Tuesday. "They tell guys exactly what they expect of them and I think that's what has helped me big time. It's just whatever they need, little pointers here and there and obviously they've been around the game a lot longer than I have and it's shown to work. I'm going to do whatever I can and just do what I'm told."

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