Nicolas Deslauriers of the Philadelphia Flyers fights


Nicolas Deslauriers of the Philadelphia Flyers fights


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Nicolas Deslauriers of the Philadelphia Flyers fights

The race for the final postseason berths in the Eastern Conference is getting hotter than a Rangers vs. Devils matchup and the Philadelphia Flyers are smacked right in the middle of it.

After losing their last game against the New York Islanders, 4-3 in overtime on Monday, April 1, Flyers’ head coach John Tortorella called out all but one of his players and called the team’s performance “soft” and “embarrassing.”

On Wednesday, April 3, Tortorella was back at it in front of a microphone and ahead of Philadelphia’s game against the Buffalo Sabres scheduled for Friday.

John Tortorella delivered an impassioned @NHLFlyers press conference today, explaining his coaching philosophies and interactions with players.

A must-watch 90-seconds

“(The media narrative) comes down to, ‘Oh, they’re going to quit on him,’ it follows me around. So be it,” Tortorella said after Wednesday’s practice (h/t @BR_OpenIce for the shortened clip).

After the loss to Buffalo, the Flyers have won only two of their last 10 games although they still have 62.2% odds of making the playoffs entering the April 4 slate of games, per MoneyPuck.

One of the media narratives about the Flyers and their season is related to the team’s inexperience and how the players are not supposed to be held so accountable given their youth.

“I guess now the narrative out there is that [the Flyers players] are young, (so) they’re not supposed to be here,” Tortorella told reporters. “Bullshit. We’re here. We’re here. Face it.”


John Tortorella Is Trying to Maximize the Flyers Production

The coach, who is known for his rants before and after games, is an old-school type of locker room manager. That means Tortorella will never quit on his players, let alone stop trying to improve their skills and their production on the ice.

“Let’s be better,” Tortorella continued. “And I don’t think we’re ready to be better, and that’s my problem with us right now.

“It is my job. I have not done a good enough job to get them over the hump.”

Tortorella was referring to the seven games played by the Flyers including the one ending in an overtime loss against the Islanders. In that span, Philadelphia could only win one game while losing six, three of them in overtime.

All in all, the Flyers have only earned five points of a possible 14. That has Philadelphia in the No. 3 seed of the Metropolitan Division albeit with a worrying 83-point tally in 76 games. The Washington Capitals have 82 points in 74 games and the Islanders have 81 in 75.

“I haven’t done a good enough job to make them understand we have to be different now,” Tortorella said about the final six games the Flyers have left.

“If a player is going to quit on me, or players are going to quit on me because I’m trying to make them better people or better athletes, you’ve got the wrong damn coach here, and you’ve got the wrong damn people here.

“I’m not sure what goes on,” Tortorella added. “My job is–I’m going to push athletes.”


Ivan Fedotov Was the “One Guy Playing” in the Flyers’ Latest Loss

Following the loss against the Islanders, one in which the Flyers pulled starting goalie Samuel Ersson entering the second period, Tortorella called his team “soft” and blasted all but one of his players, as documented by Heavy on April 2.

“Soft,” Tortorella told reporters in his postgame press conference on Monday, April 1, when asked about his assessment of the team. “One guy played–the goalie.

“It just didn’t look right with (Ersson),” Tortorella told reporters about replacing Ersson with debutant Ivan Fedotov. “Totally impressed (with Fedotov). I put him in a hell of a spot. And he’s the only goddamn player that played in the second period.”

Tortorella expanded on those comments following Wednesday’s practice, making it clear that he was “in control the other night,” about what said.

“What I said, I meant. And quite honestly, when I watch the tape now, I’m more concerned than just the second period,” Tortorella explained. “Because I’m so proud of the team getting here.

“And if people can’t handle it, so be it.”

Antonio Losada covers the NHL for Heavy.com. A veteran sports writer based in Spain, Antonio has covered the NBA, NFL and soccer for over 10 years, with bylines at SB Nation, FanSided, Yahoo Sports, FanGraphs, RotoBaller and more. He has also been nominated for multiple FSWA awards, including Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and DFS Writer of the Year. More about Antonio Losada





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