Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Flyers have any fight left?

Categories: Boston Bruins, PHI vs. BOS, Philadelphia Flyers

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Boston forward Nathan Horton, right, tangled with Philadelphia defenceman Sean O'Donnell in Game 3. (Charles Krupa/Associated Press) Boston forward Nathan Horton, right, tangled with Philadelphia defenceman Sean O'Donnell in Game 3. (Charles Krupa/Associated Press)

By Tim Panaccio,

The Boston Bruins can almost taste it now, as they are so close to going to an Eastern Conference championship.
"I've never been to one and it would be fun," David Krejci said.
His linemate, Nathan Horton, has a more worldly view of things. See, the 25-year-old winger had never even been to the NHL playoffs until this spring.
Six years playing with the Florida Panthers will do that to a player. No games after the second week in April. The closest Horton ever got to the playoffs was watching them on his TV. Well, sorta.
"We don't get a lot of stations in Florida," Horton laughed. "I would watch as much as I could. "This is what players live for. It's hard to be in the NHL and watching the playoffs and not be there, every year after year after year. It's a frustrating thing."
Now that you're here, was it what you expected?
"Better than I thought and I thought it was amazing," Horton replied. "It's really hard to describe. All the emotions. Every game means something. That's what you want to play for. It feels good to come to the rink when that is on the line."
Which is why this series means so much to him. And when he was grateful that Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli traded for him last June.
Horton has two goals and three assists in the series while Krejci's line has 14 points.
"I'm real happy to be here," Horton said. "I had fun in Florida but it was time for a change."
He had some disagreements with the Panthers coaching staff and when Dale Tallon took over, both decided a move was in order.
A win tonight in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals and Horton will make his first conference final.
"Everyone says that's the toughest game to win," Horton said.
Yep. All he has to do is ask the guys who were here on the Bruins last season about that.
Speech or no speech?

Coach Peter Laviolette gave one to the Flyers at Thursday's practice but team captain Mike Richards admits that's not his thing and there won't be any Winston Churchill coming from him before Game 4.
"There's no speech that is needed," Richards said. "Everybody understands the situation that we're in. There's words that will be said, but there's no speech ...
"I think everyone is familiar with the situation we're in and what we need to do to dig ourselves out of it."
Lavy says

There were a lot of pregnant pauses in Laviolette's presser on Thursday about what he saw in Game 3 and didn't like and what he expected in Game 4 from his team but wasn't sure what he's get.
Two things stood out. First, Laviolette said when Boston began to pile it on in the second period, "they took the fight out of us."
That's not like the Flyers, he said. And now, facing elimination but knowing they've come back before, he wonders what kind of team shows up on Friday night. One that wants to keep playing or one that has no fight life in them.
"It's going to say a lot about us, how we respond to this," Laviolette said.
Stat you need to know

Richards is just 17 for 44 from the face-off circle (38.6 per cent) in the series.
Claude says

After last spring's 3-0 choke, the entire Bruins organization proceeds with some amount of trepidation when discussing the Flyers these days.
So when Bruins coach Claude Julien was asked what he expects to see from the Flyers in Game 4, he made sure not to mention a team carrying a surrender flag. That's not Phialdelphia's nature.
"I think that hasn't changed as far as what we expect of them," he said. "We expected to see their best game [Wednesday]. And it didn't quite happen because we were ready for it. And we have to have that same approach."
The Bruins have dominated the series, especially, on the hitting end of things. That is so unlike the Flyers - to be outhit in a series.
"I don't know about the dominating, on the scoresheet it looks that way, it's been some good games," Julien said. "And in Game 2 from the third period on we played some of our worst hockey of the series and allowed them to get some momentum.
"Other than that I think our team has been pretty consistent and been pretty good. And we made some adjustments yesterday that helped us out and hopefully that continues to show."
Chara bites

After having such a strong series against Buffalo with four goals, Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk continues to score - three goals but a minus-3 in the series - and now faces Zdeno Chara when he's on the ice.
"I mean they create probably the most chances the last game," Chara said. "Especially van Riemsdyk. He was all over the place, we skated really well. He used his speed and obviously the size extremely well.
"He had the most shots [six] I think of the players. So yeah, they created some really good scoring chances for them."
Van Riemsdyk was minus-2 in Game 3.
No skate

Because of a graduation ceremony at TD Garden today, neither team held a morning skate. Both have a long wait till tonight's eight o'clock puck drop.
For more from Tim Panaccio on the Flyers, check out