November 28 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“The rhythms of a long NHL season suggested Saturday would be a day when both the Flyers and New Jersey Devils had reasons to pick up the beat.
The Flyers skated into the Prudential Center feeling as if their pockets had been picked by a referee in Friday’s overtime loss to Calgary, controversial because Mike Richards’ goal in OT was disallowed by a questionable penalty against Chris Pronger.
Meanwhile, the Devils’ faces were redder than their jerseys after Friday’s 2-0 loss to the sad-sack Islanders, who hadn’t won in 14 games, prompting first-year coach John MacLean to question their effort.
But instead of taking out their frustration on the Devils from the opening face-off, the Flyers lollygagged through the first period and ended up on the losing side of a 2-1 shoot-out.
So on consecutive days against two of the league’s weaker clubs, the Flyers started slowly and ended up with just two of a possible four points.
Afterward, some theories were floated through the Flyers’ locker room. Were they gassed from playing 10 games in 17 days and three in the last four? Did they take Calgary and New Jersey too lightly?
“You could feel it – the atmosphere was just, uh, it was a little light,” center Blair Betts said. “There wasn’t enough emotion and intensity even before we went on the ice. You kind of felt that against Calgary. It’s something we have to fix.
“The schedule has been pretty busy the last couple weeks, but at the same time I think if we were playing one of the top teams in the conference you would have seen a different team. That’s my feeling, anyway.””
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