October 3 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“The Flyers believe last spring’s remarkable playoff run – they reached the Stanley Cup Finals after a dizzying stretch that included a historic comeback against Boston – will carry into this season.
History says otherwise.
Peter Laviolette, in his first full season as the Flyers’ head coach, scoffs at history.
Laviolette points out that the Flyers made a mockery out of history last May, when they became the third NHL team to ever win a series after losing the first three games. Oh, and the first to do it by overcoming a 3-0 deficit in Game 7. In Boston.
So when Laviolette was informed that, since the NHL expanded in 1967, only two of the 42 teams that lost in the Finals – Edmonton in 1983 and Pittsburgh in 2008 – won the Cup the next season, he cracked a smile.
“We like those kind of stats,” Laviolette said. “We just went through a stat like that last year . . . So somebody’s got to do it, right? Somebody’s got to make it three.”
The Danny Briere-coined mantra last season, after they fell into the 3-0 hole against Boston, was, quite simply: “Why not us?”
The Flyers have a similar mantra as they approach the 2010-11 season, which begins Thursday in Pittsburgh. They feel they set the tone last spring, when they came within two wins of the franchise’s first Stanley Cup since 1975.
They feel last season’s experience – they lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks, who have lost many key ingredients – and the bolstering of their defense will help them find two more victories in the 2011 postseason.
“Everyone is excited here because we know we can go far now,” said winger Ville Leino, who came of age in last season’s playoffs, equaling an NHL rookie record with 21 points. “Everybody knows what it takes to get there.”
“There’s a lot of talent here. A lot. It’s deep. There’s a lot of character to go with it,” winger Bill Guerin said.
Guerin, who has 429 career goals, knows what it takes, having played on two Stanley Cup champions – the Penguins in 2009 and the Devils in 1995.”
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