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Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Craig Berube met with the press prior to the Flyers-Penguins game Tuesday.

This was the conversation:

What are your defensive parings?
“Watch warmups.”

Is Colaiacovo hurt or able to play and just out?
“I don’t know. Who said he was out? Just watch warmups. I didn’t say anything.”

So Schultz is the only one out?
“He’s out.”

How did he get hurt?
“I don’t know.”

So you’ll have seven defensemen in warmups and choose?

Reports on Manning and Lauridsen?
“Manning has had a very good year. He’s an all-situations player down there.  We’d had him up here before. The last couple years,  he’s done a good job when he’s up here. Oliver’s been up here. Two years ago he was up here and played two games at the end of the year and did a good job. He’s a big body. And that’s one of the decisions, having a big body up here.”

Is it appealing that he is a physical player?
“It’s nice to have a physical guy who can skate back there.”

How important is it to win and feel good going into the long break?
“It’s huge, just like any. We’re always trying to get a win. But it’s a big game, for sure, going into the break against Pittsburgh, obviously.  So it’s going to give us momentum coming out of the break, for sure.”

Is it a good time to get these guys because they will be locked-in to play Pittsburgh?
“Definitely. We have had success over Pittsburgh the last couple  years, first of all checking them and being good without the puck against Crosby and Malkin and those guys. And special teams will be big tonight. They have a great power play and we have to make sure we stay out of the box and kill penalties.”

Two All-Stars in top five in the league in scoring …
“They have played really well all year. Very consistent. They both work extremely hard, game in and game out. And that’s the real reason for their success.  When you’ve got skilled players like them, and smart players like Jake and G and they put in the hard work, and with the competitiveness of them, they will have success.”

Voracek had 62 points last year, yet still leading the league this year. Surprised?
“Well, not really. You watch him night in and night out and you see the hard work and the effort, and I think that his game has just gone to another level this year. He shoots more pucks , and that’s a big key. I think in the past he was reluctant to shoot. He shoots more pucks. He get s more pucks to the net and gets to the net more.”

Would missing the playoffs be a lost opportunity with the years that they are having?
“Any time you don’t make the playoffs it is a lost opportunity.”

How about how it relates to Voracek and Giroux?
“Well, there have been lots of players who have had great years and their teams missed the playoffs. 
The most important thing is making the playoffs and trying to win a Stanley Cup. And that’s the most important thing for them, too.”

When you are not getting the results, is there a certain anger you want to see from these guys, showing that it is unacceptable to them?
“I don’t think it is. I don’t think they accept it. I don’t know if anger is the right word to use. It’s more that we’ve got to play more consistent. And we have to be more competitive on a consistent basis. That’s the biggest thing.”

Giroux’s year?
“Along with Jake, hard work, has been a real good leader for us. I think he leads by example every night on the ice. And that’s what captains are supposed to do, and he does it, and he is producing. He’s had a real good year. I think his game is really more rounded than it was last year. He is a better defensive player than he was last year, in my opinion. Faceoffs, one of the tops in the league. A lot of little things he does every night.”

Stamkos and St. Louis are the only guys who were 1-2 in scoring and missed the playoffs ever … to be that high, and where the Flyers are, is that crazy in this day and age, where everyone is keying on them?

“Well, I just kind of answered that question. There’s been players in the league that have done it before.  Just named a couple of them. You can have success individually with your stats but the team not have success. And I know that doesn’t sit well with anybody, including them.”

Expand on being more competitive? Do some teams lack a competitive streak?
“It boils down to individuals at times in games where you make a mistake because maybe you’re not as competitive as you should be, you know? Winning a battle here or there. It’s all what it boils down to. Hockey is about mistakes and a lot of one-on-one battles and little things that come up in a game.  We don’t have enough secondary scoring, well, we’ve got to work harder to get secondary scoring. It’s about getting to the net more and doing little things like that. So that’s what it boils down to.”

Decision to start Emery?
“I had that decision made before the Islanders game.”


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