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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.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Hakstol: Not looking for measuring sticks

Dave Hakstol met with the press prior to the Flyers-Rangers game Saturday night.

This was the conversation:

On the 5-minute power play in last game?

“We didn't do a good job and we know that. We have to be better in that situation. We didn't win a lot of battles. And usually it starts with urgency on a five-minute power play. And a lot of times it goes drastically one way or another. It seems like if the PK gets a little bit of momentum, I've see it a lot of times where that's the direction where the five-minute power play goes. In that case, that's what happened. We got off to a poor start and we didn't recover. We didn't do little things to recover on.”

Luke Schenn out of lineup? Not happy with performance the other night?

“I thought he played a pretty solid game. Mostly, it's looking at our lineup tonight, I wanted to get Brandon Manning back in for some reasons going into tonight.”

Was the Rangers' speed one of those reasons?

“That's one of them. But I thought Luke did a good, solid job. And Brandon came out of the lineup for different reasons and he's going to go back in tonight.”

In college, was there as many cases of guys coming in and out of the lineup?

“There's much of that in any level of hockey, yes.”

More set lineups?

“No. Absolutely not. Absolutely not. You make game-day decisions based on a lot of things. And I guess every coach and every staff probably has their own criteria. We have our own process that we go through.”

Key to beating the Rangers?

“Well, there are so many things that they do well as a team. For us, the key is going to be to go out and play the way we need to play. We've got to go out and play a real good 60 minutes of hockey within the way we play the game. So I'm not going to rattle off things they do well. There's a lot of things they do well. There's a lot of things we do well too. So we're going to go out and do those things well tonight.”

Do you have a measuring point for this team, 10 games, 20 games?

“No, just to get better every day, work at it get, better. You only have one opportunity every night at the two points. So you've got to concentrate on doing the little things every night to get those points. And then in combination with that find little ways to improve what we're doing day in and day out.”

Do you notice a difference in how you play at home and on the road?

“I haven't seen a trend there yet. We played awful hard on the road and I think for the most part we've played awful hard here. So I haven't seen a trend yet. Maybe it's too early. I hope there's not a big difference. We want to play the way we play whether it's at home or on the road.”

You mentioned that Dallas and Tampa Bay were quality opponents, but yesterday said you didn't think Rangers were a measuring stick. But Rangers have basically owned the Flyers for a decade …

“I think I said the same thing, they're a quality opponent. But we're not looking for measuring sticks. There are two points on the line tonight and we have to do everything in our power to beat the team on the other side of the rink. It's the same approach when we went into Tampa. You can go down the list. We've got to worry about ourselves. We know we're playing a quality opponent. But we have to have the focus on the things we do and how we do them.”


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