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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.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Hakstol: 'Last 15 minutes of Game 3 ... that's not us'

Dave Hakstol met with the press outside the Flyers' locker room two hours before Game 4 of a playoff series against Washington.

This was the conversation:

You are essentially at a single-elimination point. Is that not a lot like your experiences from postseason college hockey?

“It's different here. Obviously, this isn't the situation that we wanted to be in. But the fact is, we are. So absolutely, I'd be lying if I said yesterday wasn't a tough morning. But I thought we turned it around real quick. We had a great workday today and guys are ready to go.
“We know the job at hand and that job is all focused on Game 4.”

On goaltending decision, was it hard knowing that one goaltender is going to feel tough about it?

“Yeah, feelings don't really (matter) at this time of year. At this time of year, what's best for the team is what every decision centers around. And every guy in our room knows and understands that. So that's how decisions at this time of year are made and, really, at any time of year.”

Were you encouraged by the team's attitude yesterday?

“Yeah. I knew this was a resilient group. We've had to do it on several different occasions this year. Obviously, this is the most heightened of those situations but I guess I expected to see exactly what we did out of our group yesterday as well as today. Kind of a real determined group that is just worried about the job at hand.”

How comfortable are you with the line changes you made this morning and that they will be able to yield more goals?

“You know what? I want to be careful. We are not making changes to try to just score goals. This is a tight series. It's not all about scoring goals. I think we've been a good, two-way, 200-foot team five-on-five. We'd like to try to generate a little bit more. Obviously, with having Belly (Pierre Edouard Bellemare) out of our lineup, it creates a challenge for us in terms of his importance to our team. He's a pretty important guy. So we've made the changes that we have, hoping to be real good five-on-five, 200 feet, plus maybe be able to spark a little bit of offense as well.”

Ryan White brought up the word “pride,” saying “we know we're better than this.” Do you want to hear words like that?

“We obviously don't like the way the last 15 minutes of Game 3 went. That's not us. We want to put that behind us. Again, we felt like we played a pretty good two periods, but, you know what, a pretty good two periods isn't what it is going to take to win Game 4. We've got to put together a very complete, 60-minute effort and do that as a group.”


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