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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, April 16, 2016

Hakstol rejects idea of Flyers taking a run at Holtby to shake things up

Dave Hakstol met with the press outside the Flyers' locker room shortly before Game 2 of the series with the Capitals at the Verizon Center.

This was the conversation:

Beyond scoring goals, what has to be done differently tonight?

“Well for our team, we had a great commitment and a great effort in terms of our overall play and our overall effort. We were good defensively. You have to find ways to generate and create a little more offense. We don't have to change our game. It's two or three plays that we maybe have to add throughout the game against a hard-working and structured team that we're playing against.”

Do you sense that players felt Game 1 was a missed opportunity?

“No, not at all. It's Game 1 of a series and we came up on the wrong end of it. Put that one away and now pure focus is on Game No. 2, the opportunity that's in front of us tonight.”

Any value in, for example, a goaltender interference call just to get Holtby something to think about?

“No. You've got to the net. You have to get on top of the blue paint. But you have to do everything with discipline. You can't give away power plays on purpose. And I know that's not really what you're suggesting. I understand what you're suggesting. And you have to get to the front of the net. But you also have to do it in a smart and disciplined way.”

What would you like to see out of Scott Laughton tonight?

“Just Scotty going out and being himself. He's been a good player for us all year. He's been the guy that's been on the short end of the lineup here the last few weeks but he's worked extremely hard. He'll bring pace. He'll bring tenacity. And I know he's going to be a guy who's not afraid to play. He'll go out and he'll play hard tonight.”

What can you learn about players who are in the playoffs for the first time at this time of year?

“Well, it's obviously a different level of intensity. I'm learning that myself. This is my first time through it as well. It's having a real even-keel focus on the situation at hand and the next job at hand and being able to focus and clear your mind and go out and execute.”

Is blocking shots something you address at playoff time?

“Our guys have done that all year long. There's nothing that needs to be said. That's something that's ingrained with our group from our penalty-killers on out. Guys take pride in it.”

It seems like the guys are still loose, as opposed to late in the regular season when any game could have taken you out?

“This is a different level because it's playoff time, but in a different respect we have been through this the last couple of months. We've had some tough losses. But I think we've learned to take a few minutes and be a little bit, maybe, upset at ourselves at the outcome and then just let it go, flush it out and turn the page and move on to the next task. And I saw that in the guys right away again yesterday morning and no question coming into Game Day today. Their heads are in the right places.”


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