Peter Laviolette doesn’t think his team is to blame for Sunday’s seven goal drubbing at the hands of the New York Rangers, taking responsibility for what he calls “a team without energy.”
The Flyers’ head coach said in a conference call Monday that he pushed his team too hard coming into March. For that, he’s given them the day off going into Tuesday’s contest against the Edmonton Oilers.
“If I am being honest, I have to take one hundred percent responsibility for what happened [Sunday]. We came into the month of Match and we wanted to push,” Laviolette said. “We pushed hard for three days and will continue to push, but [Sunday] we felt the effects of that. We came in and we didn’t have the jam that we needed to play a team that had plenty of it.”
After a 4-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators the Saturday before last, his team had days of heavy practice before Thursday’s loss to the Maple Leafs.
Coupled with a crippling flu bug tearing through the locker room, that kind of work had these guys dead for Sunday’s game.
“A team without energy – if the physical part isn’t there, the mental part goes, and there was just nothing [Sunday]. I think we were drained,” Laviolette said. “To get a day off … I really feel that the benefits will be seen on Tuesday.”
Laviolette expects his team to go back to their brand of hockey come Tuesday night.
“I would suspect that our team would be reenergized just by catching a break and refocusing. I would expect us to be a good hockey team on Tuesday night. We were not a good hockey team yesterday and I accept the responsibility of that,” he said. “Now we move forward and I would expect our team to come in with a strong effort.
“I expect to win and I expect it to be great.”