-- Here we go again.
Another playoff series for the Philadelphia Flyers
; another test of their will and fortitude in an attempt to right the ship that took a pretty significant hole to the hull following a 7-3 loss to the Boston Bruins
in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
"When we lost the first game against Buffalo (in the conference quarterfinal round), 1-0, guys were optimistic because we felt like we had outplayed them and the chances were in our favor, but we just ran into a hot goalie and lost," Flyers defenseman Sean O'Donnell
told the media Sunday afternoon at the Flyers practice facility. "We said there wasn't a need to change up a lot, to just keep doing what we're doing.
"But we couldn't say that after Game 1 against Boston," O'Donnell continued. "But, we also feel optimistic because it was very uncharacteristic of us and we were very sloppy in our end. We made a lot of mistakes with zone coverage and we feel that could be fixed, so we're ready for (Monday)."
You would be hard-pressed to find another team in the League so accustomed to using the 'down-but-not-out' mentality. You also get the feeling those fans jettisoning Wells Fargo Center with 5:01 remaining in regulation and their team trailing, 6-3, on Saturday would prefer something more.
"It's one game," coach Peter Laviolette
said. "I don't think we go into any series expecting to … you'd want to go out and play four great games and win the series, 4-0, but that's unrealistic for anybody at this point. We will win and lose but the idea is to play a majority of the minutes the way you want to play and (in Game 1) Boston played the majority they wanted to play."
After reviewing the horror film that was the Game 1 video on Sunday morning, the Flyers made no excuses. They all feel Game 2 on Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET (VERSUS, TSN, RDS) will feature better results.
"It got a little out of hand and you try and fight back," forward Scott Hartnell
said. "It was an afternoon game so after the game we went out to dinner in a bad mood. You think about what you could have done differently and what happened and how they were good and how we were bad. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth, but you just have to regroup and come back tomorrow.
"Look around this room, you have a lot of competitive guys -- Briere, Richards, Prongs," he continued. "There are a lot of competitive guys and that attitude really filters throughout the group. We've done it before and done it to these guys last year. We definitely don't want to go down, 3-0. We want to get back and even up this series (Monday)."
Amazingly, in six previous series the Flyers have played against the Bruins, they are now 0-6 in Game 1. Despite that fact, they've won three of the previous five series, including the 1974 Stanley Cup Final and last year's Eastern Conference Semifinal.
"I think we seem to play better when we're under pressure and we're forced to find some desperation for some reason," forward Danny Briere
said. "I wish we didn't have to go there all the time, but for some reason this team seems to play better in those situations.
"I hope it kicks in (Monday). We cannot play two home games like that -- you don't want to waste both of them. We have to use the energy from our building to our advantage tomorrow."
When asked who his starting goalie would be for Game 2, Laviolette told the media: "I haven't announced anything."
While Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger
was walking around the Flyers practice facility on Sunday morning without any ice packs or significant limps, he respectively declined to discuss his peculiar absence from the lineup in the final five minutes of Saturday's Game 1 loss against the Boston Bruins
There was no update given on Pronger's status other than what coach Peter Laviolette
informed the media during his postgame press conference on Saturday. When Laviolette was asked if Pronger was physically healthy, he responded, "Yes."
He is expected to be in the lineup for Game 2 on Monday.
Pronger played a major role in the Flyers turnaround in their opening-round series against the Buffalo Sabres
when he returned to the lineup for Game 6 after missing the previous seven weeks.
In Game 1 against the Bruins, he earned 19:45 of ice time -- the most he's played in the three games since returning from the broken right hand that had sidelined him since March 8. He had two shots, blocked four shots and was a minus-3. In fact, four of the Flyers' top defensive players -- forwards Blair Betts
and Darroll Powe
and Matt Carle
-- were all a minus-3.
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale