12:15 p.m.: Absent storylines beyond Patric Hornqvist‘s absence, Pittsburgh Hockey Now asked a few players if their experience helped them develop a killer instinct.
“It seemed like last game when we got one, we got four,” said Conor Sheary. “I don’t know if that’s the killer instinct, but we know how to win this time of year.”
Regarding Hornqvist, Dominik Simon will draw in for the crazy Viking. Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan, of course, offered praise of Simon’s game.
“He’s got great offensive instincts. He’s good in traffic. For a guy who’s not overly big, he’s strong on the puck. We expect him to play his game and have fun doing it,” said Sullivan.
11:15 a.m.: The Philadelphia Flyers locker room and the promotional t-shirts shared a common theme: Defiance. The question about Sean Couturier’s status hung over everything but the Flyers rejected it. The Flyers made a Stanley Cup run eight years ago without Jeff Carter.
The Flyers locker room was well aware of their past success despite injury adversity.
“I remember the year we want to the Cup, Simon Gagne and Jeff Carter were out. That was a good time for guys to step up. A great example was Ville Leino. He came to our team, he didn’t play a lot of games before the playoffs started, and he was on our top line,” said Claude Giroux.
Giroux is either a good actor or the players have not yet been informed of Couturier’s status.
“I’m not sure yet. I know as much as you guys right now,” Giroux quipped.
If Couturier is indeed injured (though one Philadelphia media person already foolishly declared–it doesn’t matter if he’s injured, you know he’ll play), Giroux would likely slide to center.
Radko Gudas, whose attempted check injured Couturier in practice yesterday, was also not taking the bait, today.
“I’m not talking about ‘Coots’,” he said.
I haven’t covered the Flyers enough to know Gudas’ typical disposition or demeanor. However, it certainly seemed he was an angry loner Wednesday morning.
Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol also refused to bite on a myriad of questions looking for some advance knowledge. Hakstol did offer several positive words for Jordan Weal.
“We haven’t generated a lot down low,” said Hakstol. And he believes Weal could be a guy to provide some of that physicality.
If Hakstol unleashes Weal down low and slides Giroux to center, the Flyers will be a much different team. One may wonder if they will open the old Flyers playbook. Shelly Anderson looked into the “new” flavor of the Penguins-Flyers rivalry this morning.
More after the Penguins skate