Kimmo Timonen has been much quoted as saying he was not satisfied with the way his team is playing. That’s fine, I don’t think many people have been. But today he said this:
You go through some bad times with every team, and.. this has been our bad time. And I’m glad we’re going through this before playoffs start, because hard times put your team together more, and you gotta find your way out of it… I feel like… yesterday is a good move in the right direction, we played pretty well against a really desperate hockey team.
That made me pretty happy because I also thought that the loss to the Rangers was a well-disguised good sign. I thought they played better too. As when McLellan started saying that the Sharks were making progress a couple of games before their losing streak ended, so the Flyers are making progress despite not winning.
The Flyers had fewer turnovers, made smarter passes, were quicker to the puck, created more chances. The team looked more confident and synchronized than they had before. It is a shame that Zherdev keeps being put in to play well in losing games. I’m sure that’s not a coincidence but I can’t figure out what the connection is.
There was some complaining that Richards refused, less than graciously, to share his honest feelings about how the team was playing, while Timonen was more open about it. Richards may not have said what he was thinking but he certainly expressed his agitation. In any case, the pattern is familiar: the Captain has to stick to the company line, but the Alternate Captain can be more vocal. Or maybe that’s just why the Captain is the Captain and the Alternates are the Alternates. See Thornton’s infuriatingly sedate comments during the losing streak versus Clowe’s and Boyle’s more, err, emotive reactions.
Just like Clowe was, Timonen is now best positioned to give reassuring reports, because he was the one to be so critical of the team earlier.
This has all happened before, it will happen again.