That’s all folks! The Flyers closed out their season with a win over the Devils last night. Last game, last bit of postgame media availability, and we’re here with a rundown on what was said.
On ending the season on a high note: I think it’s just a good way to finish the year. It’s sad to say, but we kind of got used to playing catch-up hockey. There’s no quitting. We came back strong and got a big win to finish the year. We just got to learn from this year and put it behind us. Come next year and we need to be better in general.
On Joel Farabee’s season: Yeah definitely. I think he took a big step forward in his development. His expectations were high since we drafted him. It’s nice to see him develop into the player he’s becoming. He’s only going to get better too, with time as he ages and gets stronger, physically mature. It’s fun to see a prospect like that emerge. He had a great year. I think he was one of the bright spots that we had this year.
On being the first to win three straight MVPs since Eric Lindros: I didn’t know that. It’s quite an honor, especially being mentioned with guys like Eric Lindros. Named the trophy after Bobby Clarke. Those are guys that marked the history of the Flyers. It’s always an honor to win one of those awards. It’s one of those years that it’s kind of frustrating the way things went. It’s nice individually to get that award. It would have better to get into playoffs and make a push here.
On hitting the 20 goal mark: Yeah, for sure. I think going into the season I never really expected it to happen, but I think, personally, I’m proud of myself. I put a lot of work in this summer working on my game. It feels good that that paid off.
James van Riemsdyk
On winning the Yanick Dupre Class Guy Memorial Award: Yeah, as you kind of move on throughout your career and you realize things like that are important. How you carry yourself and conduct yourself and the way you treat people. It’s one of those things that when you look back on your career, it’s nice to be acknowledged like that. Again, I’ve been treated well since I’ve been here in my first stint and second stint, particularly by members of the media. It’s a nice little feather in your cap to have something like that.
On the vibe in the locker room after the game: Obviously again, by no means did we live up to expectations this year. It was an up and down season, with probably more down than up obviously with where we’re at right now. I don’t know. Again, you want to try to go in and have some sort of positive note going into the offseason, obviously it’s a bitter taste where we didn’t make the playoffs and get a chance to accomplish more of the goals that we had. You still got to process the season and stuff like that. We’ll probably do that over these next couple of days and go from there to try to figure everything out.
On Justin Braun’s season: Yeah, he’s really solid in what he brings on and off the ice. Guys love being around him. again, he’s got that consistency. You know what you’re going to get from him every game. He’s a pro in that way. Again, within his role, I think he does a really good job of bringing to the table and bringing that to a team. Certainly, he’s a guy we love having around.
On the feeling after last night’s game: I mean, it didn’t start the way we wanted to. I think sometimes these games are tough to get up for and I thought we responded really well and big comeback win. I think it exemplified our season that we knew we didn’t get off to the start that we wanted. We were winning games, but we knew that we could play better. We were kind of getting away with some stuff and it caught up with us during the season. There is a lot to learn from this season personally and as a team. It’s disappointing, but I think the evidence and the faith is there that this team can be a good team and we can win a lot of games. It was good to get this last one to stay above .500. If you keep getting points like we always say, every game is a new game. I’m glad we got this one tonight.
On plans to play next season: Yeah, for sure. I plan to play. I feel like I have a lot left to give. I feel like I’m playing really good hockey and health wise I had another really good year where I didn’t really see the training room once. It’s nice to feel that way. Whatever happens, happens. This league, whenever you don’t make the playoffs there’s going to be changes through your lineup or staff or whatever. You just have to roll with the punches. I’d love to stay here, obviously and keep searching for that cup. That’s kind of out of my control and I just try to let my play kind of speak for itself. Having a pretty good record this year for the team record, I’m happier than maybe if it was the other way around.
On his family at morning skate, reflecting on things after the ceremony: Well yeah, they were there this morning because they had to get tested to be able to come out on the ice. They caught a little bit of a practice while they were inside the building getting tested. It’s awesome to have them around anytime just to get another taste of it. You try to involve them as much as you can. I think when I was a young guy seeing the older guys bring their kids in, it just kind of lit up the room when they walked though. You get a touch of real life and a breath of fresh air when you got kids coming in just loving life, loving hockey. That’s the best part about it when you get the kiddos around.
On what went wrong this season: No, I’ll answer questions on tonight’s game. We will talk about the season and some of our thoughts tomorrow. Tomorrow, we’re meeting you guys at 11, talking to the media. We’ll address any season questions tomorrow.
On Joel Farabee’s progression: There is no doubt that the young man came in and played extremely well right from the beginning. I’ve said this on a number of occasions, a very smart hockey player, great hockey sense and good for him to get 2 tonight to get to 20.
On Joel Farabee’s step forward this season, as many on the team didn’t find that same success: He’s a young player with lots of potential. I don’t think he’s achieved his full potential. It’s going to be on him to have the right type of attitude, the right type of work ethic, right type of commitment here moving forward to become the best player that he can be. As an organization, as a team, we need him to fulfill that. He’s proven that he can be an effective player, useful player, player that helps a team win. Can play 5 on 5 minutes, he can play power play and he can kill penalties. We need him to continue that progression.
On Justin Braun: Brauner played the right way right till the end. Blocked a shot and broke his foot. That’s why he’s appreciated and respected by his teammates and his coaching staff and management.
On last night’s win: I thought we didn’t get off again to the start that we wanted. After that, I thought we played smart and hard and gave ourselves a chance. We came back from a 2-goal deficit and in the 3rd period we had a strong push and won the 3rd period. It’s positive to finish that way, but I’ve said this a few times lately, I’m not putting a lot of stock in performances when you play meaningless games.
On the next few days: Chuck and I have been talking for a while and we’ve obviously prepared tomorrow’s day as far as our players meeting. Probably take a few more days here to talk to the staff. I think we all need away time to clear our minds and analyze what happened here properly. You can’t do that on emotions. You need to step back a little bit and take the time that you need to analyze this probably.