Hakstol Proud of Flyers' Consistency Since Low Point in Toronto - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Hakstol Proud of Flyers' Consistency Since Low Point in Toronto

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    Hakstol Proud of Flyers' Consistency Since Low Point in Toronto
    CSNPhilly.com
    Hakstol proud of Flyers' consistency since low point in Toronto

    The low point of the Flyers' season thus far came less than a month ago.
     
    On Nov. 11 at Toronto, the Flyers were horrific in a 6-3 loss to a Maple Leafs club they should have beaten handily.
     
    Since then, there has been gradual improvement, some setbacks, yet a calming effect has taken over Dave Hakstol’s Flyers, who are a riding a five-game winning streak in early December.

    They've pulled within four points of the Metro Division-leading New York Rangers. And they own the No. 1 wild card in the Eastern Conference.
     
    Indeed, Hakstol’s club has come a long way since the Toronto loss, when the Flyers were sixth in the division and 13th overall in the East.
     
    “You go back to that poor performance up in Toronto, which was about a dozen games ago,” Hakstol said.
     
    “Since that point in time, I think we’ve really taken pride in the consistency of our play and worrying about what we do on a day-to-day basis. It’s real important that we continue to do that.”
     
    This is the best the Flyers have been after 27 games since 2013-14, when they were 12-13-2 with 26 points and within two points of the wild card.
     
    “It’s an absolute dog fight every night and it’s going to continue to be the same dog fight in the standings all the way through,” Hakstol said.
     
    The last time the Flyers won five straight was March 15-22, 2014 under Craig Berube.
     
    There’s been a number of heroes during the five-game streak. Obviously, goalie Steve Mason sits atop those reasons with a 1.71 goals against average, .945 save percentage and four wins over that span.
     
    “His play over the last stretch has been outstanding and he’s been a strong anchor for us,” Hakstol said. 
     
    “His confidence kind of goes hand-in-hand with our team’s confidence. They both feed off one another. You can see that throughout our entire game.”
     
    Rookie Anthony Stolarz had the first victory to begin the streak against Calgary.

    Mason will start Tuesday against Florida at Wells Fargo Center as the Flyers try to make it six in a row.
     
    Offensively, the Flyers have gotten some significant contributions from others, too.
     
    Jakub Voracek has a goal and six points, while Wayne Simmonds and Claude Giroux each have five points and a combined six goals.
     
    Brayden Schenn and Chris VandeVelde, often overlooked for his offense because of his focus on the defensive side of the puck, each have four points and a combined three goals.
     
    And don’t overlook a couple of defensemen who have had some moments — Michael Del Zotto and Ivan Provorov have a combined four goals during the streak.
     
    Brandon Manning returned from a concussion on Saturday against Chicago, then had two pivotal plays near the end of Sunday’s game in Nashville by twice clearing the puck with the Preds attacking with six players.
     
    His second clear resulted in VandeVelde’s clinching goal.
     
    Little plays mean a lot during a winning streak and right now, the Flyers are getting them.
     
    Read update
    Matt Read suffered an oblique muscle pull, sources said, early in the game after being checked into the net by the Predators' Filip Forsberg during Sunday’s victory in Nashville.
     
    This can be a dicey injury depending on its location. If the pull is high, it should be an easy recovery. If it’s lower, into the abdomen, then it could linger or eventually require surgery.