Claude Giroux Helping Flyers Have Short Memory the Way Chris Pronger Taught Him

BOSTON -- Claude Giroux says it used to amaze him just how quickly Chris Pronger could let go of a game.
 
Forget the loss.
 
Even if it was awful.
 
Move on.
 
It was among the many lessons Giroux learned from Pronger during the short time that "Mr. Warmth" was a Flyer: that the next game is the most important one to worry about.
 
Which is the attitude the Flyers' captain says his teammates will bring into Saturday's matinee against the Bruins. The Flyers find themselves five points behind the Islanders for the wild card but now have to catapult over both Tampa Bay and Toronto just to get to Boston.
 
"The best at it was Chris Pronger," Giroux said. "In the playoffs, we'd lose a game and he'd be in the room and had already turned the page.
 
"Everbody would be looking at him like, 'What's wrong with this guy?' That's kind of the mentality we have to have right now. You lose or you win, you have to be able to turn the page as quick as you can and focus on the next opponent."
 
Giroux said the tip-off that Pronger had moved on would be if he was joking with teammates or the media.
 
"He was talking about the next game already and for a young guy like me, he's been in that position before and you kinda learn from that," Giroux said. "The game is over. You can't put more stress on yourself. You let it go."
 
Giroux had a team meeting in the morning here and told players they had to let go of the game in Toronto and just focus on Boston. He reinforced that the five-point gap in the wild card is not insurmountable.
 
"The good thing about this team is we're all on the same page," he said. "If there's a small problem, we fix it right away. I really feel like the guys have turned the page. Worry about Boston and get excited about it."
 
All that said, Flyers coach Dave Hakstol says it's much harder to have this attitude than you think. The 4-2 loss in Toronto doesn't just disappear in their minds overnight.
 
"It sticks with you," Hakstol said. "It eats at you. I'm sure a lot of guys probably didn't have a great night of sleep last night but you've got to wake up today. That's what the workday today was all about -- clearing your mind, clearing your plate, getting ready for the next one tomorrow.
 
"Is it cliché? Absolutely, but before the game yesterday we had gotten seven out of eight points. Most important two points are the next ones up. That doesn't change."

Steve Mason, who had his 3-0-1 stretch of solid goaltending interrupted with Michal Neuvirth getting the start against Toronto, returns to the net.
 
There's a world of pressure on Mason right now, especially given that Neuvirth had an off-night against the Maple Leafs.

"It's a big game, there is no way around it, but at the end of the day, every game the rest of the season is going to be big," Mason said. "We understand we're not going to win every game for the rest of the year but losing last night obviously makes the importance of this game a little bit greater.
 
"We just have to have a good game. It's not work putting the extra pressure on it just because this is the type of hockey that will be the rest of the year."
 
Hakstol wants to manage his goalies based off the stretch run to the playoffs and not tire either of them out.
 
"I feel fine," Mason said. "I've only played 45 or so games. I work hard all summer to manage a heavy workload.
 
"As long as you're not starting 28 games in a row, you should be fine. Four, five games in a row isn't that big a deal for me."

One thing the Flyers have to be wary of tomorrow is the first 10 minutes of play. The Bruins always seem to come out hard against the Flyers right from the puck drop.
 
"They start quick," Mason said. "With the coaching change, they have played well, they've responded to it. We definitely have to be ready for a fast start.
 
"This isn't a team you want to fall far behind on. It kinda emphasizes the importance tomorrow morning for an early start."

Copyright CSNPhily
Contact Us