"Not a whole lot needs to be said."
That's a direct quote from Flyers coach Dave Hakstol this morning when asked whether his team is fully apprised at what's at stake right now with the club.
Forget that it's one day from the NHL trade deadline.
The important thing is the Flyers have 21 games left to try and clinch a wild-card berth as they remain six points behind Toronto heading into tonight's contest with the Colorado Avalanche, the worst team in the NHL (see game notes).
Jake Voracek said over the weekend the Flyers need to win 15 of their remaining games to get in. Thirty points would give them 93, which might be at the outside edge of where they need to be. Ninety-six would clinch it.
The only good thing right now is that every team ahead of the Flyers in the wild-card picture is also even with them in games played.
Yet the bottom line is the Flyers need to start scoring some goals. Since the 10-game winning streak when they were piling up victories, points and goals, they have averaged just 1.79 goals in 29 games.
That's not enough to win games.
"When you are going through a tough stretch, success helps a lot of different things," Hakstol said. "We need to have success on a lot of different levels, most importantly, because of the importance of the two points tonight.
"We're the ones who have put ourselves in this scenario and we're the ones who can work our way out of this scenario."
After Monday's practice, goaltender Steve Mason was asked if he spotted anything during the six games he sat while Michal Neuvirth played.
Mason's response was candid.
"There are times, when you get scored on, there's an automatic drop back, and we need to have that push back right away," he said. "We need to start games well and we give up the first goal and it sets us back. We kinda lose the momentum we gain from starting well.
"Everyone is tired at the end of the just being content with the effort and not the outcome. Sometimes the effort can't just be good, it has to be great. We need guys to put the puck in the net. We need defensemen to make the goaltenders' job easier.
"The goaltenders need to stop more pucks, the more difficult saves. At the end of the day, I am going to look at my job and try to simplify things and go out and try to get a win here."
Flyers captain Claude Giroux agreed the team has played "good" but is still lacking for that critical goal that makes a difference.
"You look at our results and think we're a bad team and not going in the right direction," he said. "I strongly believe we are going in the right direction. We have to keep pushing and sticking together."
"We've had good efforts," he said. "We'll know that great effort [feeling] after we come out of a game with two points. That's what it is going to take from us right now."
The only way the Flyers turn this around is to play every game over the next quarter with a sense of desperation but that is very hard to do over a sustained period of time.
One of the reasons the Flyers were so gassed at the end of last season was they had to play as a desperate team over the final six weeks of the regular season and it left them depleted for the playoffs.
That scenario could repeat.
"The position we're in right now, a little desperation is important," Giroux said. "We can't be stressed by the past. We have to worry about the next game."
Mason starts in goal against Colorado. ... Michel Del Zotto will replaced Brandon Manning (suspended) tonight. ... The Flyers had an optional skate this morning.
Jordan Weal-Claude Giroux-Wayne Simmonds
Nicke Cousins-Brayden Schenn-Jake Voracek
Michael Raffl-Sean Couturier-Dale Weise
Chris VandeVelde-Pierre-Edouard Bellemare-Matt Read
Ivan Provorov-Andrew MacDonald
Shayne Gostisbehere-Mark Streit
Michael Del Zotto-Radko Gudas