Voracek wants to show Blue Jackets they were wrong

Flyers winger Jakub Voracek got off to a quick start with two goals in his first three games with his new team, but has been shut out since.
Flyers winger Jakub Voracek got off to a quick start with two goals in his first three games with his new team, but has been shut out since. (YONG KIM / Staff Photographer)
Posted: November 05, 2011

In a roundabout way, Flyers winger Jakub Voracek had two words for his former team after Thursday's practice in Voorhees:

Goodbye, Columbus.

Voracek, chastised by his Columbus coach last season, will face his former teammates when the Flyers (7-4-2) meet the struggling Blue Jackets (2-10-1) Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Last summer, Voracek, 22, and a first-round draft pick - it turned out to be Sean Couturier - were acquired in the blockbuster deal that sent high-scoring center Jeff Carter to the Blue Jackets. Carter will miss Saturday's game because of a broken right foot but said he was traveling to Philadelphia to meet with friends.

Voracek said he wants to "show them they made a mistake" by trading him. He has been looking forward to facing the Blue Jackets since the schedule was released.

"I can't say bad things about them," Voracek said. "That's the first team I got into the NHL with, played three years there, so obviously some memories are there. But, honestly, I was kind of upset that things were said about me after last season. But it is what it is. I'm in a new organization, one of the best in the NHL, and it's a fresh start for me and I'm very excited."

Last April, Columbus coach Scott Arniel criticized Voracek, who went without a point in his last 13 games.

"The biggest thing that is holding him back is his condition," Arniel said. "I think this guy can be an elite player if he gets himself in shape."

Voracek was asked whether he had something to prove.

"Yes, I would say so," he said. "I mean, it's another NHL game for me, but I'm going to try to do my best as always and hopefully help the team to win and show them they made a mistake."

Voracek still is bothered by Arniel's comments.

"I don't think it's right to talk about it in the papers," he said. "It is what he said, but I have to disagree with him. I went to the (IIHF) world championships last year and I felt great - all tournament, which was almost in the end of May. It was a long season for me as well, and physically I felt great. But sometimes if you play bad, it doesn't mean you're out of shape. Like I said, it is what it is and I've got a new NHL life here."

Voracek worked hard in the weight room in the offseason, and got off to a quick start with two goals in his first three games. But he has not scored in his last 10 games.

"He came in in good shape and he continues to work at it," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "He's working hard both on and off the ice. . . . I think the points will start to come for him. I'm happy with the intensity in which he plays the game. I just think that he's close. When he's got the puck, he's a skilled guy, a dangerous guy. If you can get where you want to go with your speed and your compete level . . . it'll start to show up on the board more for him."

The Flyers will face a Columbus team that has the worst record in the NHL.

Center Danny Briere said the Flyers can't look past the Blue Jackets, and he and thinks that his team's 4-3 shootout loss to New Jersey on Thursday will serve as a wake-up call.

"That's the danger sometimes," he said. "In the past, we got caught like that a few times that I remember. I think with the way we played [against New Jersey], this game is not about Columbus. It's about ourselves. It's about getting back on track and playing a much better game."

"Teams like Columbus, they're a desperate team. They probably are even more dangerous than teams on the top right now," goalie Ilya Bryzgalov said. "They want to prove something."

Just like Voracek.

Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at 215-854-5181, scarchidi@phillynews.com, or @BroadStBull on Twitter.


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