Flyers Notes: Flyers put early scoring slump behind them

YONG KIM / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Matt Read has four goals and an assist in the Flyers' last three games.
YONG KIM / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Matt Read has four goals and an assist in the Flyers' last three games.
Posted: November 27, 2013

SUNRISE, Fla. - In the first 15 games, the Flyers scored a total of 22 goals. No team in NHL history had scored fewer goals in that span at the start of a season.

Since then, they have dramatically improved on their 1.47-goals-per-game average.

Entering Monday, they had scored 27 goals in their last seven games, an average of 3.86 per contest.

"We're always playing from above the puck now, and when you do that, you're going to create a lot of turnovers and you can get quick-strike offensive attacks," winger Wayne Simmonds said before Monday's game against Florida. "And everybody's feeling confident now, so we're putting more pucks in the net."

The Flyers had more goals in their last six games (23) before Monday than they did in their first 18 games (22).

"I think confidence is a huge part of the game," Simmonds said. "Before, we were getting point-blank opportunities and guys were getting nervous or shanking them into the corner. And after that it was kind of putting your head down between your legs and just not reacting the rest of the game.

"Now we're getting those opportunities, and if the first one isn't going in then we have a second guy there trying to tap it in, and if he doesn't, we have a third guy there. It's kind of a relentless attack right now and we're trying to improve as we go along."

The Flyers had averaged 34 shots per game during the 6-0-1 streak they took into Monday.

"We're starting to figure out the O-zone part of it," coach Craig Berube said. "We're doing a good job using the "D" and everybody is involved in it, which is important. When you put pucks and people to the net, good things happen."

Remembering Roger

The Florida Panthers honored the late Roger Neilson by naming the BB&T Center press box in his honor.

Neilson was the first coach in Panthers history, and he also coached seven other NHL teams, including the Flyers.

"I loved playing for Roger," Berube said. "Very professional coach. He didn't say a whole lot, but you know exactly what you were getting all the time from him, day in and day out. . . . He had a system and you had to play the system. Everybody had to play the same."

Neilson, who died in 2003, was known for his quirkiness, for the way he frequently got lost while driving, and for his love of incorporating video into his coaching.

"He was like an encyclopedia" when it came to hockey, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said.

Worth half a billion

In its annual valuations of NHL teams, Forbes ranked the Flyers seventh, at $500 million. The Toronto Maple Leafs were No. 1, valued at $1.15 billion.

Breakaways

After the morning skate, Vinny Lecavalier said that he was looking forward to what will be an emotional return to Tampa Bay on Wednesday, but that his focus was on Monday's game. . . . Boxer Antonio Tarver posed for photos with several Flyers after the morning skate.

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