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Flyers’ postscript: Provy turns sour, Coots and Ellis are upbeat, Hart says he needs to be better

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Ivan Provorov, Philadelphia Flyers
Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov (r) was testy during a question-and-answer session with the media Saturday. Photo: Zack Hill.

Ivan Provorov was aggravated with the questions, Sean Couturier was upbeat about returning from a back injury, Ryan Ellis said his medical problems have been figured out, and Carter Hart was critical of himself.

Welcome to the Philadelphia Flyers’ closeout day Saturday at their Voorhees practice facility.

Oh, and it’s official: Keith Yandle is retiring after a memorable 16-year career that included an NHL record: 989 straight games. Defenseman Nick Seller confirmed that Yandle was hanging up his skates. Yandle declined meeting with the media.

The Flyers (25-46-11) finished last in the Metropolitan Division. They have the NHL’s fourth-worst record, and it will become the third-worst if Seattle gets a point in its season-finale Sunday afternoon in Winnipeg. Yes, the Flyers should be rooting hard for Dave Hakstol’s Kraken.

Here are some snippets from the players’ interviews Saturday:

  • Ellis, 31, the centerpiece of the Flyers’ biggest offseason move last year, played in just four games because of a pelvic injury. He said his doctors have finally figured out the “multi-layered” problem, and that he won’t need surgery. Ellis will undergo treatments and be in the gym in about a month, and he hopes to be on the ice in six weeks or so.                      The veteran defenseman said the mental strain has been tough this season. “It’s been the toughest year of my life,” he said, adding he wants to play more than anything. Now that a medical plan is finally in place, he said, he was excited for the first time in months.
  • Hart, 23, who missed the last nine games because of an undisclosed lower-body injury, said he needs to be better. He finished with a 3.16 GAA and a .905 save percentage. “I definitely felt better this year, mentally, from last year,” he said. “But at the end of the day, I still need to be a lot better. Lot of ups and downs in my season in my consistency – for myself and for our team.” He said if the Flyers were in the playoffs, he would have been healthy enough to play.
  • Provorov got testy when asked if he was returning to Russia to train, and when asked how he would evaluate his season. “No matter what I say, you guys are going to give me your own grade,” he said. “It doesn’t matter. You’re all experts in hockey, so you’re going to give me all your super-experienced grades.” The sarcasm was dripping. “I don’t think my opinion really matters to you guys.”

From here, Provorov deserves a C or C-plus for a very uneven season in which he had 31 points and a minus-20 rating.

  •  Cam Atkinson, who was named the team’s MVP, said the season was “crappy.” He said it at least six times, and added he hoped GM Chuck Fletcher made some moves this summer to improve the team. “I want to be here. I want to win here. We will turn this thing around,” he said.

 

  • Fourth-line center Nate Thomson, a potential UFA, said he wants to continue playing and that he was “still chasing that shiny mug.”
  • Couturier said he wasn’t 100 percent healthy, “but I’m getting there” after back surgery. He expects to be at full strength when the 2022-23 season rolls around. There’s a good chance that when it does, he will be named the new captain.
  • Scott Laughton said Claude Giroux is doing fine in South Florida. “He sent me a picture of him in the pool yesterday,” Laughton said, smiling. He added that Giroux was “greatly underappreciated in this city.
  • Laughton also said the Philadelphia Flyers “have to be harder to play against” next season. He said when he returned from a concussion late in the season, the “pace of play was a little quick for me.”
  • Kevin Hayes got emotional when he talked about his close friend, Yandle, retiring. Here’s the video:

  • Hayes said it will be nice going to training camp in September knowing he’s healthy, unlike this season.
  • Oskar Lindblom, cancer survivor, said he is much stronger than at this time last season, “but I feel like I have a lot more to give.”

  • Joel Farabee said it was an “honor” to play a season with the the retiring Yandle.
  • Farabee said he gets the sense he will play wing next season – he seemed happy about that – but said he was glad he could show his versatility by playing some late-season games at center.
  • Travis Konecny said he doesn’t read social media and was unaware his name has been mentioned in trade rumors. He was not happy with his season (16 goals, team-high 52 points): “For me, my season was unacceptable, and I want to come back and do more next year,” he said. He said he turned down a chance to play for Canada at the Worlds to spend time with his young son.
  • Fesity RW Zack MacEwen said he felt “the love and support from the fans all season and that he fed off the crowd’s energy during his fights. “If I get people fired up, I get fired up,” said the potential RFA, who won the fan club’s Gene Hart award for showing the most heart on the team.
  • Seeler, a UFA, said he got positive feedback from management. He hopes to remain with the Flyers.
  • Patrick Brown said “fighting a bunch of fluky injuries” was difficult and he is “blessed to have another year on my contract” and come back better.
  • Center Morgan Frost said he now feels he belongs in the NHL. He gained lots of confidence late in the season, and had four points over the last five games. Frost and right winger Owen Tippett are close friends and had good chemistry together.
  • Defenseman Cam York revealed he had a hairline fracture in his foot from blocking an Alex Ovechkin shot. He should be fine for next season.
  • Even though the season is over, defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen still wouldn’t reveal the nature of his upper-body injury. “I thought I was bulletproof.,” he said. “I guess not.” He said he was close to 100 percent.
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JEFFERY SAVAGE

Scott Laughton was right on when he said during the Press Wrap-up today, that he thought that Claude Giroux was very much under-appreciated by by Flyers fans and the Flyers Organization in general. Glad to hear though the G is happy in FL. I liked Keith Yandle too, I hope he has a good retirement. Glad that Cam A. got the Clarke Trophy. I feel too for Sean C. if he is named the next Flyer’s Captain. Like G. said in one of the other media sources articles, “It was like carrying a ton of bricks.” And that he was glad to be relieved of that responsibility. As always, like your coverage of the Flyers. Keep up the good reporting.

J.S. Diehard Flyers\C. Giroux fan from Denver, CO

Bob

So what grade do you give yourself Sam?
Never mind, Thant was a stupid question.

Machete

Provorov stinks.

ERED

Provy has turned into a 3rd pair primadonna that earns first pair money!!!

Chris

Heh. Provorov took a page out of Leon Draisaitl’s book.

Ernest P. Worrell

Provorov wasn’t sour, he was clearly pissed at the results of the season. There was one moment of sour, which was totally manufactured by tge author of this article. When asked to keep questions about hockey and this season, the guy repeatedly goes on to ask Ivan about Russia etc. And you wonder why the guy doesn’t care to engage with some of the Philly media? Funny, that bit is left out…and weird how there’s only 1 player grade in this article too lol.

King of Thule

It’s shouldn’t surprise anybody that Sam left that part out and pretended like the russia comment was a one-off thing. The “sour” was definitely manufactured by our generous hockey expert here.

I would treat these media hacks like shit too if i was a pro player. Honestly, they deserve it for antagonizing the professionals and for pushing their political agenda into hockey.

carlo disabatino

Ivan you sucked this year if you can’t criticize yourself than I know your character time for you to go.oskar sorry you don’t have what it takes to be in the nhl.lets move on from theses guys.

Pete Lachall

I’m interested to hear what Laughton’s opinion about G being under-appreciated is based on. Like what more could the fans have done to support the guy. Seems like a completely unfounded jab at a fanbase who continues to support a team that continues to disappoint. I’d love for Laughton to experience playing any other NHL market so he could appreciate just how lucky he’s been to play in Philadelphia. I’ll pack his bags for him. F that guy. Man I hope he sees this somehow.

Michael

Hart doesnt need to be better he needs to be gone. A recidivist head case, horrible technique and the most horrific AVGGA and
Save % Goalie Stats in Flyers history.
#NOMAS.

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