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Flyers Daily: John Tortorella Gets High Marks; Florida’s Ekblad close to returning



John Tortorella (AP photo)
Photo: Zack Hill.

Give new Philadelphia Flyers coach John Tortorella props for his honesty.

He knows the Flyers, shorthanded by injuries and by a lineup that lacks snipers, are limited in what they can do. And he doesn’t try to hide it.

Tortorella’s team has overcome its shortcomings with great goaltending from Carter Hart, with a gritty style, with an all-out effort.

That didn’t happen much last season.

Tortorella knows with Sean Couturier, Cam Atkinson and James Van Riemsdyk among those who are sidelined, the Flyers are going to struggle offensively. Tuesday’s 1-0 overtime loss to the host New York Rangers was the second time they were shut out in the last four games.

So the young forwards — Morgan Frost, Noah Cates, Wade Allison, Owen Tippett, Kieffer Bellows et al — need to step up.

‘Baptism by fire’

“We got some guys baptism by fire — against one of the top teams in the league,” Tortorella said after the Flyers salvaged a point Tuesday against the much-superior Rangers. “We’re going to have to live through it.”

Translation: The offense will huff and puff to score goals. Even Torts seems surprised that the Flyers are 5-2-2.

“Carter is going to have to play like he did tonight,” he said. “He’s going to have to keep us in there.”

There will be a lot more games like Tuesday, when the Philadelphia Flyers were outshot, 36-19, and had a 73-40 disadvantage in shot attempts.

But unlike last season, the players have a better attitude, and they don’t accept losing.

Defenseman Tony DeAngelo was asked if the Flyers were satisfied to get a point in a game in which they were thoroughly outplayed.

“That would be a loser’s mentality,” he said. “We’re not looking to take one (point). We’re looking to take two. It’s a a winning league. You want to win, you don’t want to lose. We ended up losing tonight.”

You’ve got to love that attitude. It’s an attitude Tortorella has always had, and it’s rubbing off on his players.

Around the NHL and National Hockey Now

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Philly Hockey Now: Five observations from the Flyers’ 1-0 overtime loss to the Rangers, who dominated the game but were held in check by Carter Hart. Philadelphia Flyers.

Philly Hockey Now: Flyers newcomer Lukas Sedlak improved his game in the KHL. Philadelphia Flyers.

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