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Flyers’ Atkinson Calls Out Team Discipline, Effort: ‘It’s unacceptable,’

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Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers forward Cam Atkinson calls out the team following a disappointing 3-1 loss to the Rangers.

The Philadelphia Flyers are mortal, and they lost to a Stanley Cup contender. There’s no shame in that, unless the loss comes in the fashion that it came Friday afternoon.

The Flyers outshot the Rangers 37-19, and had more shots than their opponents in each of the three periods. Despite that, New York funneled in three goals on those 19 shots, whilst Philadelphia produced just one.

To make matters worse, the Philadelphia Flyers‘ power play went 0-for-6. Head coach John Tortorella wasn’t happy, and neither was his longtime forward Cam Atkinson.

“Just way too many odd-man rushes,” Tortorella said flatly. “We were nowhere to be found in our backchecking. . . we did not have any support”.

“I’m not gonna talk about the power play,” Tortorella said, directly before attempting to leave the podium. “Once I get away from you guys, I’m getting on the bus and going. Can I leave now? Thank you”.

Atkinson Calls Out Flyers Too

Atkinson, who played under Tortorella for multiple years with the Columbus Blue Jackets, also called out the Philadelphia Flyers‘ lack of discipline and effort, both defensively and on the power play.

“First period, we talked about it in between periods that we’ve never seen so many odd-man rushes come at us – 2-on-1s, 3-on-2s,” Atkinson started. “Our D are playing such a – they’re anticipating the play and trying to surf, and hoping that our forwards are covering for them. But the forwards were not, clearly,” he stated, matter-of-factly.

“We’re trying to cheat a little bit instead of erring out on the more cautious side and supporting our D,” the veteran added. “Everyone wants to make plays, but at the same time, you have to play defense first”.

Two of the Rangers’ three goals against the Flyers came from odd-man rushes, while their second goal came from a completely unforced Travis Sanheim error. Without the two lousy goals that were absent of backchecking, the Flyers are in a tied game at 1-1.

About the power play, Atkinson felt it was “Execution. Wanting the puck, wanting to make a difference, shooting the puck when there’s a shot that’s there. That’s it”.

“Guys just maybe weren’t ready to start that game,” the 34-year-old finished. “It’s unacceptable on our part”.

The Philadelphia Flyers are putting the pressure on themselves after their five-game win streak has come to an unceremonious halt.

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