Tortorella insists Flyers' season isn't lost cause
John Tortorella may be viewing life through orange-colored glasses.
The Philadelphia Flyers head coach downplayed the notion that his team has nothing left to play for after a 6-3 win over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.
"Everybody thinks the season has been lost," Tortorella said. "We knew there was going to be pain this year. I respect our club. We stayed in it, competing up to the break."
Tortorella attributes the Flyers' descent to Travis Konecny's injury in late February. The talented forward hasn't returned yet, and despite missing the last 12 games, the 26-year-old still leads Philadelphia in goals and points by six and three, respectively. He's notched a career-high 27 tallies to go along with 27 helpers over 52 contests this season.
"Losing TK kicked the crap out of us," Tortorella said. "It was such a catalyst for us and we haven't found ourselves since."
The Flyers entered Wednesday with the NHL's sixth-worst record at 26-32-12, but the veteran bench boss isn't dwelling on his team's spot in the standings.
"No one likes being out (of the playoff race) like we are," Tortorella continued. "But as an organization and coaches and management, we have to look at what's gone on within the season. Forgetting about looking at the record, there has been some great development of our young guys."
Owen Tippett and Noah Cates - who are both 24 years old - and Joel Farabee, 23, have shown some promise as Philadelphia's top line. Tyson Foerster has a goal and four assists in six games with the team this season, and he's only 21. Morgan Frost, who'll turn 24 in May, has also shown flashes of skill up front, while 22-year-old defenseman Cam York is playing on the top pairing and No. 1 power-play unit.
Carter Hart had a .913 save percentage through his first 40 games of this campaign, but the 24-year-old goaltender posted a mark of .887 over his last 10.
Philadelphia is well back of the postseason hunt and would need to leapfrog six teams to earn a wild-card berth.