Flyers talk at closedown day

Thanks to The Philly Phour

Courtesy of the Philadelphia Flyers

Flyers center Claude Giroux

Q: What do you see moving forward that you didn’t see two days ago?

“Everything happens pretty fast. It is not a good feeling when the season is over like that. Especially when you know our team could have made more damage. At the same time, we are a very young team and going into the beginning of the season with all of the new faces, new team and the way that this team came together, we had a pretty good season and got to second round. I think that is a good season. Obviously we are not satisfied, but it is a good start for what is going to come.”

Q: Comparing the end of this year to last year

“We made a lot of changes. At the start of the season I think yes. Like I said, we have a lot of young players and guys care for each other. We have a good group of guys here; guys want to play for each other. Like I said, we come to the rink every day and we are happy to be here. That is obviously a pretty good step.”

Q: On not being out there for the last game

“Yeah. When you see your team battle last game, they worked so hard and not being able to do anything about it. It is out of your control. Watching that game wasn’t a good feeling and I wish I could’ve been there to go battle with them.  At the same time, I have to put it behind me and keep moving forward.”

Q: Ending at the same time last year, does it feel different?

“It really does. This year, I don’t know, it is a little disappointing because we know we could have [done] more damage. As a team, we kind of grew and it is disappointing to be in this place right now, but we have to be positive and be sure to take a lot of things out of this.”

Q: On the possibility of being named Captain

“Yeah, I am not too sure what the plans are. I didn’t have a meeting with [Peter Laviolette] or Mr. [Paul] Holmgren yet. Whatever decisions they take, we will go from there.”

Q: Are you ready for it?

“If the time is right, yeah I think so.”

Q: Have you talked to Chris Pronger at all?

“In the last few days I haven’t seen him, so I don’t know.”

Q: Should Mike Richards and Jeff Carter go on to win the Stanley Cup, people are saying that ‘Oh yeah this trade is really working out’. What is the irony in that and how will you respond?

“I like Mike [Richards] and Jeff [Carter], they were good teammates to me. I hope the best for them and they are having a pretty good season right now. They are still in and going to the Conference Finals. That is good for them, but I don’t think they were bad trades at all. [Brayden] Schenn, [Sean Couturier], [Wayne] Simmonds and [Jakub Voracek] are a big part of this team. It is a different team without Jeff [Carter] and Mike [Richards], but at the same time I like our players. They are very good players and they are young. In the future, they are going to be even better. We are pretty excited.”

Q: Did you watch the Capitals vs. Ranger game?

“No. It is hard to watch those games. I don’t think I am going to be watching a lot of games in the future.”

Q: Can you talk about [Jaromir] Jagr’s contribution

“If you ask anyone on this team, everyone wants him back. He is a good team player and he has helped so many guys in this room on and off the ice. It would be great to have him back, but I am not sure what the plans are. He is that kind of teammate that you want on your team.”

Flyers center Max Talbot

Q: Max is it a sad day for you guys?

“Well its always a sad day, you reflect on the season, you sometimes look at the guys and some guys are not going to be back.  It’s never fun, you reflect on the season and then at the same time you need to be proud of yourself because we did great things.  But, I think that there’s 29 teams at the end of the year that are in that situation, there’s only one winner.  And 29 teams have to go through this, getting your equipment and saying goodbye to the guys, we’re in this game to win championships and every time that you fall short it’s disappointing.”

Q: Max in general terms, what do you guys need to go to the next level?

“Talking form experience I can definitely look at this year as a great step for this organization.,  Meaning that, when you look at all the rookies on this team that played in their first playoff game, I can go back 6 years ago with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and you look at the core we had that year and we got totally beat against the Ottawa Senators who went on to the Stanley Cup Finals, they were just too good for us we lost in the first round, five games and it went really quick.  So you look at the chance we had playing against Pittsburgh 6 games and then losing that way against the Devils with high expectations, so it’s disappointing but at the same time it stings.  What we can take from that is big for this team.”

Q: On what happened against the Devils…

”I think it’s too early to tell, you obviously think about it.  I’ve been thinking about it the last four games straight and it’s disappointing but we played against a good team.  The Devils, I don’t know what’s going to be next for them and if they are going to go all the way or what, but they’re a good team with an elite goaltender and they work hard and are working the system.  You’ve got to give them credit, at the same time it’s disappointing because I thought we could beat them.”

Q: Is this team better then you thought when you signed here, meaning that there were so many young kids and you guys ended up with more than 100 points to go into the second round?

“Definitely.  You sign with a team and you’re not sure how the chemistry is going to go and I think all through the start of the season, right now reflecting on it, the start of the season you think, okay when are we going to kind of stop playing well.  Everybody was talking about the chemistry and how it was going to gel together and I think we never really slowed down.  We were always really consistent, and we kept on improving.  All the rookies just stepped up all throughout the season. We had injuries, Chris Pronger our captain and you look at what we battled, it’s huge.  You look at it again, yes it’s disappointing but for years to come it’s great news that this room has a lot of character and we were able to battle through this, this year.”

Q: A lot of people think that Giroux is going to be the captain next year.  What kind of captain do you think he would be if they appoint him that?

“A great one.  I think he’s got it in him. You look at the playoffs, and even through the season, he was an elite player the whole season, one of the best in the league.  But, I think being a captain is not just being a good player.  It’s about character and it’s about, that’s why you call it leader.  Leading the guys in this dressing room, the trust of your teammate.  And I think Claude has definitely got that, he’s got the passion, he’s got the work ethic and he never takes a day off.  He’s a young guy, but that’s the great thing about being a captain, you would be it for years to come.  We’ll see what happens, but he would be ready to step up.”

Q: Question on Bryz adjusting…

“I think the last couple of months of the season we saw what kind of goalie he is.”

Flyers center Danny Briere

Q: Danny, a lot of the questions this morning considering concerned moving forward with the captaincy. Guys talked about Claude in that role…

“Honestly, I told you last summer, I think we make way too much of a big of a deal with it. Whatever they decide here, it’s going to be fine. With have many guys that can assume the role or not, so I’m not worried about it at all.”

Q: Danny, you weren’t able to come out and talk after the game the other night, can you talk about what you were going through at that point?

“Obviously there was lots of frustration. Especially frustration the way Game number 5 went, I think the Devils we all saw deserved to win, the way they played, the fore-check. In that game, there was a lot of frustration, because I was always – you know, growing up playoff hockey was always about warrior type games and players and there was a lot of frustration with the way that last game was played, with guys staying on the ice left and right and not missing a shift. Before, I said if I go out there and say something stupid, just not talk at this point. But overall, looking at the five games, they deserved it. They played hard, they fore-checked hard, they played it smart.”

Q: Do you think you guys overlooked New Jersey maybe coming off the big win over Pittsburgh . Would Chris Pronger had made a difference in that and maybe have gotten you guys in the right frame of mind if he was here…

“I don’t know. He’s another veteran that’s been through a lot. I don’t know, I never personally felt like this was going to be easy against New Jersey . There was something, I knew it was going to be tight checking and a lot more frustrating than against Pittsburgh. I mean I can’t talk for everyone in the room but I knew it was going to be a tough one. I expected, when people were asking me before, talking to my friends, I thought this was going to go 6 or 7 games. I thought we would come up on top obviously, but I was expecting a long tough series against them. The way they played surprised me.”
??Flyers RW Jaromir Jagr

Q:Have you made your decision yet?

“No I didn’t. The season ended two days ago.”

Q: How do you go about making that decision?

“You have to take a rest after the season. It was pretty long. Hopefully you get rested and I think it is up to my agent on what’s going to [happen]. Thanks to him I am here in the U.S. Last year, if he didn’t push me, I would probably stay in Europe . He told me it wold be a good idea to come back and play again. I am glad I listened to him because it was probably the best year and most fun I have had.”

Q:If you play in the NHL, is this where you want to be?

“Well I want to play in the NHL. I want to play somewhere when I know teams will want me to. Hopefully we are going to find some team where I can play. I still love the game and I think I am going to be better than I was this year. I have learned some stuff and the NHL has changed. You have to change with the NHL. You have to adjust some practicing and some little things to make you better. I learned a lot this year and I know what kind of direction I want to go to get better. If I come back, I know I am going to be better than I was last year.”

Q: Do you think that you may have over-trained this year?

“No, I don’t think I did. Against New Jersey , I think for whatever reason they were quicker and they were stronger. I don’t know. Me and the team didn’t have a problem against Pittsburgh . Against New Jersey , maybe we didn’t play smart enough or we were too spread; too close to each other. That’s what makes you kind of frustrated and more tired because you don’t have the puck. You are spending more energy for kind of nothing because you don’t have the puck. That is the toughest thing.”

Q: On possibly coming back to Philadelphia

“I don’t know what kind of direction Philadelphia is going to go. What is my situation going to be? I don’t think they know right now. We have a long summer to think about it and talk about it.”

Q: Were you disappointed to get taken off the top line for a little bit?

“It is tough…I wasn’t disappointed. Sometimes I wanted to play a little bit more, but it is fine with me. Sometimes I feel like I can be better and play a little bit more than I played. I think everyone feels that way. If I don’t feel that way, I shouldn’t be in the NHL. I have never been upset. Upset is not the right word. If I don’t play good, I am not going to go and I am going to work harder to prove I am still a good player.”

Q: Is Claude Giroux ready to be Captain?

“I think he is. I don’t know what the organization is going to do. Whatever he proves on ice, there is no question. He is one of the top players in the league. On the other side, I think he is a very likeable guy in the dressing room. He works hard every day. I think he is ready; he is not afraid to speak to the guys when he needs it. I was a captain. He is better than me at age 24. I don’t think I was ready when I was a captain. Plus, there is a lot of young guys. He doesn’t have to be afraid or ashamed to say something, because there are a lot of young guys. I know he is only 24 or 25, but he is probably older than half of the team. That is great.”

Q: If the Flyers reach out to you sometime soon, are you willing to commit sooner?

“It is very tough for me to talk right now. I said my feelings after the game about how I feel about the whole city and the whole organization. If I get ready, I want to get ready. I don’t want to just come back and just to sit here. I want to be better than I was this year. I truly believe I can do it if I practice the right way to get ready. I wasn’t here for three years. It is not easy. I didn’t play here for three years and the game is totally different than Europe . Hockey players, who play in Europe on the big ice, I always said this is a totally different sport with the same rules. It is totally different sport. It is not easy to go back after three years to adjust to the NHL. Plus, the NHL has changed a lot and I have learned a lot of stuff this year. I can use it for next year, that is for sure. Right now, I have to wait and see.”

Q:There was a lot of speculation that a lot of you guys were injured this year. Can you talk about that with yourself included?

“There are always injuries. I think the week between the first and second round helped us to heal, but on the other side guys couldn’t practice that much. Then you have to jump into games, but I think everyone has injuries in the playoffs. It is totally different hockey. You play on the edge. You have to play injured if you are injured. It is not just our team, it is any team where a lot of guys are injured that have to play.”

Q: You didn’t practice a couple of times, can you tell us why?

“I don’t want to talk about it. It is part of the game. It is normal. Before the series, I was confident that we could beat New Jersey . Maybe I was over-confident or we just didn’t play our best.”

Q:Do you think [Ilya Bryzgalov] will be better off next year?

“Any time you change a team and sign a big contract, it is not easy for anyone. It doesn’t matter what kind of player you are or how strong you are. It is tough. It is not easy and I know he is going to be a lot better next year. You don’t have to go very far, look at Albert Pujols. To me, he is the best baseball player in the world. He had a tough time in the first two months because he signed a big contract and changed teams. No one would probably think of that before the season, but that is what it is. You have to get used to the new team and coaches. Everything is totally new and I know he is going to get better. The second half of the season, he was good.”Q: Do you think [Ilya] Bryzgalov being told he had to tone down,  was needed?”Maybe the HBO thing didn’t help that much. He is not shy of the camera, that is for sure. He is a pretty intelligent guy and he reads a lot. He is always [going to] have a lot of stuff to say. Sometimes he was saying too much and people took advantage of it. He is going to learn like everyone else.”

Q: During the Pittsburgh series, did you talk to Mario [Lemeiux]?

“No.”

Flyers Left Wing Scott Hartnell

Q: Scottie is this a sad day?

“Yeah, it’s the last time we’ll be together as a group and it’s never a pleasant day.”

Q: You guys were eliminated in the same round last year, but does it feel different this time?

“Yeah, I think we believed as a group –every year you do—but we felt that we could beat the Devils and the way that we got beat was hard to take too. We didn’t think we were going to go down in 5 but that’s just the way it works and at this point it still hurts.”

Q: When you look at the season as a whole would you say you guys overachieved? Underachieved?

“I think it was a great season. There was obviously a lot of change, coming in here with new faces, the young guys and you never know how that’s going to turn out kind of like my first year here in Philadelphia . It was Danny B, Kimmo, Jason Smith, Lupul, all those guys were new guys and the chemistry that we had right away was great and the same thing happened this year. So, looking forward I like our chances of our guys getting some experience on them and having bigger and better years. “

Q: This was a career year for you personally. How do you prepare for an encore performance next year?

“Yeah, I think maybe I surprised myself a little bit too, just with the goals and that kind of stuff. I’m going to prepare the same way I have been all season and last summer as well, work your tail off and get in shape. You look at our team, there’s a lot of young kids that want to come in and knock you off and take your spot so that makes us old guys work that much harder to stay fit and stay at the top of your game.”

Q: Max said Claude would make a good captain if they appoint him, can you give us your thoughts on that?

“Yeah, Claude is a great guy off the ice and he’s a leader in our dressing room. Obviously one of the best players in the league, the best player on our team and you can really tell when he’s in the line up and he’s playing, he’s by far a big catalyst for our club. I’m not sure what the deal is with Prongs, if he’s coming back or not but looking ahead for this franchise, definitely, he’s going to be our leader, and our best player.”