PHILADELPHIA -- When the Philadelphia Flyers went down 0-3 against the Boston Bruins in their Eastern Conference semifinal series (seems like that was a year ago now, doesn't it?), Peter Laviolette knew his team couldn't focus on the big, gaping hole they stared them in the face.
No, the Flyers had to take things one game at a time. Laviolette became known for the phrase "Can we beat the Boston Bruins tonight?" Not, "can we beat Boston four straight times?" Can we do it tonight?
And that's exactly what they did. They beat the Boston Bruins four straight times, but it was never looked at that way by the guys in orange and black. They saw themselves win four individual games against the Bruins, and they just happened to be in back-to-back-to-back-to-back fashion.
So as the Flyers prepare for yet another elimination game, their fifth this year if you include Game 82 of the regular season, they know what they have to do. They're not focusing on the Stanley Cup. They're not focusing on Game 7 on Friday. They're focusing on a home game against the Chicago Blackhawks on a Wednesday night in June.
"We can't win the Cup tonight," said Peter Laviolette after his team's morning skate here at Wachovia Center before Game 6. "We need to win one hockey game. I think it's important we keep our eye on the ball. That's the game, the minutes that are being played, every stride that's accounted for.
"I think what's really important is our preparation to how we play tonight. And if we focus solely on that, then I like our team. I'm confident in our team's ability to win a game."
Chris Pronger talked about his coach and this philosophy that's treated them so well thus far to this point.
"I think Peter, as I said in past press conferences, Peter has done an excellent job of keeping the guys on point and focused and understanding that we got to worry about one game," Pronger said on Tuesday's off day. "Not look at what can be the prize, whether it's a closeout game or you're trying to move on to the next series, or a position like this where our backs are against the walls.
"We have to focus on Game 6 and not worry about what's going to happen down the pipe. We have to make sure that we're worrying about our next shift and not what can happy if you get to a possible Game 7 or whatever."
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