Flyers

Jakub Voracek on Flyers' collapse: 'We got scared'

Jakub Voracek on Flyers' collapse: 'We got scared'

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It’s difficult to quantify what scenario is worse in hockey.

Having a team steamroll right through you in the opening 20 minutes like the Maple Leafs did last Saturday or suffering a remarkable collapse in the final 10 minutes on home ice against an inferior hockey team.

We’ve now witnessed both ends of hockey’s unbearable spectrum in a span of 72 hours.

It took all of five minutes and 29 seconds for the Senators to erase the Flyers' 3-1 lead Tuesday and take their first advantage with 2:59 remaining in regulation on their way to a 4-3 shocker at the Wells Fargo Center (see observations).

The Flyers' dressing room was simply stunned by what transpired.

“As soon as they got that second goal, we kind of got scared,” Jakub Voracek said. “Can’t do that. Every single team is going to jump on it. They gained the momentum and that’s what they did. It’s only one goal. It’s a one-goal game. I still don’t know what happened. I can't believe we lost that game.”

Voracek was brutally honest in his assessment of the Flyers' recent struggles, a 1-5-1 stretch over the last seven games and a team that has now plummeted to last place in the Eastern Conference (see standings).  

“I don’t think it’s focus. I think it’s the way things are going right now,” Voracek said. “Everything we touch just doesn’t work. But like I said, nobody gives a damn what kind of position we are in. Feels like we got scared. We started slamming pucks everywhere along the ice instead of holding it and making a hard play. We’re just whacking at it. It’s not a good thing.”

Certainly, the Flyers had a frail Senators team right where they wanted it with Ottawa having played the night before, losing, 4-2, to the Rangers. The Flyers entered well-rested with two days in between games. None of that really matters when self-doubt appears to have crept into the team’s overall psyche.

“I think these are mistakes by a team that doesn’t have confidence, which we don’t have right now,” Voracek said. “There’s nobody to blame but us. Up 3-1 against a team that played yesterday, no matter what kind of position you are mentally, you have to find a way to win that game. We didn’t.”

Until the final 10 minutes of the third period, the Flyers didn’t have to lean too heavily on goaltender Anthony Stolarz, who was making his first start in over 18 months. Two goals were deflections, one goal Stolarz couldn’t locate on his pads, and the game-winner was Matt Duchene’s impressive rebound backhand shot that Stolarz was slow to react to (see highlights).

“Usually, I always slide into the post like that,” Stolarz said. "You want to stay down in case the guy comes back at it quick. You don’t want to be on your feet and he’ll beat you low. Credit to him, he made a good play getting it back to the net. As a goalie, you’re going to want that one back.”

As a team, it’s a game the Flyers certainly want back, and one they desperately needed. 

The Flyers are a fragile team heading into Pittsburgh Saturday, and the thought of playing scared against the powerful Penguins should be frightening to every player in that locker room.

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The first week of Gritty's daytime mini show was simply incredible

The first week of Gritty's daytime mini show was simply incredible

Gritty has remained a constant form of entertainment all throughout the week, thanks to his new show, “Gritty’s Quarter Hour of Power!” 

The show is just like the name — every day this week, Gritty has hopped on Instagram Live to fulfill tasks and play games with the team’s in-arena host Andrea Helfrich and even a guest star or two. 

Since the streams are only available for 24 hours following the initial air date, I figured it would make sense to break everything down if you had missed any days. 

Let’s just say, this has certainly been one of the top highlights of the week. 

Let’s dive on in! 

Monday — the great game of Jenga

Gritty started off the week on a high note, playing a jumbo size game of Jenga by himself. Throughout the game, fans were getting shoutouts, squeaks from the favorite mascot and some quality entertainment. 

Even Scott Hartnell joined in on the fun and small talk with the mascot. Luckily, you can catch up on Day 1 right here


Tuesday — lunchtime 

It seems like everyone is cooking with all of the free time on their hands — even Bernie Parent is enjoying time in the kitchen making macaroni from scratch. 

Gritty on the other paw, decided to make a lunch classic — peanut butter and jelly. We learned a few things about Gritty in this video: 

-He is a grape jelly mascot
-He prefers the bread to be toasted
-The crust HAS to be cut off
-Grapes are the secret ingredient to his sandwich 

And boy was the concentration real in this video. I thought that one time Gritty had an axe was scary but after evaluating his pristine surgical skills on those grapes, I somehow feel more content. 

Wednesday — Pictionary

Next on the agenda was another classic game, good old charades. Gritty was acting everything out, while Helfrich and the fans that tuned in to watch, joined in on guessing what was on the cards. 

Gritty’s roommate, Kevin Hayes entered the chat — saying hi to his friend and taking a crack at a few guesses as well. 

This sparked the wonderful idea for Thursday’s episode. 

Thursday — The first guest star

For the first time of the week, Gritty had a new co-host — Hayes. Since this was Hayes’ first time on the show, his pal made sure he was well-prepared with what to say. Gritty held up cue cards so the former ref could welcome the fans to the show for the day. 

Funny enough, throughout this round of charades, Derek Grant and Carsen Twarynski joined in guessing in the comments — and a few troll comments here and there. 


We also found out that Hayes is a big fan of karaoke — but who’s surprised there? Maybe soon we’ll get another guest appearance with a karaoke session featuring Gritty playing the paws (get it? Since his paws squeak and he can’t talk? I think you get it). 

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The Best One yet featuring @kphayes12.

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Friday — Yoga (or a seance?) 

Now Friday … Friday was an odd one — mainly due to the fact Gritty spent the opening minutes with calm music playing in the complete dark. 

Eventually, we were able to see the mascot, thanks him lighting up a line of very small candles in front of him. Yes, in one week we have seen Gritty with a knife and fire. 

Luckily, since he didn’t go up in flames, we were able to witness a yoga session. According to Helfrich, Gritty does yoga all of the time so we were technically watching a pro … even though before the additional light of the lantern it looked like something straight out of a horror film. 

This entertaining daytime show will be back next week with new ideas and guests. One of the comments suggested Gritty painting Bob Ross style and now it just has to happen. My fingers are crossed.

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Flyers Talk podcast: Analyzing scenarios for Stanley Cup Playoffs

Flyers Talk podcast: Analyzing scenarios for Stanley Cup Playoffs

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall are joined by Joe Fordyce, the Flyers Pre and Postgame Live producer.

From multiple interviews to the format of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, let's dive in:

1:25 — Kevin Hayes talks all things Flyers and the NHL stoppage

7:30 — No fans during the Stanley Cup Playoffs?

14:50 — An interview with Rick Tocchet and Keith Jones

18:00 — Should the NHL change the playoff format?

24:00 — Life without Flyers hockey right now

30:30 — Debating our all-time Flyers team

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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