After a 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay on Monday, plus wins by the Devils and Winnipeg last night, the Flyers find themselves tied for 12th place in the Eastern Conference with the Bolts -- five points out of the last playoff spot which actually now constitutes a four-way tie between sixth and ninth place as Carolina, Toronto, the Rangers and Devils all have 32 points.
On Day Two of five straight days with no game action, the ideas swirling around in Paul Holmgren's head may be better left unsaid and best kept secret except to those in the inner sanctum.
Rosen asked all the big ticket questions and got some of what those of us familiar with the modus operandi of the franchise recognize as standard answers.
- Holmgren said Danny Briere has not been asked to waive his no-trade clause and the Flyers' GM said he hasn't spoken to other teams about him.
- Holmgren was sanguine about the Flyers' playoff chances: "You've got to jump over a lot of teams. I'm not saying it's insurmountable but it's a difficult task."
- Holmgren was asked if he would look to add this season to bolster his lineup for a playoff push. His answer, "Probably not."
- The classic non-answer answer: "If there is something there that will help us now and in the future I'd probably do that, but I'm not looking for anything."
Hate to break it to you, Mr. Rosen and fans who may not have much of a memory, but nothing there, on its face is "interesting," unless you head straight to the idea that what is expressed is 180 degrees away from what is planned. It's the same story virtually every season since Holmgren took the reins, and for most years before that in the time of Bob Clarke.
With five games from this Sunday until the April 3 trade deadline, the windmills of Homer's mind are working faster than turbines at the Hoover Dam.
The internal pressure to keep the Flyers "winners" in the strict sense of a team finishing with enough points to make the playoffs is reaching several atmospheres during this respite. The work is not done, and won't be done, even if there are no trades which will benefit whatever plan Holmgren has going forward.
And you can quote me on that.