Blame the players, not the coach.

That was general manager Paul Holmgren’s message Thursday after the Flyers fledging playoff hopes faded a little more following a 5-2 loss to the Devils on Thursday.

Is Laviolette on the hot seat?

“I don’t think so,” Holmgren replied. “The coaches have done a good job. Right now, our team needs to play better. We’re making a lot of mistakes. A lot from our lack of competitiveness. Our team needs to compete better. I don't like the way we're playing right now, but I don't necessarily blame that on the coach.”

Asked if the Flyers continue to lose games in the manner they have, would he revisit thinking of making a coaching change, Holmgren replied, “I haven't even thought about it. You guys keep asking these questions about the coach and it hasn't even entered my mind.”

Holmgren said the “competitive” aspect is entirely on the players.

“They’re the ones on the ice,” he said. “I don’t think we can let the players off the hook here."

He also said the Flyers are losing too many “battles” on the ice for pucks, positioning, etc.

“It comes down to one-on-one battles,” he said. “If you don’t win some of those battles, you’re probably gonna lose.”

He pointed to the Devils loss as an example.

“If there’s a hundred puck battles [there], I don’t know if we won a handful of them,” he said. “That’s got to get better.”