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intheslot

Flyers Training Camp Roster

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For the first time since March 11, a span of 124 days, the Flyers were back at Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone on Monday to hold formal training camp practices as they gear up for the return-to-play 24-team tournament.

The Flyers are allowed a max of 30 skaters and an unlimited number of goalies for training camp, which will be held over the next two weeks before the team travels to its Eastern Conference hub city Toronto. Come the tournament, the Flyers' roster can consist of at most 31 players, which includes goalies.

Practice begins at 10:30 a.m. ET Monday and all camp sessions are not open to the public. The Flyers will have one group of players practice from 10:30 am. to 11:30 a.m., and a second group practice from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. The team will release the list of players in each group later in the morning.  

For more information on the Flyers' tournament schedule and key dates ahead, 

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.

Below is the Flyers' camp roster:

Forwards

Andy Andreoff, No. 10
Nicolas Aube-Kubel, No. 62    
Connor Bunnaman, No. 82     
Sean Couturier, No. 14
Joel Farabee, No. 49
Morgan Frost, No. 48
Claude Giroux, No. 28
Derek Grant, No. 38
Kevin Hayes, No. 13
Travis Konecny, No. 11
Scott Laughton, No. 21
Tyler Pitlick, No. 18
Michael Raffl, No. 12
Nate Thompson, No. 44
Carsen Twarynski, No. 81
James van Riemsdyk, No. 25  
German Rubtsov, No. 50
Jakub Voracek, No. 93   

Defensemen

Justin Braun, No. 61
Mark Friedman, No. 59    
Shayne Gostisbehere, No. 53
Robert Hagg, No. 8
Philippe Myers, No. 5
Matt Niskanen, No. 15
Nate Prosser, No. 39
Ivan Provorov, No. 9
Travis Sanheim, No. 6
Andy Welinski, No. 3
Tyler Wotherspoon, No. 26
Egor Zamula, No. 54

Goalies

Brian Elliott, No. 37
Carter Hart, No. 79
Alex Lyon, No. 34
Kirill Ustimenko, No. 67

Thoughts.......

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I just posted this information in the Flyers thread didn't know there was already a thread about it.

 

This should be moved the appropriate thread not in the general section. Maybe one of the mods can move it.

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ttps://www.nhl.com/flyers/news/training-camp-day-1-what-went-on/c-317400752

 

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The Flyers had a full array of players -- all 30 skaters and four goaltenders on the Phase 3 roster were present and accounted for -- on the ice for the first day of formal training camp at the Skate Zone in Voorhees as Phase 3 on the NHL's return-to-play plan got underway on Monday. Players were divided into to two groups (A and B) on the ice.

As would be expected on the first day back after a four-month pause to the season, the pace was a bit slower than normal. There were rusty hands and less skating stamina on display at times during the series of skating, line rush, and breakout drills in both sessions. Monday was also the first day that, by league rule during the Covid-19 pandemic, head coach Alain Vigneault and his assistants were permitted to be back on the ice with the players during on-ice sessions. 

Time is of the essence, though, not just for the Flyers but or all 24 teams participating in postseason play. There are just 13 days until the Flyers report to the Secure Zone in Toronto, 18 days until the team opens its round-robin segment with a meeting against the President's Trophy winning Boston Bruins and 27 days until Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Here is some news, notes and quotes from Day 1 of practice.

VIGNEAULT GIVES CAMP PLAN OVERVIEW

In between the first and second sessions, Vigneault spoke remotely with the beat writers. The Flyers head coach laid out a rough sketch of the plan for camp. An outline:

* The second and third days of camp will also be conducted in a two-group format. On Day 1, there was less pre-practice discussion of what drills would take place during practice than there normally is. Correspondingly, there were more pauses for white-board diagramming than Vigneault typically prefers.

* Overall, the purpose of the early days is to get a baseline on where each camp participant is in terms of conditioning, timing, etc. Exactly 11 minutes into the Group A and Group B sessions, players took their first water break. 

* After that, there will be more systems work brought into the mix as well as more demanding pacing.

* In the latter phases of camp, the team may engage in a couple of intrasquad scrimmages.

Vigneault said that his main goal is to get ready for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Aug. 11.  

* During the round-robin phase, the coaching staff plans to look at a wider array of personnel in different situations than he would during the regular season or come Game 1 of the playoffs. The goal will be to get work for players in order to be ready to contribute. The objective is to have the best (and most ready to play) group of players in the starting lineup for Game 1 of the playoffs. 

"I liked what I saw from our players today, but I did tell them that we were going to go progressively. If you noticed today during practice we went to the board, we didn't pre-ice practice before today because we wanted to do this progressively. We're not quite sure what people had the opportunity to do during COVID. Some guys had gyms at home. Some guys were able to find ice time and etcetera. We're not quite sure where everyone is as far as conditioning-wise and as far as where they are with their timing on the ice and conditioning on the ice. What we want to do is we want to be real smart about this and we want to be scientific about this. I've sat down with Ozzy and Dan and Jimmy," Vigneault said.

"We sort of laid out what the science says and we're going to progress through different stages of things we need to do of skill and conditioning on the ice, technical and tactical things we need to do on the ice. We're going to put it all together. We have 30 days to be smart. We need to use the science we have available. That's what we are going to do. Once we got the dates about Phase 2 and when Phase 3 was going to start and Phase 4. 

"As a staff, we got excited about the opportunity to come back and compete for the Stanley Cup. We've been talking almost every day for the last three weeks on a regular basis with the conditioning guys, with Jimmy and Sal, our athletic therapist guys about what we needed to do with our group, not knowing what everyone had available during COVID. We got a plan laid out. It's precise. I think it's science-based. I believe it's going to work."

GROUP A REPORT

With a handful of mask-wearing teammates from Group B standing behind the glass at the far side of the rink, the Group A segment of Monday's practice took the ice and began the first drills around 11 a.m. ET. 

Goalie Alex Lyon was the first player out on the ice. Group A consisted of nine forwards, six defensemen, and two goalies. There were seven Black Aces recalls among the players on the ice.

FORWARDS: 

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, Claude Giroux,Jakub Voracek, 

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, 

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, 

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, Morgan Frost, Andy Andreoff, Nicolas Aube-Kubel.

DEFENSE: 

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, 

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, Robert Hägg, 

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, Tyler Wotherspoon, Nate Prosser.

GOALIES: 

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, Alex Lyon.

Session highlight: During a line-rush drill, Frost slid a cross-ice pass to Giroux, who fired a one-timer over Hart from near the left hash marks as the goalie moved across.

Matt Niskanen on Day 1: "I hope we just gradually get better and better. It's hard to replicate [game speed and conditions] in small groups or on your own. ..,Some guys had a lot access to skate, some guys not much at all. I think practice reps will get faster and cleaner as we go along."

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 on Day 1: "You can practice as much as you want. When the games start, the speed is different. ... Everyone is starting from Point A. It's a unique situation. It's up to us to get back the momentum as much as we can."

GROUP B REPORT

There were the same numerical distribution of players -- nine forwards, six defensemen and two goalies -- in Group B as in Group A. Among these were various Black Aces who have been added to the 30-skater roster (goalies do not count against the limit, per return-to-play rules) for the postseason.

Veteran goalie 

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 looked particularly good in this session, especially in light of it being the first day of camp. He came up with most of his saves cleanly. In the latter part of the session, he was momentarily shaken up after he took a shot off the mask. Elliott got up quickly and was fine afterwards.

Back in January, 

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 underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. After Monday's practice, he said that he is seven weeks removed from a similar procedure on his other knee. It was a nagging issue that stemmed from overcompensating from the original left knee issue and got to the point where it, too needed to taken care of via arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilige. He did not have much chance to skate until recently, but felt the first practice was a good start. 

FORWARDS:Kevin Hayes, 

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, 

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, 

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, Tyler, Pitlick, 

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, 

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, Connor Bunnaman, Carsen Twarynski

DEFENSE: 

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, Phil Myers, Shayne Gostisbehere, Mark Friedman, Andy Welinski, Egor Zamula

GOALIES: Brian Elliott, Kirill Ustimenko

Session Highlight: It took a few tries to get the execution down, but it clicked nicely when 

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 shot at Elliott's skates, and the puck rebounded directly to Joel Farabee to stash in the net. 

Shayne Gostisbehere on Day 1: "Obviously, my ultimate goal is to get back in the lineup, and contribute. .... I'm working my way back, just grinding along. I'm not going to feel sorry for myself. There's a lot going on in the world right now." 

Travis Konecny on Day 1: "I skated here a little bit before training camp. Definitely not as much as I would do before a normal training camp, but I got in what I could. ...Right now, I feel good. Health wise, I feel good. On the ice, the conditioning's gotta get better. ... I think, honestly, guys were pretty in sync." 

FLETCHER DISCUSSES PATRICK'S STATUS, ROSTER

In between the Group A and Group B sessions, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher gave an update on the status of center Nolan Patrick. The 21-year-old missed the entire regular season due to chronic migraine syndrome.

 "Our focus is on getting him ready for the 2020-21 season. We want to be prudent and prioritize his health and safety in the long run. We have a short runway here before we jump right into playoff hockey," Fletcher said. 

As with Vigneault, Fletcher said it was important not to overestimate the importance of the round-robin games ahead of the start of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The Flyers, he said, would play to win and potentially reap the benefits of earning the 1st, 2nd or 3rd seed in the East, but not at the detriment of evaluating the potential starting lineup for the start of the playoffs as well as having game-ready depth players.

In terms of picking the extra skaters who were recalled to make up the 30-man skater limit, Fletcher said there were several other players who were considered for the final roster, including forwards David Kase, Isaac Ratcliffe an veteran 

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 as well as defenseman Chris Bigras. 

Among the group of players chosen, most (with the exceptions of Egor Zamula and Ustimenko) either saw some NHL action with the Flyers earlier this season or have previous NHL experience.

Fletcher noted that center Mikhail Vorobyev gave the organization advanced notice of his intention to return to Russia and play in the KHL next season. Thus, he was taken out of consideration for a roster spot. However, the organization is OK with Vorobyev's decision, as Fletcher noted that the objective is to do what's best for the player as well as for the team. 

FRIEDMAN SIGNED

Shortly after the Group B players stepped on the ice, the Flyers announced that defenseman Mark Friedman, a prospective restricted free agent this off-season, has been re-signed to a two-year extension. The deal is a one-way contract with an average annual value of $725,000. The deal expires after the 2021-22 season.

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We now know when and who the Flyers will play in their exhibition game: the Penguins. The NHL also released the start time for the Flyers' round-robin opener against the Bruins.

Here are the details so far, while broadcast information is to be announced on another date:

Flyers vs. Penguins, Tuesday, July 28 — 4 p.m. ET (exhibition)

Flyers vs. Bruins, Sunday, Aug. 2 — 3 p.m. ET (round robin)

Flyers vs. Capitals, Thursday, Aug. 6 — TBD (round robin)

Flyers vs. Lightning, Sunday, Aug. 9 — TBD (round robin)

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Day 2: Konecny Getting Back up to Speed

Now that camp is here, Konecny is excited to be back but realizes there will be a process involved to get game-ready

by Bill Meltzer 

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 / philadelphiaflyers.com
 July 14, 2020
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Back in September of 2019, Flyers right winger Travis Konency had a slightly belated start to training camp while his agent and Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher hammered out an agreement on a new six-year contract that will run through the 2024-25 season.

Konecny didn't miss a beat. He paid immediate dividends as he led the Flyers in scoring during the 2019-20 regular season, and won the Toyota Cup for the most three-star selection points over the course of the campaign. 

Then things came to an abrupt halt, due to the NHL's leaguewide stoppage due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As with the majority of players, there wasn't much Konecny was able to do in terms of keeping up his skating conditioning until Phase 3 (formal training camps) of the NHL's return-to-play plan drew near.

Now that camp is here, Konecny is excited to be back but realizes there will be a process involved to get game-ready for the round-robin (Aug 2) and the eventual start of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Aug. 11.

"I was able to skate a couple weeks before I came back here. Then I skated here a little bit before the training camp. Definitely not as much as I would have gotten in during a regular summer. I did the best that I could do for what I was working with," Konecny said on Day 1. 

On Day 2, Konecny remained on the same line he skated on during Monday's session. He skated with 

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 at center and 

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 on their left wing. As expected, there was still some rust showing in most of the players on the ice. At one point, Konency was tempted to smash his stick on the glass but then thought better of it and simply tapped the glass.

However, as the Day 2 session progressed, things got smoother and the pacing picked up a bit. It was a productive overall session. For his part, Konecny is just happy to be back on the ice and back with his teammates, and knows the rest with come with repetition.

"Right now, I feel good. Health-wise, I am good. As far as on the ice, conditioning needs to get up I was fortunate that I was in a good spot and I was healthy for the whole process. That's kind of where I'm at. Good to be back," Konecny said.

"I think guys were pretty in sync. They know how fast we need to get back into things. We know there's not that big time period where you know you have that time to get where you need to go. You need to be sharp right away."

The fact that Covid-19 cases are significantly lower in Canada than in the United States has given the NHL an opportunity to identify two Canadian cities -- Toronto and Edmonton -- as the "hub cities" for the postseason. Getting players through Phase 3 healthy before traveling to Canada is the No. 1 objective in conjunction with getting teams hockey ready.

Konecny admits however, that even being in Canada during the self-quarantine (Phase 1) portion of the stoppage was not a safe harbor from concern about the viability of a return to play. It was only after Canada seemed to get the situation relatively under control that he was able to more fully turn his focus to completing the season.

"Looking at how bad things were getting, you start thinking about family and friends before hockey. So at that point, I wasn't sure where the season was going to go. Once things were starting to get under control and we were able to get back here, there's a lot of excitement going through the group chats. We're definitely excited to be here now," Konecny said on Monday.

"I think for the most part, being here, I've kind of accepted that [contracting Covid-19] is a possibility. There is a chance that you could definitely get it. There's no more possibility than being anywhere else. You are almost safer here because you are testing so often. There are definitely those false positives. I kind of expect those to pop up as well. We just do our best to stay safe and try to avoid that stuff as much as possible."

In terms of what life in the Secure Zone "bubble" will be like once the Flyers and the other participating Eastern Conference teams arrive in Toronto, the player concedes that he expects it feel strange for a while.

"I don't know. It's definitely going to be a different environment. I know the hockey world's very small. You end up knowing a majority of the guys, whether it's personally or a friend of a friend. It's definitely going to be a little different being around them all the time. I'm sure once you are on the ice, it will be back to normal. I'm going to stay away from the chirps as much as possible. I'll leave it to 'Laughts'," he said.

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Here are three observations on what we've learned through the first three days of the Flyers' training camp, and a preview of three things to watch over the duration of camp and the resumption of games as Phase 4 approaches.

WHAT WE'VE LEARNED

1. Players had varying pre-camp conditioning levels.

Not just with the Flyers but with all 24 teams that will take part in postseason play, players took the ice on Day 1 of camp with much more widely divergent levels of pre-camp skating and gym work than would typically be found at the beginning of a typical September camp.

This was, of course, entirely due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. There were varying degrees of restrictions in the U.S. states, Canadian provinces and European countries where players stayed during Phase 1 (self-quarantine) of the NHL's pause. 

Some Flyers players had regular access to gym facilities, while others had to make due with body weight exercises and a stationary bike. A few players had access to skate at local rinks even during Phase 1 while others were unable to set foot on the ice until small-group workouts commenced in Phase 2. 

For these reasons, head coach Alain Vigneault, his assistant coaches. veteran director of medical services Jim McCrossin, strength and conditioning program manager Chris Osmond and assistant strength and conditioning coach Dan Warnke, and sports science personnel used the start of camp to assess where each player is in terms of individual fitness. The intensity of the on-ice sessions started out slowly -- with added time between drills built in -- on Day 1 and was taken up a notch each of the next two days. 

On the first day of camp, Vigneault gave a detailed explanation of the process.

"I did tell [our players] that we were going to go progressively. If you noticed today during practice we went to the board, we didn't pre-ice practice before today because we wanted to do this progressively. We're not quite sure what people had the opportunity to do during COVID. Some guys had gyms at home. Some guys were able to find ice time and etcetera. We're not quite sure where everyone is as far as conditioning-wise and as far as where they are with their timing on the ice and conditioning on the ice. What we want to do is we want to be real smart about this and we want to be scientific about this," Vigneault said.

"I've sat down with Ozzy and Dan and Jimmy. We sort of laid out what the science says and we're going to progress through different stages of things we need to do of skill and conditioning on the ice, technical and tactical things we need to do on the ice. We're going to put it all together. We have thirty days to be smart. We need to use the science we have available. That's what we are going to do. ... As a staff, we got excited about the opportunity to come back and compete for the Stanley Cup. We've been talking almost every day for the last three weeks on a regular basis with the conditioning guys, with Jimmy and Sal [Raffa], our athletic therapist guys about what we needed to do with our group, not knowing what everyone had available during COVID. We got a plan laid out. It's precise. I think it's science-based. I believe it's going to work."

By the end of Day 3, many players in camp felt they were in a good place in terms of conditioning, relative to what they thought the norms might be early in camp.

"I think this is the strongest team I've been on since I got over here. We improved over the course of last season and put us in a real good spot towards the end. Obviously that four month break didn't help, but I was surprised at the shape the boys are in when they came in for the camp. The pace has been really good the last three days. I was a little bit surprised. It was a really good feeling and I think the boys are ready to go," 

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 said.

2. Players are still shaking off rust, rebuilding a rhythm.

Multiple Flyers players said over the first three days of camp that it was unrealistic for any team to simply pick right back up where they left off at the start of the pause. That was unfortunate in the Flyers' case, because the Flyers were the hottest team in the entire NHL over the final 26 games before the regular season came to an abrupt halt (and then to an official end, once Phases 2, 3, and 4 of the return-to-play plan were agreed upon by the NHL Board of Governors and the Players' Association). 

There were three key components to getting physically ready for the grind of the playoffs: 1) the aforementioned aspect of regaining game-ready conditioning levels; 2) recovery of execution levels for passing and shooting levels for shooters, puck tracking and save selections for goaltenders, and read-and-react sharpness for everyone; and 3) refreshers on systems and communications to get everyone back in sync and restore chemistry on the ice. 

On the first day of camp veteran defenseman 

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 spoke to each facet of the process. 

"I think practice reps are going to get better fast. I think already by [Day 2], I think everything will be cleaner. I am assuming the coaches are going to be putting us in more game situations where there's defenders, too. A lot of the stuff we did today was just reps passing the puck with no defenders. That's where I think your timing and your feel for the game is going to get tested. That might take some reps," Niskanen said. 

"It's hard to replicate in small groups or by yourself or just a couple guys the timing or the feel of the game. That's going to take some reps and some time. Hopefully that exhibition game and obviously those three games are for seeding, but we're going to view that as we need to get better each game. When that first round hits, everybody's got a good feel for the game back again and feel for your linemates. Everybody gets on the same page again on how we want to play and what the systems are. Our trigger moments and all that good stuff. It's going to be a process. We are not there yet. It's going to be hard to replicate with just reps. We'll get better and better."

As Niskanen predicted, the passing was a little more precise and the players' skating stamina over the duration of the time on the ice was better on Day 2 than Day 1, and then further improved on Day 3.

Here's an example of the process: On Day 3, Niskanen defended a 2-on-1 rush where rookie center Morgan Frost was the puck carrier and Andy Andreoff steamed down the wing. Niskanen expertly cut off the passing lane. Realizing that he couldn't pass, Frost hesitated momentarily to ponder a shot attempt. In the meantime, Niskanen took the opportunity to poke-check the puck away to safety. A defenseman can scarcely play a 2-on-1 better than that, whether it's in a practice or a game.

By design, the third aspect -- systems -- have not yet been part of the practices. There have been a lot of breakout drills with short-range, medium-range and stretch passes, but not against live "forecheckers" assigned to disrupt the play and force turnovers. Nor has there been any special teams work. Those elements are up next on the camp agenda.For more, see the "What's to Come" section of the article.

3) Flyers remain a very close-knit team.

Not every hockey locker room atmosphere is created equal in terms of ensuring mutual accountability and balancing the need to focus on winning with the need to deal with the built-in stresses and pressure to win. One of the most pleasant developments this season for the Flyers is how smoothly new players fit in off the ice as well as on the ice. 

To a man, the Flyers of 2019-20 have been a team where the players genuinely like one another, and want to play that much harder for each other. That includes the goaltenders and skaters alike. It's when the group chemistry meets at the cross-section of professionalism and friendship, and hits the right balance of seriousness and levity that there's a truly good mix in the room. It's not something that can be artificially manufactured and it's not just about the collection of individual talents and depth on a roster (although that is clearly the single most vital part of a successful team, along with skilled coaching). 

Veteran defenseman 

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 spent his entire career until this season in the San Jose Sharks organization. He loved his years with the Sharks, who were a perennial Stanley Cup contender during his stint, but Braun also sees something special with the team he joined in Philadelphia.

"It was different obviously. You've got good relationships with everyone from the team you are coming from. You've got equity with the boys. You've played a lot of games, been through a lot of stuff. It's a little difficult coming in here and trying to find your footing and feel like a part of the boys. But the group here is great. One of the tighter groups I've ever been around. We're having a great time on and off the ice. Everyone holds each other accountable. It's been a really fun season. I think that's why we are having a lot of success because guys trust and believe in each other," Braun said.

In the meantime, veteran forward Raffl is one of the longest-tenured players on the Flyers. Only 

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 and 

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 have been with the team longer on a continuous basis (i.e., 

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 is in his second Flyers stint). While recent past editions of the Flyers have also gotten along well internally, the dressing room atmosphere that has emerged this year has been one where players love to come to the rink and winning is expected. 

"The core of the group has been pretty much the same here. We've all been really close friends over the course of the last few seasons. We had some really good hockey players coming in last year and helping us out. As I said, this team is really good off the ice and even stronger on the ice. We have a great bond. I am not even nervous going into a bubble for two months with these guys. It should be a good time," Raffl said.

On some hockey teams, there are cliques. On others, there are a few players with the reputation for being thin-skinned. In particular, some goaltenders have a reputation for crankiness if disturbed at the wrong moment. On the current Flyers, goalie 

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 has become a "little brother" of sorts to most of the veterans even as his NHL career has taken off.

"He's still the same kid off the ice; a young innocent kid that everyone's making fun of, so that's a good sign. If you're getting made fun of, that means people like you. It's a good thing. Obviously he was one of the best goalies in the league at this early stage of his career. We're real lucky to have him on our team and I can't wait to see what the future holds for him," Voracek said of Hart after Day 2 of camp. 

This year's Flyers roster composition where there has been a significant blend of older veterans, younger vets (such as 

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 and Travis Konency) and rookie or second-year pros. Players such as 

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 and Konecny regularly inject humor and levity, but the daily good-natured chirping and teasing gives way to becoming serious and demanding as needed; a reflection of coach Vigneault's own personality as well as the players'. 

There's a lot of verbal give-and-take on teams with good chemistry; directed in a productive way. On the ice during Day 2, 

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 (the Flyers' most active chirper) teased Robert Hägg when the defenseman clanged a straight-on shot at an empty net off the post from about 10 feet away. Hägg smiled as he skated off. Later, Laughton's timing wasn't quite right on a touch-pass exchange, and linemate 

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 couldn't get it to settle before it hopped away. Now it was Laughton's turn to grin and bear it when Hägg apparently sent a quip back his way. 

WHAT'S TO COME

1. A shift to different combos and combined groups.

On each of the first three days of camp, the Flyers used identically structured split-group sessions. Both Group A and Group B used setups of nine forwards, six defensemen and two goalies. The same line combinations were used on all three days. Drills were run in the same order and for the same duration, with water breaks and white-board sessions at the same intervals for each. On Days 1, 2, and 3, the combinations were as follows:

GROUP A LINES

Claude Giroux - 

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 - Jakub Voracek
James van Riemsdyk - Scott Laughton -Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Andy Andreoff - Morgan Frost - German Rubtsov

Ivan Provorov - Matt Niskanen
Robert Hägg - Justin Braun
Tyler Wotherspoon - Nate Prosser

Carter Hart
Alex Lyon

GROUP B LINES

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 - Kevin Hayes - 

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Michael Raffl - 

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 - 

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Connor Bunnaman - 

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 - Carsen Twarynski

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 - Phil Myers

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 - Mark Friedman
Egor Zamula - Andy Welinski

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Kirill Ustimenko

Come Friday, Vigneault plans to look at some different combinations of players. According to the plan he described on Day 1, the next session will feature four forward lines, while the other will have two forward lines. Additionally, the two rinks at the Skate Zone will be in use simultaneously.for 30 minutes (Group A on the "Flyers rink" and Group B on the "Phantoms rink") and then the two groups will combine into one on the Flyers' rink on the left side of the Skate Zone facility. Vigneault explained his rationale after Day 2.

"What I wanted was three lines in each group and six D in each group. I would say to you that come past Thursday or Friday, there will be some changes - two groups, but one with four lines and the other with two… and then both groups are going to meet so we get to the bulk of our practice where we have a 1-3 ratio… basically six groups of five players. We did this planning for the first three days so our guys would get more reps. We talked about the intensity that would be needed. [On Day 1]. we went around 55 minutes, today we went about 42 minutes but at a higher pace. So we sort of laid out what we want to do. They're getting more puck touches, smaller groups , smaller numbers, and then we're going to phase in to the other aspects of what we need to get into starting Friday. Long answer, but don't read too much into the lines or the D-pairs," Vigneault said.

While there will be line juggling and experimentation moving forward in camp, it should be noted that many of the line combinations -- and all three primary defense pairings -- the Flyers had in place around the time of the leaguewide pause were reflected directly in the combinations featured on the first three days of camp. 

2. Systems refreshers and scrimmages.

After the off-day on Day 4 of camp, the emphasis areas of practices will shift a bit when everyone reconvenes on the ice on Friday. The Day 5 session, for the first time, will reinstitute systems-based work -- schematic breakouts and forechecking drills, faceoffs, emphasis on going to the right spots and making the correct plays with the puck relative to designated situations, special teams work, and more. Correspondingly, there will be more team meetings held before practice with pre-ice session "mapping" of what will be worked on and why. The goal is to get back to rapid turnarounds between drills and fewer delays where players are standing around during on-ice white board explanations of what's to come next. 

Last September and into the early part of the regular season, this process understandably took significant time. There was a new coaching staff in place, a different system being introduced, and a significant number of new players on the roster. Now, there's a lot more player-coach familiarity and familiarity among teammates (the trade deadline acquisitions of Derek Grant and Nate Thompson were the only significant changes that came about for reasons other than injury-related substitutions and/or recalls of rookies).

"It should be quicker in theory. There might be a little rust. You might need little reminders on how we play and what we do in certain situations. It should come back quite quickly. I think the biggest thing for us is to be together a lot, be on the ice, get lots of reps," Niskanen said.

"I am certain we'll go through some meetings for some reminders on how they want to do things in every situation. We'll be prepared. Like you said, we've got that familiarity. We built some team chemistry throughout the year. That should come back real quick now that everybody is here. Guys are excited. We've earned the opportunity to be one of the top seeds in the East. That is a good shot at pointing to our potential."

Come Day 6 on Saturday, a little more competitiveness and game simulation will be added back into the mix. The Flyers will conduct a pair of 30-minute scrimmages. On Sunday, the split-group/ combined group practice sessions will return.

3. Ramp up to Phase 4.

During the second week of camp, the Flyers will try to get as many reps as possible for everyone in camp. There are no roster cuts (unlike a September camp), so everyone knows they'll be part of the group that travels to Toronto. The Flyers will play the Pittsburgh Penguins in an exhibition game on July 28 and then the Round Robin phase for playoff seeding starts on August 2 against the Boston Bruins. We'll have more in-depth coverage and analysis of those games when the time comes. 

For now, it is worth noting the Flyers' general strategic approach to the exhibition and round-robin. Both Vigneault and general manager Chuck Fletcher said the primary emphasis will be on getting ready for the start of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. While the team will play to win during the round robin, and thereby hope to move up from the default fourth seed to the first, second or third seed, a larger emphasis will be on getting work for a variety of players and to get time in net for both Hart and Brian Elliott. Thus, look for different lineups and some situational use variations compared to regular season stretch-drive games.

"I don't think it would be smart to overstate the importance of the round robin. Ultimately the first game that is going to be truly of massive importance is that Game 1 on August 11th. We are certainly going to try to win, but I think we are going to give certain players an opportunity to get some game participation. We're going to need more than 20 healthy bodies to get through this. I think the important thing is that everybody at some point gets some action and get some ice time." Fletcher said.

"You would hate to put somebody into play in the playoffs that hadn't played in a game since March. I think we need to be smart about it. Our guys are competitors. Every time we go out there, we're going to try to win and we're going to try to place as high as we can while making sure the guys are game-ready."

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On 7/17/2020 at 12:37 PM, intheslot said:

Some Flyers players had regular access to gym facilities, while others had to make due with body weight exercises and a stationary bike.

 

Personally, I think there's no excuse for any player to be out of shape, gym access or not. I bought a Nordic Track machine at the very beginning of the pandemic with an iFit program where trainers run you through all manner of on and off machine workouts, intervals, strength training, endurance, all of it. Add in some free weights, some rope work, a balance board, and you have all you need. 

 

On-ice work is more about rust and timing than it is about being in game shape (although skating is different than running or biking obviously). If you kept yourself in shape, as above, the hockey part would come very quickly in the camp.

 

No excuses. Not one.

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19 hours ago, Podein25 said:

 

 

 

No excuses. Not one.

 

 I bought Doritos AND apples.

  • Haha 1

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Camp Update: More competitiveness, higher tempo

by Bill Meltzer 

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 / philadelphiaflyers.com
 9:05 AM
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In the second week of the Flyers' whirlwind training camp before the team reports to hub city Toronto to prepare for its round-robin games and the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, the focus will shift from players recovering their conditioning to one of systems refreshers and game simulations. 

That process got underway on Friday (Day 5 of camp, and the fourth day of on-ice practices) and continued on Saturday with the first of three intrasquad scrimmages. In Saturday's 60-minute scrimmage, consisting of two 30-minute halves, Team Black defeated Team Orange, 3-2. Team Black dominated the first half, building a 3-0 lead, before Team Orange made a comeback push in the second half that fell just short. 

With 

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 unavailable to play, Team Orange rotated right wingers in the first half. For the second half, 

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 switched sides from Team Black to Team Orange, and Team Black played a forward short. 

For the Flyers players, it just felt good to get back into playing in something that resembled game conditions. They knew the execution was likely to be patchy at times -- and it was, especially in the first half -- but the competitiveness level picked up as the match progressed.

"That was fun. It was a lot of fun. You want to play games. Today was actually a really fun day to go out there and play some scrimmage. I think we're going to do it a couple more times before heading to Toronto. I am all for it," defenseman Robert Hägg of Team Orange said after the scrimmage.

Added Team Orange center 

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, "I think from the start of camp, intensity's been pretty high. The pace has been good. Guys want to be here and compete. I think you saw that a little bit today. It gets a little chippy when the game gets closer and everyone wants to win. I thought the pace was good. It's a little sloppy. It's hard to replicate game situations, but the way the guys were skating and competing, I think that's what you have to look at early on in these skates. Once that comes your vision comes back and your surroundings, time with the puck and your space, everything like that. I really liked the pace not only today, but so far in camp. I think guys are bringing it."

Over the course of the first week of practice and continuing into the first scrimmage, head coach Alain Vigneault kept together the same line combination and defense pairs (with the exception of having to work around Voracek's absence from the Saturday scrimmage). Starting on Sunday and continuing until the team's July 26 departure for Toronto, Vigneault plans to do a little bit more experimentation than he's done so far.

 "'I'm telling you and I'll telling everybody else at the same time, I am making little subtle changes for [Sunday]. There will be some changes throughout the week to the lines and some D pairs," Vigneault told the media during his remote post-scrimmage availability.

"I just want to get a look on a couple of other possible line combinations. When we get to Toronto, we'll be down to more of the 30 players we're allowed to bring. We'll have those four games [exhibition game against Pittsburgh and round-robin games against Boston, Washington and Tampa Bay] to set up that first official playoff round game. I'm definitely going to take this next week, which we have two scrimmages and three full practices laid out that I'm going to take some of that time to take a look at different combinations."

With the exception of a complete off-day on Monday and an off-ice workout day on Friday, there were an alternating series of systems-driven practices with scrimmage days slated for Tuesday and Thursday. To a man, the scrimmages are welcomed by the players.

"Good to be back with the guys competitively. It's hard to have a system and stuff, but it looks good out there. I'm excited for the first exhibition game," rookie right winger 

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 said on Saturday. 

One thing that never changes about hockey: teams are never quite happy with the officials, even if they are just members of the organization donning the stripes for scrimmages. Vigneault and his players alike had some fun critiquing referee Angelo Ricci (normally the Flyers' skills coach) and especially linesman Ian Laperriere (an assistant coach and born needler). 

"A couple tough calls. We thought their second goal was offside but we didn't say anything about it. Couple tough icing calls. I think Lappy was putting on the cape a little bit with the icing calls," Laughton griped with a half-grin.

Added Vigneault, "Some guys called Lappy 'Justin St. Pierre' on ice. I don't know if you guys know, Justin is a French referee that looks a little like Lappy. Angelo, I thought, looked small compared to the big linesmen we have on a regular basis."

Soon enough, the Flyers will again share the ice with the referees and linesman with NHL crests on their jerseys; and the barbs will have more emotion behind them when the stakes are higher than just bragging rights in a post-scrimmage locker room. In the meantime, there's a lot of work to be done on the execution side of systems as the Flyers prepare for when the outcomes start to matter again. 

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TV broadcast schedule for NHL playoffs finally revealed!

Check out when you need to get your butt on your couch:

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At the beginning of the month, the NHL and the National Hockey League Players’ Association voted to ratify the Return to Play protocol and collective bargaining agreement, it was announced Friday evening.

Then things went quickly from there, training camps open and players got tested, and we have gotten to see them in action during Phase 3 as they get ready to head to their respective hub city for the start of the tournament. 

While the NHL revealed their series-by-series schedule for the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers, details still needed to get ironed out for the TV broadcasting schedule. And finally on Tuesday night, NBC Sports revealed their broadcasting schedule and you can now see when your favourite team will be playing, and set your schedule around it!

NBC Sports will present up to 120 hours of coverage from the NHL’s 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers on NBC, NBCSN and USA Network beginning August 1, highlighted by at least 10 hours of wall-to-wall NHL action each day from August 1-5, comprised of Qualifying Round and Round Robin matchups. Sportsnet is also providing games in Canada. 

The exact schedule can be found in the links here below: 

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Teams will travel from their home markets on July 26 to either Toronto or Edmonton, the hub cities where all of the games will be played. The entire playoff tournament is scheduled to be completed in no more than 62 days — commencing Aug. 1 with the best-of-five qualifying round and producing a champion by the first week of October.

Up to three games per day in each city will be played to start. It will be quite a busy time in the NHL!

The top four teams in each conference, based on points percentage, will play a three-game round-robin, and the No. 5-12 seeds will play in eight best-of-5 series. The winners of those series will advance to the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the four teams from the round-robin.
There will also be exhibitions games on July 28th and July 29th, before the real action begins. It was revealed what games will take place ahead of the tournament and it sounds like, in the East, the Montreal Canadiens will face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs - classic - the Tampa Bay Lightning will battle the Florida Panthers, the two New York clubs will face each other, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers will meet in a battle of Pennsylvania, the Carolina Hurricanes will play against the Washington Capitals and the Boston Bruins will need to win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

In the West, you guessed it, the the Oilers are expected to play the Flames in pre-playoff game, exhibition contest, on Tuesday, July 28th. The Vancouver Canucks will face the Winnipeg Jets, the Dallas Stars will meet with the Nashville Predators - a Winter Classic repeat - the Chicago Blackhawks will face the St. Louis Blues, the Arizona Coyotes will face the Vegas Golden Knights and the Minnesota Wild will face off against the Colorado Avalanche.

Get ready for action, folks!

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Flyers sign LW Oskar Lindblom to three-year contract extension

Forward inks deal worth $3.0M annually beginning next season

The Philadelphia Flyers have signed left wing 

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 to a three-year contract with an average annual value (AAV) of $3.0M, according to President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Chuck Fletcher.

Lindblom, 23 (8/15/1996), was in the midst of a breakout year this past season, recording 11 goals, which was tied for the team lead at the time, and 18 points (11g-7a) in 30 games, when he was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma by leading specialists at the University of Pennsylvania in December. On July 2, he finished his treatments at the Abramson Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital where his medical team deemed him to be without evidence of cancer at this time.

"I am very excited to be a part of the Flyers for the next three seasons," said Lindblom. "The support that the organization, the fans, and the entire NHL has given me has been quite overwhelming. I can't wait to get back skating with the boys and being the professional hockey player I know I can be. I want to thank the Flyers for giving me this opportunity and I look forward to the day I'm back and contributing to the team's success." 

Lindblom was recently named a finalist for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded annually by the NHL to the player who best embodies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the game of hockey.

Throughout his treatments during the 2019-20 season, Lindblom was a steady presence alongside his teammates with his frequent visits to games and the locker room, and even skated with them during the NHL's Phase 2 of Return to Play.

Overall, Lindblom has recorded 30 goals and 27 assists for 57 points in 134 career regular season games through parts of three seasons in the NHL, all with the Flyers. He came to North America on a full-time basis in 2017 following three seasons with Brynas IF in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), where in his final year he was named Swedish forward of the year in after he was second among all SHL players with 22 goals and fourth with 47 points.

A native of Gavle, Sweden, Lindblom was originally selected by the Flyers in the fifth round (138th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, which was held in Philadelphia. He signed his first deal with the club, a three-year entry-level contact, on May 30, 2017.

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      The Flyers had a full array of players -- all 30 skaters and four goaltenders on the Phase 3 roster were present and accounted for -- on the ice for the first day of formal training camp at the Skate Zone in Voorhees as Phase 3 on the NHL's return-to-play plan got underway on Monday. Players were divided into to two groups (A and B) on the ice. As would be expected on the first day back after a four-month pause to the season, the pace was a bit slower than normal. There were rusty hand
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      I bought Doritos AND apples.

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