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2011 Training Camp Guide

SEPT - 30
5:14 p.m.


Heading into the Flyers 2011 Training Camp all the talk was about roster spots up for grabs and the players fighting for those limited empty spots.

Now with only two days and one preseason game left, the time is now for many prospects to give it their last shot.

“There’s a still a game left, and it’s still an important game for a lot of people and we’re still evaluating them,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette.

  Peter Laviolette // Danny Briere

One of those players that could be considered “on the bubble” is forward Brayden Schenn, who has been out of the lineup due to an upper-body injury. Despite his lack of practice or game time with the team, Flyers management doesn’t see that as a deterrent on their evaluation of Schenn.

“We know what he’s done, we know what he’s capable of doing,” said Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. “I think more for Brayden’s own confidence it would’ve been nice to get in another game or two. I don’t think it really matters to us.”

When asked if he thinks the 20-year-old is ready for a full season in the NHL, Holmgren’s answer was simple.

“I believe he is.”
Schenn, along with James van Riemsdyk and Andreas Nodl will sit out the preseason finale tomorrow at the Prudential Center in New Jersey as a precaution and will use the five-day rest prior to Thursday’s opener at Boston to be 100 percent ready.

“All three of those guys skated today and fared well, but given that they haven’t skated with the team for awhile, to put them in the game tomorrow, we don’t think is a good idea,” said Holmgren. “I’d say their still on track for being ready for the opener.”

While Laviolette will no doubt use this game as one final evaluation for the last men standing on the Flyers camp roster, Matt Read, Sean Couturier, Harry Zolnierczyk, Zac Rinaldo are all names that have impressed both the coaching staff and hockey ops office.

They will no doubt have to save their best for last if they are to make the final cut marked for Oct. 5.

Flyers captain Chris Pronger said after last night’s game that he felt ok. The real test however is how he would feel the day after having played his first NHL game in nearly five months.

“It felt not that bad,” said Pronger. “It was a little creeky waking up this morning but I think that might just be age.”

Pronger was out on the ice for the full practice with the team, however will not make the trip to New Jersey for the Flyers final preseason game against the Devils.

SEPT - 29

10:58 p.m.

So much for Chris Pronger easing into his first game back from surgery and first, as he would put it "live game action", since the end of April.

The Flyers captain started tonight’s game against the Devils, participated in the penalty kill and power play, and logged close to 20 minutes of ice time during a very close battle with the Devils.

  Laviolette // Pronger // Giroux // Jagr

“The first period there wasn’t a lot of flow,” said Pronger. “It was pretty choppy but quick and as the game settled in a little bit more structure you feel a little bit more comfortable and able to do obviously more things. Get into a few scrums. Get into a few pushing matches and kind of see how you feel and go from there.”

Pronger also spearheaded over half the time on the Flyers man-advantage, recording 3:46 of ice time out of a total 5:20 minutes on the power play. He earned an assist on the Flyers first goal and was on the ice for the game-winner midway through the third period.

Sounds like a player who’s 100 percent.

Overall, the Flyers power play went 2-for-4 on the night, bringing their preseason numbers to 7-for-27 overall at 26 percent.

A big reason for that success is the chemistry developing between Jaromir Jagr and Claude Giroux. The two have been downright lethal on the man-advantage.

Three of Jagr’s four goals in the preseason have come on the power play and Giroux, while still scoreless during the preseason has seven assists in his four games. Both Jagr and Giroux are tied for the team lead in the preseason with seven points each.

The Flyers will play their preseason finale on Saturday in Newark as they take on the Devils in the back end of their home-and-home series before finalizing their official 2011-12 season opening roster.

* The Flyers split goaltenders in tonight’s contest and both were equally impressive. Starting goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 17 of 18 shots through 29:30 of play, while Bobrovsky held the fort by turning aside all 13 shots he faced through 30:30.
* The Flyers have now won three in a row and have gone to 4-1-1 on the preseason.  Jaromir Jagr scored in his third consecutive game; he now has four goals on the preseason. 
* Claude Giroux has posted seven assists so far this preseason in four appearances. 
* The Flyers blocked 21 shots on the night to New Jersey’s six; they also outhit the Devils 24-18.

CLAUDE GIROUX on playing with Jagr
“It’s been two games. Just the way he gets open, it’s pretty unbelievable. He moves the puck quick and it takes two seconds and he is open again. Any time you play with a guy like that its going to open up a lot of plays.”

“It’s always fun to play against players like [Ilya Kovalchuk], [Alexander] Ovechkin, and many more players we have in the league. We have a pretty talented league and players with skills. It’s nice to play against them. It’s a challenge. That’s what the game is all about.”

“Trust me, it’s not easy to come back from a long time away when you don’t play for a long time. For me, if I don’t practice for a week, I can’t play. Trust me, it’s not easy. He did a great job, no question about it.”

Tonight’s turning point came on the Flyers revamped power-play unit. At 11:50 of the third period, Zach Parise took a goaltender interference penalty, allowing the Flyers man-advantage to go to work… again.

Having scored their first goal on the power-play, the Flyers struck again, this time for the game-winner. Hovering just above the left circle, Claude Giroux threw a hard pass and found Jaromir Jagr camped out at the side of the net. Jagr made no mistake and buried the puck for his third power-play goal of the preseason and fourth overall in just his third game.

Behind Sergei Bobrovsky, the Flyers shut down the Devils for the remainder of the game to take a 2-1 win.

Tonight’s star is power forward Wayne Simmonds. Simmonds got the Flyers on the scoreboard scoring their first goal of the night. He also assisted on the game-winning goal on the power-play in the third period playing alongside Giroux and Jagr most of the night.

Simmonds is now tied for the team lead in goals (4) this preseason and has five points in the four games that he has been in, not including a goal he scored in the Flyers only shootout this preseason.

* * *
11:32 a.m

The Flyers have announced that captain Chris Pronger will return to the ice and be in the line up for tonight's Flyers-Devils game at the Wells Fargo Center.

"I'm looking forward to just getting into some game action," said Pronger. "You can only practice so much and try to prepare that way, but there's nothing like some good old fashion, live-action hockey. You can't simulate that.

"Decisions need to be quicker and obviously the pace of a game is a lot quicker so getting into that action is what you need to prepare for the season."

This will be the first time Pronger will have appeared in a game since Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinal series vs. Boston back on Apr. 30.

Immediately following the 2010-11 season, Pronger underwent surgery (a discectomy) on his back on May 12. It was the third surgery for Pronger during the 2010-11 season, after undergoing procedures on his foot (December) and hand (March).

Pronger was named the club's 18th captain just prior to training camp on Sept. 16.

SEPT - 28

5:15 p.m.

Most of the attention brought on by the acquisition of Jaromir Jagr was specifically for the power play.

After all, the talent-level Jagr brings to the ice is best seen on the man-advantage with his ability to operate in close quarters and work along the boards.

But according to Jagr, the player to watch isn’t himself, it’s who he’s paired with – Claude Giroux.

  Laviolette // Pronger // Jagr // Shanny: Sestito Explanation

“Of course you can see how skilled he is in how he passes and sees the play,” said Jagr. “Compared to other guys, his thinking is a little bit different. It’s tough to explain, but his passing is quicker than other guys. You always have to be ready. You don’t know when the puck’s coming.”

Giroux led the Flyers last season with 76 points, 51 of which were assists, good enough for eighth in the NHL.

The Flyers power play last season however was a different story. The man-advantage held it’s own through most of the season, but was very unpredictable down the stretch and particularly in the playoffs.

Sestito following a scrum in Monday's 5-3 Flyers win over the Rangers.
Last year the Flyers power play finished in the bottom half of the League, 19th overall. The man-advantage operated at 16.6 percent, scoring 49 goals on 295 opportunities. Towards the end of the season, the Flyers scored just three goals on 22 power-play opportunities in their final six games, while going 7-for-49 (14.2 percent) in 11 playoff games.

Along with an entirely new look to the Flyers, comes a new look to its power-play and the time to work on it is now.

Through five preseason games, the Flyers have scored five goals on 22 opportunities, operating at 21.5, and in the top 10 in the NHL preseason.

“I think we all understand the concept of what we’re trying to do here,” said captain Chris Pronger. “Obviously with [Jagr] in the middle he’s going to draw a lot of attention. We’ll designate a traffic guy [in front of the net] that’s important nowadays so the goalie really can’t concentrate on the puck.”

Practice today saw an entire session of ice-time devoted to the power-play and the two units that Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette and assistant coach Joe Mullen are trying to form and adapt in time for the season opener on Oct. 6 at Boston.

The National Hockey League handed down its suspension to Flyers forward Tom Sestito. Sestito will be forced to sit out the Flyers final two preseason games, as well as his first two regular season games.

Sestito was given a 5-minute boarding major, 5 minutes for fighting and a game misconduct for his hit on Rangers forward Andre Deveaux in Monday’s Flyers-Rangers contest at the Wells Fargo Center.

He is the second Flyer to be suspended during the preseason after forward Jody Shelley received a suspension for five preseason games and five regular season games on Sept. 22 vs. Toronto.

The man who threw a banana onto the ice during the Flyers’ preseason game at the John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario has been arrested according to the London Police Chief.

Chief Duncan announced that 26-year-old Chris Moorhouse has admitted to throwing the banana and is now charged with a Provincial Offense (not a criminal) and with “engaging in a prohibited activity under the Trespass to Property Act”.

Police indicated that the accused is remorseful for his actions.

"I want the public to allow the court process to unfold," Duncan said.
Comcast-Spectacor President and Global Spectrum Chairman Peter Luukko commented on today's development:

"We would like to express our gratitude to the City of London, the police department and the many fans who came forward with information leading to this arrest. We fully support the efforts to prosecute this individual. We have zero tolerance when it comes to this type of foolish behavior. We will not tolerate it at the John Labatt Centre nor any of the other facilities we manage. The Philadelphia Flyers look forward to our annual preseason game next fall and playing again in our home away from home, the John Labatt Centre."

SEPT - 27

4:34 p.m.
Having gone through a competitive training camp, and for some, rookie camp, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren updated the media on a few Flyers injuries.

First was the recent scare of Scott Hartnell’s elevated heart rate he experienced during the preseason game at Detroit on Sept. 23.

Hartnell went through extensive testing and the results were very much in his favor.

  Holmgren // Laviolette // Hartnell

“Everything came back perfectly ok,” said Hartnell. “Yeah I was a little worried and you know it gets in your head a little bit too… but I feel good and I’m glad the test was ok.”

In other news, forward Brayden Schenn did not skate with the team at practice today. He left last night’s game in the third period with an upper-body injury and will remain day-to-day, but will not be in the line up for Thursday’s game vs. Devils.

Forwards James van Riemsdyk and Andreas Nodl also didn’t participate in the skate with the rest of the squad.

The pair will likely remain out of the line up on Thursday and as far as van Riemsdyk is concerned, he will most likely be shut down for the final three preseason games as a precaution.

“There’s a chance [van Riemsdyk] could play Saturday, but we’ll probably be a little more careful with that,” said Holmgren.

Van Riemsdyk has played three of the Flyers five preseason games, recording three goals and adding an assist for four points, while maintaining a plus-3 rating.

Among the others still on the mend is defenseman Chris Pronger.

“Chris feels a lot better, but that decision hasn’t been made by us yet,” added Holmgren on whether the Flyers captain could appear in one of the two final preseason scheduled games.

Holmgren did re-assure his position that he is very optimistic that Pronger will be in the line up come opening night in Boston on Oct. 6 against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Bruins.

Minor injuries and rehabbing however are nothing new or out of the ordinary for this time in camp.

“Yeah it’s discouraging because we have guys that can’t practice, but I’m sure all training camps are going through it and it’s just part of the game,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette.

SEPT - 26

11:56 p.m.
Every year there seems to be a player that comes into camp that not too many people know about and before Flyers fans know it, there’s a new, young and fresh face in the Flyers line up on opening night.

Consider 2008, Luca Sbisa came to camp as an 18-year defenseman the Flyers drafted 19th overall just a few months back. He continuously showed poise and a well-rounded game while in camp to play for the Flyers during the first half of the season.

In 2009, highly touted forward James van Riemsdyk pushed hard to make the team eight out of two-years in college. And he did just that.

  Jaromir Jagr & Zac Rinaldo // Matt Read & Danny Briere

Of course last season, who could have thought that a 22-year-old Russian goaltender could steal the spotlight and make the team participating in his first camp. But there Sergei Bobrovsky was, opening night in Pittsburgh and starting his first NHL game.

Well this, season prepare for two very real possibilities.

Matt Read and Zac Rinaldo have each earned their stripes during preseason seeing plenty of ice-time and making the most of their opportunities.

“Its hard to say, there’s a couple shifts you have off and the coach see’s that and it will let them know if I am not playing my best,” said Read. “I just go out there every shift and try to the best I can and in a week or two I’ll find out. I’d love to be here.”

And if fans aren’t noticing Read’s play, the coaching staff and his teammates sure are.

“He is feeling more and more comfortable,” said Danny Briere after the game. “He’s playing the right way, being on the good side of the puck. Right now he is getting rewarded for it. It is just good to see.”

“It was brought to my attention that we used Matt in every situation, 5 on 3, 5 on 4, all three positions are impressive in a hockey sense,” added Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette.

Read posted another two-point night with a goal and an assist. He now leads the Flyers in the preseason with six points (2G-4A). He has recorded a point in all four preseason games that he has appeared in and once for the second straight contests he played a team-high 21:34.

“I don’t know if he [Peter Laviolette] trusts me or [wants] to see if I can make the best of it. And see where I can be if I do make the team and what position I am. It’s good for me and a great opportunity,” added Read.

In addition to Read, Zac Rinaldo is making a case for himself and did so in a big way during the Flyers’ 5-3 win over the Rangers.

At 5’10’’ and 180-pounds, Rinaldo has not only put the puck in the net, scoring a very nice looking goal at Toronto in the preseason opener, but in Monday’s win over the Rangers, has proved himself more than ready to take on the NHL’s toughest players.

Rinaldo sparked the Flyers by decidedly winning a bout against Rangers enforcer Stu Bickel, who stands at 6’4’’ and 214 pounds.

SEPT - 25

2:42 p.m.
During the Flyers preseason game at Detroit this past Friday, you may not have noticed that Flyers forward Scott Hartnell was limited to just nine minutes of ice-time and did not appear in the third period.

Today at training camp, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren addressed the specific reason why.

“He had a little bit of an elevated heart rate that would not go down even after rest during the intermission,” said Holmgren. “We’re getting him checked out. I’m sure it was a scary situation for Scott.”

  Holmgren on Hartnell I Jagr I Camp // Laviolette // Jagr

According to Holmgren, Hartnell’s heart rate took a little while to go back down to normal levels, and the team had some test ran on him on Saturday, but everything check out normal. He will be evaluated further during the upcoming week by a cardiologist.

As a result, Hartnell will not be available for tomorrow’s preseason game against the New York Rangers.

Now that the roster has been trimmed on two occasions, the Flyers coaching staff are busy really implementing their system and focusing on getting a team together that will go into the regular season in full stride.

“It just takes a while. That’s why we have training camp,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “That’s why it lasts three weeks before a regular season game, it’s so you can get up to speed.”

The team went on the ice on two separate occasions, making way for the ice to be Zamboni’d in order to begin a new set of drills.

The team worked on breakouts, spent a good amount of time working on drills down-low in the offensive zone and even did short-shift scrimmages.

There remains only three games left in the Flyers preseason schedule, and after seeing many of the younger guys skate in the first four games, the time for players still at camp to show mid-season form is now.

“It’s a great attitude [to have],” said Hartnell. “There’s a lot of young guys [still here] and I remember when I was a young guy, I was trying to take one of these older guys spots and I was able to do that at 18. So here you have Couturier, Schenn and Matt Read… so it creates good competition, healthy competition and we’re having a blast everyday at the rink.”

Jaromir Jagr couldn’t care less about disappointing himself. What he cares about is letting down his new teammates and letting down the management that brought him back to the NHL.

“For myself… If I do bad, I do bad, but I don’t want to disappoint the guys who signed me here.” said Jagr. “That’s why I want to do good. I want to help those guys, help the team. I don’t want to disappoint the guys who believe in me. That’s what I’m nervous about.”

If his first preseason game was any indicator, then his teammates and management are sure to not be let down even the slightest. Jagr posted a goal and an assist, but admitted that there was plenty of work to get NHL-ready.

Jagr says the most difficult adjustment for his is the smaller rink and creating shorter turns.

But even if he doesn’t find the score sheet on a regular basis, Jagr’s attitude and commitment is far exceeding the team’s expectations.

“He’s a fanatic about conditioning, about nutrition and about doing the right thing and preparing to play the game,” said Holmgren. “He’s hard on himself. We all thought he had a pretty good game in Detroit and he was like ‘I got to be better. I got to get quicker.’”

* * *
11:04 a.m.
After a complete day off from the rink and training camp, the Flyers are back at work with a much lighter roster.

Attending camp on a Pro Try-Out contract, both Adam Mair and Michael Nylander have been released today, according to Flyers GM Paul Holmgren.

SEPT - 23
11:39 p.m.

Before tonight’s game, and really ever since he signed with the Flyers Jaromir Jagr didn’t mince words on his return to the NHL.

He didn’t know how he would do re-adapting back to its speed, smaller sized rinks and style of play. The one thing he knew for certain was to give everything he had to be the best possible player he could be for his teammates.

  Laviolette // Jagr // Testwuide

Well after his preseason debut on Friday at Detroit, adding a goal and an assist, I’d say that’s a big help to his teammates. Jagr, however, refused to praise his play

“I gotta get better,” laughed Jagr after the game. “It’s different… we had some pretty good shifts with some cycling. That’s why I wanted to play.”

Jagr started the game playing alongside James van Riemsdyk with Brayden Schenn centering.

While both he and head coach Peter Laviolette agree with the chemistry that they seemed to play with, there’s still much more work and many more games to be played.

Jagr got on the board with a great play to earn his first assist. Towards the end of his shift, he managed to get the puck to Sean Couturier who put it at the net allowing van Riemsdyk to poke home the rebound in the crease.

Shortly there after, Jagr provided the game’s winning goal by flicking a shot over Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard’s glove with under two minutes to play in the opening frame.

“He’s got a tremendous amount of skill and I thought he skated really well and get into the system,” said Laviolette.

Jagr also played nearly 17 minutes (16:55), which included 2:50 of power-play time. He was a plus-2 on the night and recorded his goal on his only shot.

Matt Read has four points in his three Flyers preseason games. I’d say that’s a pretty good first NHL camp for the 25-year-old out of Bemidji State.

Posting an assist in each of his first two games, Read was a scratch for the Flyers annual game in London, Ontario. He came back with a two-point effort in tonight’s 3-1 win in Detroit by adding an assist on Jagr’s goal in the second period and firing a shot past Howard to record his first NHL goal in the preseason.

“For sure,” said Read on if his confidence is growing during camp. “Every game you know you’re learning to adjust with the speed and learning how to get to open ice and everything. My confidence level is pretty good and hopefully I can continue to play well.”

Read isn’t all about finding the scoresheet however. Through two periods of tonight’s game, he had the most ice time of any Flyer on the ice at 14:20 and was a plus-2.

He ended up with the most minutes of any Flyer with nearly 23 minutes of time-on-ice (22:58) and third best on both teams.

At 12:08 of the first period Mike Testwuide and Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith went into the boards in the Detroit zone. Having turned his back to the play and facing the boards, Testwuide finished his check on Smith.

As a result, Testwuide received a five-minute major penalty along with a game misconduct, meaning the 24-year-old rookie just might hear from the NHL offices who will review the play.

“I’m a big guy and I need to get in there and make a hit,” said Testwuide. “Right away we were should to shoulder and I think he made a move to cut back and I caught him square in the numbers. It’s unfortunate and I’m glad he’s ok.”

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette weighed in on the play as well.

“Here’s a guy who has a really clean reputation, but he’s hard-skating and he’s in on the forecheck and at the last second the kid turns completely backwards and gets splattered against the wall,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “So I’m curious to see [what happens]. It’s hard to believe it’s even a penalty.”

The Flyers have already been hit with one suspension this preseason, when Jody Shelley received a total of 10 games (5 preseason & 5 regular season) from NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan for his hit on Toronto’s Darryl Boyce on Wednesday.

Appearing in his second preseason game, Sergei Bobrovsky backstopped the Flyers to their second win.

Bobrovsky played the full 60 minutes once again and stopped 23 of 24 shots from the Red Wings to bring his record to 2-0 with a 0.50 goals-against average and .980 save percentage.

In total, Bobrovsky has stopped all but one shot he’s faced during the preseason, turning aside 50 of 51 shots.

After playing four games in four nights… and in four different cities, the Flyers will have a complete day off tomorrow from Training Camp.

* * *

2:01 a.m.

Once again it was shoot to thrill in London.

Unfortunately for the Flyers the extra session (and extra shooters) still didn’t work out in their favor as the team dropped a 4-3 decision in a shootout that went eight rounds deep to the Detroit Red Wings at the John Labatt Centre on Thursday.

This coming off of last year’s 11-round shootout in the Flyers home-away-from-home, in which the team lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 3-2

  Laviolette // van Riemsdyk

Last year however the Flyers didn’t have to play catch up and if this were the regular season, they would have certainly been glad to escape with a point in the standings.

The Flyers rallied from a two-goal deficit for most of the game to knot the score at 3-3 and force overtime.

With just under three minutes to play James van Riemsdyk added his second of the night to pull the Flyers to within one.

Starting goaltender Michael Leighton was pulled in favor of an extra attacker when moments later Wayne Simmonds scored the equalizer with 53 seconds left in regulation.

Simmonds began the shootout round by scoring for the Flyers, giving them a 1-0, but was the only Flyer to do so with the next seven Flyers being denied by Detroit goaltender Jordan Pearce.

Johan Franzen scored the equalizer to extend the shootout for Detroit and Ian White, who already had a goal in the contest, iced it for the Red Wings on their eighth attempt.

For the Flyers it was their third game in as many nights. But for van Riemsdyk it was a game that brought back some of that playoff magic he showed in May.

“It’s only preseason, but these games a good a little bit to know how you can play when you’re behind and it really gives you that gut-check early on and I think it definitely helped me wake it up a little bit,” said van Riemsdyk.

One Flyer who didn’t need to be awakened was goaltender Michael Leighton.

Playing the entire 65 minutes, and then some, Leighton gave his team the chance to win by stopping 35 of 38 shots he faced, including 18 of 19 shots he faced in the third period alone.

The Flyers will travel to Detroit to play the second half of their home-and-home series with the Wings on Friday at Joe Louis Arena. Overall, it will be the Flyers fourth game in four nights in four different cities.

SEPT - 22

7:28 p.m.

The NHL has handed down their suspension of Flyers forward Jody Shelley. Shelley will be suspended for the remainder of the Flyers preseason (5 games) and the first five games of the regular season.

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren commented on Shelley's suspension: "We are disappointed with the length of the suspension but we will accept the league's decision and move on."

NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan explained his decision to suspend Shelley...

The suspension comes as a result of his boarding penalty on Toronto's Darryl Boyce at the 12:34 mark of the second period in Wednesday's 4-2 loss to the Maple Leafs.

As a result from the play, Shelley received a five minute major for boarding, five minutes for fighting (Toronto's Jay Rosehill) and a game misconduct.

SEPT - 21

11:14 a.m.
Tomas Hyka (pronounced: HEE-ka) was headed to the airport and thought he was headed back to his junior team when at the last minute a miscommunication allowed him to stay on with the team a little long for Training Camp.

Good thing for the Flyers… and Hyka.

“Yeah it was crazy because I was going to leave Wednesday and somebody called me and told me to stay a couple more days, so I was very happy.”

  Laviolette // Briere // Bryzgalov // Hyka

The 5’10’’, 158-pound left wing from the Czech Republic doesn’t speak much English, but he let his play do the talking.

First, he tallied a goal in the annual Flyers rookie game against the Capitals, showing poise with the puck and a knack for speeding down the left side.

“He seems to be a young player, caught a nice break coming out of the box,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “Everyone likes his skill level considering on a breakaway being able to cash in like that. He can skate. He’s got skill and he’s a young player.”
Tomas Hyka

That speed translated into his second goal in the NHL and if his first one wasn’t very memorable, his second one certainly was.

“It felt really good,” added Hyka. “It was my first goal in the NHL, so I am very happy and I hope that I will score in other games.”

Hyka took a nifty pass through center ice from Matt Read and broke free all alone on Maple Leafs goaltender Jonas Gustavsson, where he faked left for a moment and tucked back to his right and slid the puck underneath to bring the Flyers within one and cut the Leafs lead in half at the time.

Ilya Bryzgalov debuted for the Flyers tonight and played all 60 minutes, posting 21 saves on 24 shots before the Flyers allowed an empty net goal in the final 15 seconds of play to take the 4-2 loss.

"I was excited to play tonight..it’s like Formula 1, you get on the track the first time and check to see what’s working properly and what’s not, “ said Bryzgalov. “I think it was a good test for me. I have some understanding of where I’m at right now and what I can fix.”

Bryzgalov looked sharp early one making a great save at 9:30 of the first period, when the puck deflected off the post and was trickling in when he reached back to stop it just short of the goal line. It was his first real test of the game.

He faced a tough barrage of shots during five Toronto power plays that added up to 11 minutes of scoreless man-advantage time for the Leafs.
“I can’t be satisfied with my performance because we lost, but like I told you before it’s part of the program to understand where you are…after the long break off… after the season we have a couple practices with the team. The game is a good test to understand in what kind of shape you are and what needs to be done to be fixed to get to game condition.”

SEPT - 20

11:57 p.m.

Typically in a preseason game, and especially the first, there is one-two, maybe even three players that stand out for a team.

In tonight’s convincing 4-0 win at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto against the Maple Leafs, that number could easily rise to five, six or seven players.

Overall I thought it was a really solid by too many names to list,” said Laviolette. “It was a good team effort for us and it’s a good way to start the season.”

Right at the top of that list was goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who stopped all 27 shots he faced to earn his first shutout in an NHL sweater. Not a bad birthday for the now 23-year-old Russian net minder.

  Laviolette // Couturier // Rinaldo

In fact, it was the first shutout for the Flyers in any game (preseason, regular season, or playoffs) since Game 4 of the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals on May 22, 2010 (3-0 W over MTL), a span of 108 total games including the remainder of the 2010 playoffs, the 2011 preseason, and the 2011 playoffs.

Bobrovsky came up with a great save on Nazeem Kadri’s wrap around attempt with 7:20 left in the second and flat out robbed Toronto star Phil Kessel point blank in the slot along with his rebound follow up on the play.

In addition to Kadri and Clarke MacArthur, Toronto tested out their number one line of Phil Kessel, Joffrey Lupul and Tim Connolly in the contest.

After a scoreless first period, the Flyers pounced on the Maple Leafs by recording three goals on six shots in the second frame.

Zac Rinaldo kicked off the night of scoring with a great feed by Jake Voracek. Rinaldo took the mini-break and shifted to his backhand to poke it past James Reimer, who many consider the Maple Leafs starting goaltender for the 2011-12 season.

Although he had just the one assist, 25-year-old Matt Read was equally impressive.

The graduate of Bemidji State was used in all situations during the game and used his speed to generate a shorthanded chance that beat Reimer, but rang off the crossbar in the first period.

Through two periods of play Read had the most ice-time of any forward with 12:16 and finished with 17:10, second only to that of Brayden Schenn at 17:57.

In his first-ever game action in the NHL, Sean Couturier shook off early nerves to come out strong in the second and third period.

“I was a little nervous before the game, but once I got going I was pretty good,” said Couturier. “I think we came back to the basics and put pucks to the net.”

On the blue line, Matt Carle looked steady and continued his offensive play with two assists in the game, the first of which was a shot from the point that Wayne Simmonds tipped past Reimer.

The Flyers will face the Leafs again in their second half of their back-to-back home-and-home series, when preseason action hits the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday.

The game will be televised on The Comcast Network and broadcast on 610 WIP radio beginning at 7 p.m.

6:12 p.m.
The Flyers line up is set for tonight’s first preseason game at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Sergei Bobrovsky will play the entire game with the following teammates in front of him.

Eric Wellwood
Brayden Schenn
Wayne Simmonds

Zac Rinaldo
Matt Read
Jake Voracek

James van Riemsdyk
Sean Couturier
Mike Testwuide

Tom Sestito
Adam Mair
Harry Zolnierczyk

Matt Carle
Matt Walker

Andreas Lilja
Erik Gustafsson

Oskars Bartulis
Blake Kessel

Stay tuned to 'On The Fly' for complete post-game coverage including locker room video of the players and head coach Peter Laviolette.

SEPT - 19

7:01 p.m.
As Day 3 concludes at Flye
After three days of on-ice drills and off-ice training, the Flyers will take on a seven-game preseason schedule beginning Tuesday.
rs Training Camp the focus now shifts to preseason game action.

And Flyers fans will certainly get their fill starting tomorrow as the Flyers kick off four games in four days.

The Flyers will travel to Toronto tomorrow and take on the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre and for Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette, it’s this time where you really get to see what each player brings to the table.

  Laviolette // Pronger // Schenn

“I think [the games] are really about evaluation, and just looking at the players and seeing how they perform. Practice I thought was really crisp today -- up and down and with great pace, but it’s just passing and skating. I think your best read on a situation or best read on players is when you’re competing against others so this is our first crack at it and I think everybody’s excited to get going.”

One player excited to get going is the captain.

There’s been plenty of speculation as to when Chris Pronger would skate with the rest of his team, and early this morning those questions were answered, according to Laviolette.

“He took some drills out there. He was in some competitive drills. He did some skating drills, some passing drills, but then he jumped into some drills that had some competitiveness to them.

“It’s nice to get him back out there. You can’t miss him when he’s out there and he brings a presence about him on the ice.”

Tomorrow’s game will be more than just a try-out for what could be two Philadelphia Flyers. Brayden Schenn will be in the line up and there stands a good possibility that he will play against his brother, 21-year-old Maple Leafs defenseman Luke Schenn.

It will be the first time the two have met since their days in Canadian junior hockey when Brayden played for the Brandan Wheat Kings and Luke for the Kelowna Rockets.

“I’m not even sure if he’s playing tomorrow or not yet, but it’ll be pretty exciting and cool for us since we haven’t played each other in a while,” said Brayden Schenn.

If one set of brothers isn’t enough, another pair could battle each other on the ice at the ACC. Should Maple Leaf forward Phil Kessel be in the line up he could try and sneak through the blue line against younger brother Blake, who the Flyers recently signed to an entry-level deal prior to training camp.

You might say the two sets of brothers on the Maple Leafs side have an advantange with Luke Schenn appearing in over 231 NHL games, compared to brother Brayden, who has played in just nine.

While on the Kessel family tree, Phil has a 374 game advantage on younger brother Blake has yet to make his NHL debut.

Prior to tonight's Phillies-Cardinals game at Citizens Bank Park, members of the Flyers took a stroll over to the stadium and took in a little batting practice.

While each of them put up a valiant effort, James van Riemsdyk took home top honors when he knocked one over the 334 foot left porch of the diamond -- WATCH HERE!

"I just got luck and caught it right," said van Riemsdyk. "It carried pretty well so that was definitely a pretty cool thing."

11:05 a.m.
The following players have been released from Flyers Training Camp and sent back to their junior teams:

Etienne Boutet
Ricard Blidstrand
Shayne Campbell
Nick Cousins
Campbell Elynuik
Austin Fyten
Sam Grist
Simon Gronvaldt
Michael Houser
Tomas Hyka
Derek Mathers
Jonathan Narbonne
Marcel Noebels
Brendan Ranford
Colin Suellentrop

55 Players now remain in camp.

Click HERE for an updated Training Camp Roster.

9:32 a.m.
Only Day Three here at Flyers Training Camp and already the Flyers have a new look to practice. Captain Chris Pronger is out on the ice skating with the team for the first time since Apr. 30, Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal series vs. Boston in last year's Stanley Cup Playoffs.

SEPT - 18
11:32 a.m.
On-ice concludes with Group A... Here is a look at some line combinations and from the looks of it, Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette was correct--don't read into the lines on Day 1.

For the first time in a while, Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell did not skate on the same line. Briere centered Matt Read on the left side and Jaromir Jagr on the right side.

Hartnell was centered by Brayden Schenn and along the right side was Jake Voracek.

Sean Couturier also shifted to his junior position back at center with Max Talbot and Andreas Nodl on his wing.

The pace picked up today with drills beginning right away. Practice included a simulated scrimmage towards the end that primarily worked on neutral zone coverage.

On the defensive side of things, Kimmo Timonen was paired for the second straight day with rookie Erik Gustafsson.

After a round of meeting with the media, the players will get their first up-close meeting with the fans.

The annual LIVE taping of "Meet The Flyers" will begin today at 2 p.m.

We'll have a complete wrap up of the event, but the following is the schedule in which the show will air.

Friday, September 23 – 7:00pm

Also, showing on...
Saturday, September 24 – 5:00pm
Thursday, September 29 – 4:00pm
Friday, September 30 – 9:00pm
Tuesday, October 4 – 11:00am
Wednesday, October 5 – 9:00pm
Thursday, October 6 – 4:00pm
Saturday, October 8 – 5:00pm
Wednesday, September 21 – 9:30pm

Also showing on...
Friday, September 23 – 11:00pm
Sunday, September 25 – 6:00pm

8:44 a.m.
Second day of Flyers Training Camp and Group “A” is already at it.

Prior to their on-ice session, the players are doing dry-land drills upstairs by the media and press conference room at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone. Have a look at Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn stretching.

Also, for the second straight day Chris Pronger was out on the ice early skating before the first group.

SEPT - 17

4:48 p.m.
First day of Flyers Training Camp is in the books and while it is typically a hectic day for players, staff and the media, it was a good day.

“I truly believe that everything is open,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette with regards to line combinations and speculations.

“I think Paul Holmgren said it best to the players, nobody should assume anything. It’s wide open to everything that we’re looking at. It’s going to shake up. We’re going to look at some different options.”

  Laviolette // Simmonds-Giroux-Voracek // Jagr News Conference

Laviolette also stated that some work has gone into the fact that the Flyers will face preseason games very soon.  He and the coaching staff have already started thinking about what players he wants on the ice and how to manage which players play in which game primarily because the Flyers will see four games in a four-day span starting on Tuesday in Toronto.

“We’ll send not a large number, maybe an extra [player] or two, up to Toronto,” said Laviolette. “We’ll come back and field a team at home and then we’ll take a group that will be able to cover both games.”

Both games Laviolette is referring to are tilts on back-to-back nights against the Detroit Red Wings. The first at the Flyers’ home away from home at the John Labatt Center in London, Ont., then a rematch at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Day 2 will see the same schedule set up as the first. Group One will most likely consist of the veteran players going on at 9:30 a.m., immediately shifting to dry-land training.

In addition, the Flyers will be taping their annual LIVE taping of “Meet The Flyers” show to air on Comcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network later in the month.

12:35 p.m.
The first session of Flyers on-ice and dry-land training has concluded in Day One at Training Camp. The group consisted mostly of Flyers veterans and saw some interesting line combinations.

Jaromir Jagr will be introduced to the media shortly, but beforehand, he was out on the ice with Claude Giroux and James van Riemsdyk.

“I looked up to him as a kid, and obviously he’s one of the best players to ever play the game,” said Giroux.  “Any time you have a guy like that on your line, it’s pretty exciting, and I’m pretty excited to play with him.”

Looks like Scott Hartnell & Danny Briere will be paired together if this early session is any indication. Newcomer Jake Voracek was on the right wing to complete the trio.

Some other combos seen today were Max Talbot playing with Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn, and even Michael Nylander was taking turns with the three players.

The newer group of Flyers and many of the rookies from camp are currently on the ice for a second session.

In another bit of news, “Media Day” continues here with Matt Carle getting green-screen action, while Kimmo Timonen is getting his head shot taken.

8:25 a.m.
It’s the annual “media day” here at Training Camp as well. The entire team will be shooting dramatic “gladiator” footage for CSN, take their official NHL headshots, do multiple interviews for website, in-arena pieces and put in a lot of green-screen time.

Danny Briere and Max Talbot were the first among the Flyers to get in early and go through the media “cycle”. Take a look…

Also, Chris Pronger is also skating on the ice. He isn’t with the rest of the camp, but he is working on some on-ice drills with Ian Laperriere.

12:01 a.m.
The clock has struck midnight and its the official start of the Flyers 2011 Training Camp! Players will take the ice beginning at 9:30 a.m. - CLICK HERE for an entire schedule.

In addition, the Flyers will host a news conference at 1 p.m. today to introduce their free agent signing of Jaromir Jagr. Stay tuned throughout the day for updates and photos.