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It's Go Time!

Training camp is complete. Next up, the start of the season vs. Pittsburgh

Friday, 01.18.2013 / 3:03 PM ET / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
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It\'s Go Time!

VOORHEES, N.J. – It’s time.

The Flyers wrapped up their abbreviated training camp Friday with a brief, but intense practice.

After a little more than a half hour on the ice, the team huddled on the ice, coach Peter Laviolette gave a short pep talk, and the team retreated to the locker room.

The next time they take the ice, it will be against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the opening game of this abbreviated season.

“I think we’re ready,” said Scott Hartnell. “Everyone put in a lot of hours this week – the coaching staff, the video guy and especially us players. With today’s tempo at practice, we looked pretty good.”

It’s the same eternal optimism that fills every locker room on the eve of the season beginning, but these Flyers have already proven that they are among the sport’s elite, reaching the second round of the playoffs last season for the fourth time in five seasons.

And a good chunk of that team from last season is back – and it’s gotten even younger.

“When you look at a schedule of 48 games in 99 days, we’re in for a wild ride,” general manager Paul Holmgren said. “I think there are three big factors – you have to be healthy, you need good goaltending and you need young legs and depth. The unknown is our goaltending and injuries.

“Ilya [Bryzgalov] has had a good camp. He’s looked tremendous. I expect him to carry that on.”

And there’s no doubting that Bryzgalov will be in the spotlight all season. His play will ultimately decide the fate of the Flyers season.

Yet, while he is a major ingredient in the mix, it should not be overlooked that this is Claude Giroux’s team.

The new Flyers captain in the team’s best player. Not only that, he’s one of the best players in the sport. But now he has to take on a little more responsibility and be the primary focus of the team both on the ice and in the locker room.

“We touched on a lot of things this week,” Giroux said. “The systems and getting our legs behind us. I can’t wait to see how the guys react now in the games.”

Those games begin in earnest with the Penguins Saturday afternoon in a game that should have the fire and intensity of a playoff game.

“We’re going to have 48 playoff games before the playoffs,” added Hartnell.

And the league was smart to kick off the new season with a nationally televised contest between bitter rivals who met in the playoffs a year ago in a wildly entertaining series won by the Flyers – regardless of what the commercial promoting the game might have said otherwise.

“For everybody it’s going to be extra special,” said Max Talbot, who spent the first six seasons of his career in Pittsburgh. “We haven’t played in a few months so why not get it started against a rival?

“We’ve been waiting for too long to play again. To play them is going to be a great motivation. It’s not like it’s a Tuesday night in Columbus, for us it’s going to be an exciting afternoon.”

And it’s safe to say that excitement will spill onto the ice as Flyers coach Peter Laviolette wants his team playing with energy and heart for an entire 60 minutes.

“It’s a good opponent for us,” Laviolette said. “They’re sick of listening to us. The best thing to do right now is to go out there and skate. Bang. Sweat. Those are good things.

“I know [the atmosphere] is going to be great. Based on the past, and our rivalry and the fans excitement. I think it’ll be phenomenal.”

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
5 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
6 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
7 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 56 28 21 7 124 124 63
10 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
11 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 54 16 30 -8 46
J. Voracek 54 8 35 -3 43
W. Simmonds 54 20 16 -7 36
B. Schenn 52 15 15 1 30
S. Gostisbehere 36 10 20 4 30
S. Couturier 40 9 15 9 24
M. Read 51 9 9 -5 18
M. Raffl 54 7 7 5 14
S. Laughton 52 4 10 -7 14
M. Del Zotto 52 4 9 -8 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 13 14 7 .917 2.65
M. Neuvirth 11 6 3 .932 2.13
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