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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 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 82 22 59 1 81
C. Giroux 81 25 48 -3 73
M. Streit 81 9 43 -8 52
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
B. Schenn 82 18 29 -5 47
S. Couturier 82 15 22 4 37
M. Del Zotto 64 10 22 -5 32
M. Read 80 8 22 -4 30
M. Raffl 67 21 7 6 28
V. Lecavalier 57 8 12 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 18 18 11 .928 2.25
R. Emery 10 11 7 .894 3.06
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