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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. \u2013 It\u2019s time.\r\n\r\nThe Flyers wrapped up their abbreviated training camp Friday with a brief, but intense practice.\r\n\r\nAfter 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.\r\n\r\nThe next time they take the ice, it will be against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the opening game of this abbreviated season.\r\n\r\n\u201CI think we\u2019re ready,\u201D said Scott Hartnell. \u201CEveryone put in a lot of hours this week \u2013 the coaching staff, the video guy and especially us players. With today\u2019s tempo at practice, we looked pretty good.\u201D

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
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 CBJ 74 35 35 4 203 230 74
13 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 75 21 53 7 74
C. Giroux 74 22 46 1 68
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
M. Streit 75 9 36 -10 45
B. Schenn 75 14 25 -7 39
S. Couturier 75 13 17 1 30
M. Read 73 7 22 -7 29
M. Del Zotto 57 9 19 -5 28
M. Raffl 60 19 6 6 25
V. Lecavalier 51 7 11 -10 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 15 17 10 .926 2.25
R. Emery 10 10 6 .892 3.15
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