Welcome to the Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Facebook of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Twitter of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Instagram of the Philadelphia Flyers Official LinkedIn of the Philadelphia Flyers Official DeskSite of the Philadelphia Flyers Flyer Wire
  • RSS


It was the first full practice for Lecavalier and Hartnell, post-injuries, Vinny's first day as a winger and Raffl's first time on the top line.

Tuesday, 10.22.2013 / 5:44 PM ET / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
Share with your Friends


VOORHEES, N.J. – Vincent Lecavalier doesn’t want to say yet if he thinks he can return from his lower body injury by Thursday.

Craig Berube is taking a similar vow of silence.

General Manager Paul Holmgren issued a statement saying that Lecavalier and fellow practicing wounded Scott Hartnell are both day-to-day with their ailments.

Watching practice Tuesday though, there was a definite difference between the participation of the two.

There was Hartnell, practicing on what amounts to a fifth line (read: scratches) with Jay Rosehill and Kris Newbury.

Meanwhile, Lecavalier was skating with the top line and the top power play unit.

One doesn’t want to jump to any conclusions or make any assumptions but, it sure as heck seems like Lecavalier will be back Thursday, pending any setbacks.

 Vinny Lecavalier was a full participant at practice for the first time Monday since suffering his lower-body injury two weeks ago.

“I’ll be fine. It’s not like I’m starting from scratch or had a month off or it’s the summertime. I’ve been feeling pretty good. I’m really excited. Any time you are hurt you want to come back and help your team any way you can.

“We have a great group here, we’ve just got to put it all together. I believe in this group. If we go to the net and score a couple more goals than we have so far, then good things will happen.”

“Lecavalier was one of the few bright spots in the early part of the season before his injury, and now upon his return it looks like he’s going to try out a brand new position, something that is rare for a 33-year-old player with 15 years of NHL experience.

“It was my first time in my career that I played the wing,” Lecavalier said. “But, I really comfortable on the right side and I feel there are more plays I can do playing on the off wing. Playing with [Claude Giroux], he’s a special player. He’s a guy who can get you the puck. I thought things went well today.”

He wasn’t alone.

Lecavalier teamed with Giroux and Michael Raffl on the left wing in practice and the trio looked crisp and cohesive.

“I thought they looked really good,” said Berube, trying to hide a knowing smile.

The combination could be just what the Flyers need to spark their offense. Instead of putting players who are space eaters on a line with Giroux to try and give him more room to work his magic, instead Berube is trying to go with a unit of puck possession players who also have good vision and can help each other be creative.

The trickle down effect sees changes on all four lines as Tye McGinn and Jake Voracek slide to the second line with Brayden Schenn in the middle, forcing Wayne Simmonds onto the third line with Sean Couturier in the middle and Matt Read on the left and Max Talbot dropping to the fourth line left wing with Adam Hall at center and Zac Rinaldo on the right.

For Lecavalier, this marks the third different set of line mates he’s had in what will be just his fifth game as a Flyer. It doesn’t bother him though…

“The last three years for me I had a coach[Guy Boucher] that would change lines during games, so I’m kind of used to going from one guy to the next,” he said. “Everything is new to me this year, but the chemistry is here, I just think the last step of putting the puck in the net – everyone is struggling with that – but I think it will come because we have good chemistry.”

The happiest guy in the locker room has to be Raffl. In the span of 10 days he went from being in the AHL to landing a role on the top line with two elite players.

His play in the first three games has helped Michael Raffl earn a spot for now on the Flyers top line

“It’s something special of course,” Raffl said. “It should be your goal to play with those kind of players. They are so skilled and so smart with the puck and they can find you everywhere. They can make passes that probably nobody else can make. I can’t make those passes. [Giroux] is making passes that I have never seen before in my life in practice all the time. It’s a great chance [for me].”

Considering how Raffl has played in his three games since he’s been recalled to the NHL, it’s no surprise that he’s getting this chance. In each game, he has looked strong on the puck, doesn’t shy away from contact, and has the aforementioned vision to create chances for his teammates.

He hasn’t registered a point yet in those three games, but playing him with two elite centers at the same time could change that in a hurry.

“He’s been pretty good,” Berube said. “I’ve liked his game so far. He’s got skill, he’s big and he moves and he has a lot of confidence out there, which I like.”

That kind of confidence is rare for a rookie, but for Raffl, he thinks it comes from skipping junior hockey and going right to the professional ranks.

“I played six years professionally,” he said. “I never played junior. I played right away against grown-ups, so you have to learn quickly to play against those guys. That kind of helped me a little bit.”

And the Flyers are hoping it helps them out a bit on the scoreboard as well.

“You hope it clicks as quickly as it can,” Berube said. “We work on it as much as we can in practice and you hope it clicks in a game, that’s the way it goes.”


NOTES: Berube also switched up the top power play unit going with Giroux, Lecavalier, Simmonds and Voracek as his four forwards and switching to Mark Streit instead of Kimmo Timonen at the point. He explained that he wanted more 5-on-5 and penalty kill minutes out of Timonen and more power play minutes out of Streit… Scott Hartnell is listed as day-to-day, but there’s probably a better chance he plays Saturday in New York against the Islanders then Thursday against the Rangers.




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


C. Giroux 78 22 45 -8 67
W. Simmonds 81 32 28 -7 60
B. Schenn 80 26 33 3 59
J. Voracek 73 11 44 -5 55
S. Gostisbehere 64 17 29 8 46
S. Couturier 63 11 28 8 39
M. Raffl 82 13 18 9 31
M. Read 79 11 15 -5 26
M. Streit 62 6 17 -1 23
S. Laughton 71 7 14 -2 21
S. Mason 23 19 10 .918 2.51
M. Neuvirth 18 8 4 .924 2.27
Privacy Policy | AdChoices | California Privacy Rights | Contact Us | Advertise Employment | NHL.com Terms of Use

Philadelphiaflyers.com is the official Web site of the Philadelphia Flyers. Philadelphia Flyers and philadelphiaflyers.com are trademarks of Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.