It could have been just another off-day practice. Instead, the Philadelphia Flyers made Saturday's workout something special by taking it outdoors.
With the towers of Manhattan in the background, the Flyers stepped on the ice at Lasker Rink in New York's Central Park for a planned-but-unpublicized outdoor workout. Though his team didn't arrive in the Big Apple until the early hours of Saturday morning for Sunday's game against the Rangers, coach Peter Laviolette opted to have his troops take the ice at 1 p.m. for what was, by NHL standards, a casual workout -- sweatpants and shin guards were the order of the day, and the low boards and piles of snow in the background gave a distinctly non-professional look to the whole affair.
"It brings back memories of when I was growing up, skating with the guys and having fun," Slovak-born defenseman Andrej Meszaros told Flyers TV. "It's nice to be outside again, even if it's a little chilly."
Outdoor hockey is nothing new to the Flyers, who were the visitors on Jan. 1, 2010, for the Bridgestone Winter Classic at Fenway Park in Boston.
They'll be back indoors at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night for a showdown with the Rangers.