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Practice Report: Globetrotters

Flyers take on more travel, look to keep momentum in Western Canada

by @NHLFlyers

After a dominant win over the Devils in the Flyers' "Philadelphia home opener" on Wednesday, Thursday marked a full day away from the rink and a full day of travel across the continent. 

Friday, the club returned to the ice in preparation to face the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night. Below are news & notes from the session:

* One obvious storyline is that the team is going through a travel schedule like no other, having gone right from training camp to Europe, returning home for just one game (a highly anticipated, emotional game against a division rival at that) and is now facing three straight opponents starting in a city that is a full nine hour time difference from where the team was just one week ago.

A side effect to all that is a natural team closeness developing at a quicker pace with the mental and physical challenges the team is facing, which starts with the leadership group.

KONECNY: "It's tough when you go time-zone to time-zone to time-zone. It's crazy but it says a lot about our leadership group. They got us on the ice a few days when we didn't necessarily need to skate but we chose to skate anyway. Our off-ice team does a great job of keeping us hydrate and all the right things to prepare us so it's just a matter of sticking with what we're doing." 

* As for practice itself, teams were divided into two sets (Team Grey & White) and like nearly every other practice, the tempo and pace was fast with very little stoppages. Utilizing video sessions right before hitting the ice are a big reason for keeping things concise.

VIGNEAULT: "Today we had a video session on different things that we want to do better on the ice. Guys were very receptive and we had a good upbeat practice... I think the fact that the players know, because pre-ice we show the drills, and they can get a good mindset and go out there and focus, so I think that's helped."Video: Hear from the players following practice in VAN

* As for the lines - nothing has changed from the last week of play, although the team is slated to have a morning skate on Saturday, which will be the telling sign if anything new will reveal itself.

Having come out of the gates at 2-0-0, its highly unlikely that things will change as far as personnel, including the goaltender, who said not looking back or too far ahead has been the key for him during the hectic schedule:

HART: "Every night we have a job to do and that's to win hockey games. That's where our focus is - one game at a time and one day at a time... one practice at time, we just have to worry about the task at hand."

* Another big part of the uptempo at practice was their continued work on special teams, which saw both full-ice work and half ice. Drills would start at the blue line with all nine (4 on the PK and 5 on the PP) on the ice racing to the end boards for puck retrieval. The Flyers have killed off each of the last five times they have been shorthanded and gone 3-for-7 on the man advantage (42.8%). 

* The Flyers take on the Canucks on Saturday night at Rogers Arena in Vancouver (10 p.m. ET - NBCSP & 97. 5 The Fanatic).

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