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Shut 'er Down

by Joe Siville / Philadelphia Flyers
Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette had this day marked on his calendar, however it wasn’t a certain team or game, it was something else he planned out all along.

Today he gave the entire team, staff, trainers, equipment managers (everybody but the day off to spend how they’d like in Boston.

“I think its good that they get to hang out a little bit,” said Laviolette. “You can always build on your team and the relationships on your team when you’re going to lunch, dinner and just hanging out for a day or doing whatever they want to do.”
Boston Statehouse overlooking the famous Boston Commons park.

The Flyers will take on the Boston Bruins tomorrow at 7 p.m. and will be able to get in a full team practice at the morning skate, so today being a day off is certainly not taking away anything, especially considering the team is in a stretch where they will have played three games in four days.

“You know sometimes I think the most important thing is rest,” said Laviolette. “You keep grinding and grinding and you forget how much energy is being spent every game and practice, so we get an opportunity to take a day off. I don’t think its going to hurt us, I think it will help us and we can go on the ice in the morning. I think that’s probably the most important thing is the rest.”

Rest of course meaning obviously not skating, but Laviolette says perhaps what’s more important is the mental rest that each of the guys will get to enjoy.

After all, during a long 82-game season (and hopefully much longer) a majority of the days off for the team come when the team is at home, not on the road.

“I think the players sometimes take it as more of a break, because when you’re on the road you usually do practice, so when you get to just come into a city, and not have to go to the rink and put your gear on, start thinking about practice and what you have to do out there, sometimes the mental break I think is really worth it.”

A native of Massachusetts himself, who could’ve blamed him, after all a day off in Boston definitely doesn’t leave with a small amount of options.
Newbury Street in Boston, Mass. is known for great shopping and restaurants.

One option seems to be popular with all of the guys is getting some much needed holiday shopping in.

“Well I plan on trying to knock out some of my Christmas shopping,” said Brian Boucher, who was found walking into the hotel with teammate Scott Hartnell who had his hands full with shopping bags as well.

“That’s my goal today, but I don’t know how far I’ll get, hopefully I’ll get something accomplished. I’ll probably go down to Newbury street, walk around and I kind of had some ideas, but I’m sure I’ll be met with ‘We don’t have this, we don’t have that’ and I’ll have to come up with something different, but I’m just going to have to stay focused and get the job done.”

As you can imagine, some guys will take the day off to simply just relax, which as Danny Briere points out is usually a lot different on the road, rather than relaxing at home.

“Yeah, we don’t get too many days off on the road. On a day like today when you’re away from anything you can do at home, running errands and stuff like that I think it can be a total relaxing day. Spending a lot of time trying to get the rest back, our schedule has been a little crazy lately in the past three-four weeks so it’s a good day to not do anything, maybe catch up on a movie.”

With a movie theatre in close proximity, much of the team will in fact be doing just that.
“Well a lot of guys got up and went into the gym and got a quick work out in, but other wise we’re just trying to relax and going to get a movie in,” said Darroll Powe, who along with Matt Carle, Briere and Giroux said they are most likely headed to see The Fighter later on.

That’s not to say everyone stayed away from the gym, after all a majority of the players are creatures of habit and enjoy getting a daily work out in.

Head equipment manager Derek Settlemyre, along with a few other members of the staff will be getting away from hockey all together and shooting some hoops today and getting a small pick-up game of basketball on their day off.

“I saw guys in the gym today, but I don’t think guys overly exerted,” said Laviolette. “It’s not like they went in there and squatted 300 pounds, so I think they just go in for a light flush or sweat and I’m of the belief that you need to do whatever you need to do to be successful. Guys do have routines and the last thing I think you should do is tell them they shouldn’t go ride a bike when they really feel like they need to.”

So as our Flyers take in a day of holiday shopping, R&R and a little 5-on-5 on the courts of Boston, tomorrow will bring an entirely different mind-set towards the city – the Bruins.

Fans no doubt remember the last time these two teams met in beantown, a 4-3 win in Game Seven to complete the most historic comeback in franchise history. However as we’ve heard over and over again throughout the first 30 games of the season, last year is last year and this year the Bruins are a perfect 1-0 against the Flyers having yet to allow a goal with their 3-0 victory on Dec. 1.

Game time is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday and depending on a few games on the schedule tonight in the NHL, the Flyers could once again be playing for the top spot in the NHL.
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