FLYERS OPEN DAY 1 AT A FAST PACE
Day 1 of on-ice practices began at the Virtua Center Flyers Skatezone and true to his word, it began with the theme that head coach Craig Berube said it would.
"Practices are fast and they're intense… and that's the way we want them," said Berube after both sessions concluded. "You want to work out there, we want to do things fast. It actually looks a little chaotic at times, but that's a part of it all. That's a part of getting in game shape and getting ready to play."
The players seemed to have taken notice.
"It was a pretty hard practice," said Voracek, who dropped close to 10 pounds over the summer. "It was a hard-working, over an hour practice and I think we looked pretty sharp for a first practice."
Last preseason, the Flyers posted a mark of 1-5-1 with their lone victory coming in a seven-round shootout over the Maple Leafs in Toronto, before beginning the season with three straight losses.
"I don't think there's one guy in this locker room or at camp that didn't put in the extra effort to get in shape," said Brayden Schenn. "You see guys dropping weight, dropping body fat and aerobically getting in better shape. You have to be. You look at those practices out there and you see how high-paced they are, how much tempo there is, so if you're not in shape coming into that you're going to be hurting and everyone looks good out there."
The Flyers get two more days of full practices with the first preseason games getting underway on Monday.
This year's split-squad game will see the Flyers play the Maple Leafs in London, Ont. and another 20-man unit taking on the Washington Capitals at the Wells Fargo Center. It will be Flyers fans first opportunity to see their team take the ice since Game Six of the First Round series against the Rangers.
Berube will be behind the bench for the game against the Caps, while assistant coaches Gord Murphy and Ian Laperriere will guide the team in London. With the Flyers playing the very next night at the Air Canada Centre against the Leafs, Berube will travel up to Toronto and re-join the team.
MACDONALD LOOKING FORWARD TO FULL SEASON
With the announcement of Kimmo Timonen being sidelined for the first half of the season, the acquisition of defenseman Andrew MacDonald in March of last season is all that more valuable.
MacDonald will most likely pick up big minutes on the blue line, something that he was used to on Long Island.
The 28-year-old averaged 20 minutes or more per game in each of the last five seasons, including last season when he averaged nearly 25 minutes of TOI per game (24:37) split with the Islanders and Flyers.
For MacDonald, having joined the team at the end of last season, the transition to the fast-paced action of practice was much easier than coming into the organization cold. So Day 1 was nothing new to him.
"I think any time you come into camp, you know things are going to be ramped up," said MacDonald. "I came [to the Flyers] at the end of last year, which helped. Getting familiar with all the guys, I'm coming into camp knowing all the guys which is nice."
GIROUX LEAVES INJURED
Flyers captain Claude Giroux left very early on into the morning session of practice with what was later announced as a lower-body injury.
He is expected to miss approximately two weeks with the injury. The Flyers open their 2014-15 season in 19 days at Boston on Oct. 8. Read More HERE…