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Outdoor touches everywhere

by Staff
While the Flyers are trying to make Sunday's practice as normal as possible, there is no denying that it is different -- mainly because it is out-of-doors in the home of baseball's Philadcelphia Phillies instead of their usual practice site in Vorhees, N.J.

In Vorhees, the playing surface is not surrounded by 48,000 seats and the lighting is soft and artificial. Here, the rink is smack in the middle of a vast expanse of seats and the sun is just starting to come over the facade of the stadium, beating down in the far corner of the left-field end of the rink surface.

Many players are wearing eye black to battle the glare. Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, meanwhile, is going retro for practice with his Philadelphia-themed Winter Classic mask and the brown pads and old-school blocker that were commonplace in the 1970s and early '80s.

The Flyers spent the first 15 minutes of practice working some transition drills before moving on to line rushes.

Certainly, Philadelphia will take the full hour allotted for practice before giving up the ice surface for a family skate, which is always the highlight of the practice day. Many members of the Flyer family are watching practice from the far side of the rink while the media observes from the home-plate side.
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