Practice Report: Flyers Prepare for the Flames

The Flyers are fresh off of a solid victory in Carolina last night in which the first line erupted. Fans were looking for Claude Giroux to have a break out performance and he did just that to the tune of four points (2G,2A). The trio of Giroux, Morgan Frost and Travis Konecny led the team back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat a really good Hurricanes team.

The Flyers took to the ice in Voorhees prior to their one o’clock showdown with Calgary on Saturday. The practice appeared to be a little bit more relaxed. The drills the Flyers worked never had more than two forwards, therefore besides the colors worn by the players, there was nothing to distinguish the lines. They did work on special teams as well as other drills. During the course of the practice, there wasn’t much to report on, however, here are some observations:

Scott Laughton is Back in Black

The last practice that I attended, Laughton was dressed in the non-contact white jersey as he continued to heal from a broken hand. Today he was wearing black, which suggested he would be on the third line. The fourth line of James Van Riemsdyk and Michael Raffl were wearing orange. This was later confirmed by head coach Alain Vigneault. Laughton will start Saturday’s game on a line with Kevin Hayes and Joel Farabee.

Laughton seemed confident and ready. He took faceoffs against Frost. When asked about playing Saturday, “I’m excited about it.  It’s fun to be back with the guys especially since they have been gone all week. Playing really really well in Carolina so it’s fun to watch and continue to go.” Laughton was also running two-man drills with Frost, which leads me to speculate if we may see that pairing in overtime at some point.

Speaking of Frost:

Well, he was the most sought after interview after today’s practice. Three points in his first two games will do that. Frost was again on the top power-play unit. He was dressed in orange along with Giroux and Konecny. He was flying around the ice and looks like he belongs in the NHL.

After practice, Frost was asked about his offensive production and if he was surprised at his instant success. He stated the following: “probably, yeah it’s kinda been a quick start. I’ve said it multiple times playing with guys like G and TK helps with the offensive side of things. So I am not surprised that they are making great plays and helping me create offense. But yeah, I may be a little surprised.”

Frost was the last Flyer in the dressing room. As we waited for head coach Alain Vigneault, Frost was sitting in his locker, I went up and casually asked him about his assist the previous night. Without a phone or voice recorder in his face, he seemed more relaxed we had a brief conversation where he compared his first goal to his assist.

I bring this up to spotlight the whirlwind he must be going through this week. Regardless, he has handled the pressure extremely well as he has reached his goal of being an NHL player.

JVR might be Snakebit

During drills, Brian Elliott made an absolutely amazing save on JVR. JVR had the puck down around the goal line on the left side. Elliott was laying on his stomach giving JVR an open net to shoot at. As JVR shot the puck, Elliott lifted his leg and stopped the puck with his skate. It just appeared to be another line in story of JVR’ s struggles.

JVR had arguably one of his best games of the season Thursday night in Carolina. Although he had nothing to show for it in terms of points, he had a nice screen in front of Mzarek on Ivan Provorov’s power-play goal. Here is what the said about his play of late:

“Yeah, I mean, ultimately, obviously we’re all judged on production and I understand that. But that being said you want to have a good process and have things to build on when things aren’t bouncing your way. To be honest,  I think I’ve been getting my chances and creating a lot and being responsible. and trying to be a plus player here and that’s been good so far so. So I just wanted to stick with that.”

Other practice notes, Vigneault confirmed that Carter Hart will get the start Saturday. Also, Provorov did not practice, having a maintenance day. It should come as no surprise since Provorov has been logging a ton of ice time.

What’s next for the Flyers? Puck drop is set for One O’Clock at the Wells Fargo Center.

Mandatory Credit – © Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

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