Flyers Check-In: Justin Braun

Consistently improving is the recipe for success. That could mean player development, trading for veteran players, or simply fulfilling your role in a new system. File the 2019-2020 season as “all of the above” for Justin Braun. His final campaign with the San Jose Sharks was the worst of his career. On Wednesday, we caught up with Braun to learn about his transition to Philadelphia.

Unique Circumstances

Veteran players have used the 2019-2020 season pause to their advantage. A couple of examples include resting and healing the body. Across all sports, preserving the body is critical. That’s especially true when speaking about Justin Braun, a ten-year veteran. Keeping in a routine is paramount to effective conditioning.

“We had a good skate in Minny. There was plenty of guys around. They have the standard rules of staying away, but getting on the ice three or four times a week was good towards the end.”

Justin Braun; 7/15/20

Skating three to four times a week helps maintain a rhythm. The difference between keeping in “quarantine shape” and “hockey shape” doesn’t compare. For the past four months, Justin Braun and the Philadelphia Flyers were able to rest. That’s a silver lining for every NHL team participating in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs.

“This is going to be tough to kind of get back to where you were. The body certainly feels a lot better than usually going into playoffs. Having that timing is just as important, the feel of the game.”

Justin Braun; 7/15/20

An additional exhibition game before the beginning of the round-robin is a blessing for the Philadelphia Flyers. Throughout this training camp, the Flyers can capture their timing again. Playing the Pittsburgh Penguins, a formidable opponent, should expedite Philadelphia’s pace. While Alain Vigneault will be managing his roster early on, Justin Braun will be regaining the feel for hockey at the NHL level. When the Flyers play in an elimination round, they’ll be as close to regular-season form as they can.

A Change of Scenery

“It’s a little difficult coming in here and trying to find your footing and feel like a part of the boys. But the group here is great. One of the tighter groups I’ve ever been around.”

Justin Braun; 7/15/20

Nine of Justin Braun’s last ten seasons were spent with the San Jose Sharks. When any player is with a franchise for that long, equity and relationships are established. The echoing adjective to describe the 2019-2020 Philadelphia Flyers is “tight.” A tight-knit locker room that makes new additions feel welcomed. That’s especially important between defensive bonds.

“This guy brings it every day. His preparation is amazing. When you have that at a young age, it’s going to carry on and he’s just going to get better and better.”

Justin Braun; 7/15/20

That’s the impression that Carter Hart leaves on Justin Braun. Hart is a young, franchise goaltender than has impressed an above-average defenseman like Braun in one season. Braun continued with the compliments:

“He can be a game-changer. When he winds it up, his vision, his strength, he can do it all. Defends really well. He’s in phenomenal shape. He’s another young guy who’s got it figured out already.”

Justin Braun; 7/15/20

From one defenseman to another, Justin Braun provides a glowing review for Ivan Provorov. Provorov’s conditioning during the season pause was highlighted. Anytime an NHL veteran says that a younger player has “it figured out,” it’s a license to make that player a priority. Braun is a player that has had “it figured out” for years now. He continues to under the coaching of Alain Vigneault.

“He came in with a system. It took a while for guys to get used to that but I think everyone bought in. You saw at the end of the year how we were humming along and the points we were collecting. He set the standard of what he expects every night.”

Justin Braun; 7/15/20

Justin Braun bounced back from his worst NHL season under Alain Vigneault. I would argue that Braun’s season with the Philadelphia Flyers belongs in the better half of his career. He improved with the Flyers, re-developed under Vigneault’s system, and fulfilled his role precisely. His veteran presence will help Philadelphia in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Check out some more Flyers Check-In’s with other players below:

Mandatory Credit – © Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

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