John Tortorella is rebuilding the Philadelphia Flyers from the fundamentals on up. On the first day, it was no pucks, all skates. On the second day, there were two scrimmages, then more skating. Tonight, they’ll march onto the ice at the Wells Fargo Center to take on the Boston Bruins in their first preseason game.
Yesterday, Tortorella stated that the Lehigh Valley Phantoms coaching staff be present on the bench for the first two games of the Flyers preseason; versus the Bruins and against the Buffalo Sabres on September 27th, 2022.
Last preseason, Philadelphia finished 2-3-1. Some astute observations from the preseason held ground throughout the 2021-2022 regular season. Injuries forced less than ideal lineups, and the penalty kill surrendered a goal.
Flyers veterans will occupy the ice at a minimum, ensuring the coaching staffs get the best look at the roster of players at the 2022 Flyers Training Camp. Will Philadelphia build upon their sweep of the New York Rangers in the 2022 Rookie Series, or is Boston different?
Between the two opponents tonight, there are quite a few similarities. Goaltending, first and foremost, stands at the forefront of questions about the Bruins. Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark are not in tonight’s lineup but are contesting for the starting role. Boston also misses two excellent defensemen, Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk, who are recovering from shoulder surgeries.
Extending a PTO to Anton Stralman, also not in tonight’s lineup, means that the Bruins are trying to support their defense with a veteran. Similarly, Antoine Roussel and Artem Anisimov received a PTO with the Philadelphia Flyers to bolster forward depth.
Fabian Lysell at RW is a playmaker. Can he consistently make the right play, making the right impression, or is he meant for the highlight reel a few times during the preseason? He popped during the 2022 World Juniors for Team Sweden, registering six points (2G, 4A) in seven games. The 21st overall selection from the 2021 NHL Entry Draft earns the player spotlight for the Bruins ahead of tonight’s preseason clash.
- Forwards: Greer, Wagner, Foligno, Beecher, Lysell, Studnicka, Koppanen, Steen, DeBrusk, Tralmaks, Nosek, Lauko, Lettieri
- Defensemen: Renouf, Ahcan, Didier, Carrick, Wissman, Wolff, Zboril
- Goaltenders: Kinkaid, Keyser, Brassard
Tortorella has stated that he doesn’t know what his team is quite yet. He knows their determination to show that last season doesn’t define them. More importantly, he is a coach who has the locker room, something lacking in 2021-2022. Tonight, as Tortorella would put it, “I want to see them play against guys they didn’t just have breakfast with.”
Ian Laperriere will be the bench boss. His lineup, veteran or not, is out to earn a spot on the roster. He did mention how he will split his goaltenders tonight; “half-and-half, Felix is gonna’ start.”
Chuck Fletcher is setting lineups for the first three games, another concept Tortorella noted yesterday; “he’s got to put pieces together.”
Tanner Laczynski earns tonight’s player spotlight for the Flyers. He only appeared in one game towards the end of last season. During the 2021 Flyers Training Camp, Alain Vigneault said Laczynski would likely miss all of 2021-2022 due to another hip surgery. Finally healthy, he will center the first line in a lineup handcrafted by Fletcher. In 28 games with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms last season, he tallied 17pts (7G, 10A) before Philadelphia recalled him.
“It’s been fun. It’s hard, it’s grueling on the body, it’s taxing, but at the end of the day, it’s fun.”Tanner Laczynski; 9/24/2022
Laczynski calls the camp “fun,” and the same time, “grueling on the body.” It seems he’s confident in his health for the first time since 2020-2021.
Watch the Philadelphia Flyers battle the Boston Bruins on NBC Sports Philadelphia or tune in to 97.5 The Fanatic. The puck drops at 7pm.
(Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)