Flyers’ mission: A much better start than last year
The Flyers began last season 4-7 and always seem to be chasing teams in the standings. But a better start won't be easy because they're learning a new system under new coach Alain Vigneault.
PRAGUE, Czech Republic — The Flyers are putting their surprising preseason loss to the Swiss National League team behind them.
“You have the long trip over here and a different ice sheet and different things that aren’t in your favor,” left winger James van Riemsdyk said about Monday’s 4-3 loss in Switzerland. “You just have to find a way to battle and go from there. Obviously, we got better as the game went on and got more adjusted on what you need to do on the bigger sheet. Now the season starts Friday and we’ll be ready to go from there.”
They will face Chicago in Prague on Friday before opening at home against New Jersey and Wayne Simmonds next Wednesday. That will be followed by a three-game trip to western Canada against Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton.
Considering the Flyers started 4-7 to set the tone for their disappointing 2018-19 season, it’s important to get off to a better start.
“Obviously, we didn’t do ourselves any favors early in the season, and it means you’re chasing the year from that point on,” van Riemsdyk said. “We have to put down some good foundations of blocks to start the season and then continue to build from there.”
A strong start won’t be easy — and not just because of the travel logistics — because the Flyers are still getting acclimated to new coach Alain Vigneault’s system.
The Flyers started last season with a 5-2 win in Las Vegas before losing to Colorado and San Jose by a combined score of 13-4.
In their history, the Flyers are 24-19-8 in openers.