The Flyers hope the momentum gained from their season-opening 4-3 win Friday over Chicago won’t be lost because of their grueling travel from Prague, the six-hour time change, and a long layoff between games.
On Wednesday, the fifth night since they beat the Blackhawks, they will open the home portion of their schedule against New Jersey. They will try to start the season 2-0 for the first time since 2011-12, which happens to be the last time they won a playoff series.
Will the layoff be a problem?
“Good question. Usually it is, to be honest,” right winger Jake Voracek said after Tuesday’s practice in Voorhees. “But if you watched today’s practice, I think there was a high pace and I think everybody pushed pretty hard. We’re going to skate [Wednesday morning], and we’ll be fine.”
Center Scott Laughton said that the players’ internal clocks are back to normal and that “everyone is excited about our home opener. A bunch of guys’ families are in for the game, so it’ll be fun.”
Left winger James van Riemsdyk said it won’t feel like there were five days since the Flyers’ last game.
“In a regular situation, it might be tough, but just from the aspect of us trying to get acclimated to the time change and stuff, it hasn’t felt that long,” he said. “We’re working against all these things, so it hasn’t felt like we’re sitting here waiting as much. It’s felt like we’re trying to reacclimate ourselves.”
“It’s definitely hard on your body, but the boys know how to adjust and take care of themselves,” defenseman Ivan Provorov said.
The Flyers will use the same lineup that defeated Chicago.
The NHL gave the Flyers a mandatory day off Monday, but virtually the entire team skated on its own in Voorhees. Laughton, who had a wisdom tooth removed, and Matt Niskanen (minor medical procedure) were the only players who didn’t skate, coach Alain Vigneault said.
“I think them coming here on their own is a sign that they want to be the best team they can be,” Vigneault said.