VANCOUVER - Allen Iverson made fun of practice, saying it was overrated.
The Flyers disagree.
"We talkin' about practice," goalie Marty Biron said in his best Iverson impersonation after yesterday's workout here at General Motors Place. "It's the first one we've had in a long, long time."
Because of a crowded schedule, the holiday break, and weather-related travel woes, the Flyers had not had a full practice since Dec. 19.
It was good to get back into a routine, they said, after practicing for tonight's game in Vancouver, where Biron will be in the nets as the Flyers try to end a two-game skid.
"I think we've gotten away from what we were doing," center Jeff Carter said. "We had a couple days off and haven't really practiced and kind of got sloppy and really weren't playing our system or style. Just have to go out there and get back to basics, and we should be good."
"It's nice to get a good sweat in; we haven't practiced in so long, and when you don't practice, you kind of get complacent and lose track of some things," captain Mike Richards said. "We got a chance to work on some things. Really, it was good to do something other than laying in bed and sitting on the plane the last couple of days.
"The energy was high out there today."
In addition to getting back into sync with a full practice, there was good news on the injury front: Defensemen Kimmo Timonen (chip fracture of tight ankle) and Matt Carle (bruised left ankle bone) skated at practice and could be in tonight's lineup.
"They looked pretty good to me," Carter said. "It always helps to get guys like that back, especially Kimmo [because] he really calms things down back there."
Timonen, arguably the team's most important player, and Carle said they thought they would play tonight - Timonen was especially optimistic - but coach John Stevens won't make a decision until after this morning's skate.
The Flyers started this 12-day, six-city trip by losing to Chicago, 5-1, and Columbus, 3-0. They were outshot by a combined 71-38.
"The fact we weren't able to skate really put us behind the eight-ball," said Stevens, whose club had to cancel two morning skates because of travel problems. "We looked like a sluggish team."
"The way we played those games is not the way we can play," Timonen said. "But we have to put those games behind us."
The Flyers have the NHL's best power play (27 percent success rate) while the Canucks have the most penalty minutes (20 per game) in the league.
That combination might work to the Flyers' advantage tonight.
Then again, in the first two games of the trip, the Flyers' power play has been in a deep freeze. Fact is, the Flyers have spent so little time in their opponents' end that they have failed to create many high-quality chances that frequently result in a penalty.
"Special teams will be huge," Richards said. "Hopefully, they take penalties."
Danny Briere, recovering from a groin injury, skated and is eligible to come off the long-term injured list and play in Anaheim on Friday. The center didn't sound optimistic about returning that night. . . . Scott Hartnell (broken big toe) didn't skate in practice but should play tonight. . . . Vancouver star goalie Roberto Luongo, sidelined since Nov. 22 by a groin injury, is expected to miss about another month. . . . One of Luongo's backups, Curtis Sanford, notched his first shutout in nearly three years Sunday in a 3-0 win over Ottawa.