There was good news in Flyerdom on Thursday: Defenseman Nick Grossmann practiced in a regular (contact-permitted) jersey in Voorhees for the first time since he apparently suffered a concussion against Pittsburgh on April 18.
It appears that Grossmann, the Flyers' most physical defenseman, will be ready for the start of the next playoff series.
Grossmann said the long layoff - the Flyers haven't played since eliminating the Penguins on Sunday - has pluses and minuses.
"It's good to have a couple of days like this, get guys healthy," he said after practice, "but you kind of want to get going. It's too long. You get the first round over and want to jump on the horse again."
Center Danny Briere was asked whether he was concerned that the layoff would slow the momentum the Flyers had built in the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Penguins.
"A little bit, but at the same time, the days off were more important than keeping our streak going, or whatever you call it," he said. "It was a tough, physical series against Pittsburgh, and to have a week off, it gives everyone a chance to recuperate. I think it's more important than staying on a roll at this time."
Defenseman Braydon Coburn said the Flyers' readiness for Game 1 of the next round "falls on some of the older guys in this locker room. And how we prepare is a reflection of how we practice. That's a focus and a thing where we have leaders in this room to make sure we are ready."
Breakaways. Defenseman Andrej Meszaros, recovering from back surgery, took part in the latter stages of practice while wearing a back brace. . . . Max Talbot left practice early for a trip to the dentist after getting hit in the mouth with a puck and losing a tooth.
Danny Briere on not facing New York in the second round: "I would have welcomed playing against the Rangers and the extra motivation after what happened this season, the Winter Classic [and] not having beaten them in a game," he said. "Maybe next round; we'll see."