Flyers set for exhibition games

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette talks to his players during training camp. The coach says the best way for him to evaluate players during the preseason is in game situations.
Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette talks to his players during training camp. The coach says the best way for him to evaluate players during the preseason is in game situations.
Posted: September 21, 2010

Nobody ever will accuse the Flyers of easing into their preseason schedule.

Three days after their initial on-ice training camp drills, the Flyers entertain the New Jersey Devils at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the exhibition opener at the Wells Fargo Center.

It will be the first of four games in five nights for the Flyers. They take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday in London, Ontario, and then Friday in Toronto. After that, they visit the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.

In all, the Flyers will play eight exhibition games in 12 nights - a schedule that Flyers coach Peter Laviolette is fond of.

"Perfect is probably the word. Perfect," he said of having eight exhibition games to evaluate talent.

Laviolette said Michael Leighton will start in goal against the Devils and likely will be relieved at some point by Sergei Bobrovsky.

When asked which veterans would play Tuesday, the coach would say only that he wasn't "100 percent sure. And I don't know if everybody knows."

Left winger Jody Shelley, a 10-year NHL veteran whom the Flyers signed via free agency in July, acknowledged he would play.

Shelley and the other veterans likely won't see much ice time. The preseason games will give the younger and borderline players a chance to impress the coaching staff.

"Evaluating players the best way for me is in games," Laviolette said. "There will be players in there [Tuesday], new players, young players, old players, veteran players. And we'll see where everybody is at."

The Flyers coaches will watch to see how well players apply what they've learned at camp in a game.

"You can over go over things in practice, but [Tuesday] there will be mistakes made," Laviolette said. "That's an opportunity to go back" to do more teaching and determine areas of improvement, he said.

He may have a lot to critique in the coming days.

One group of Flyers will travel to London, Ontario, on Thursday for the preseason game with Toronto and then fly back. Another group will go to Toronto on Friday for that day's game against the Maple Leafs before heading to Minnesota.

After Minnesota, the Flyers head to New Jersey to face the Devils on Sept. 28. The following night, they will entertain the New York Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center. Next, they will host the Buffalo Sabres on Oct. 1 before concluding the exhibition season at Buffalo on Oct. 3.


Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 610-313-8029 or kpompey@phillynews.com.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|