Flyers Notes: Six-day break gives Berube time to tinker

Posted: October 19, 2013

The Flyers will have six days between games - they don't play again until Thursday against the visiting New York Rangers - and that will give coach Craig Berube some extra time to implement his system and work on the team's conditioning.

Berube, who replaced Peter Laviolette on Oct. 7, has had to use a cram course during the last 10 days.

"I think it's important, with what's happened, to get some practice time and some time together as a team - on and off the ice," Berube said before Thursday's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Berube plans to hold practices during five of the six days. Saturday is the only scheduled day off.

The recently appointed coach wants the Flyers to "attack better, and I want I want our D on the rush more. I want to change the offensive zone play a little bit."

Berube also wants the Flyers to improve their speed.

"I do believe you can get somewhat quicker," he said. "Now not everybody is going to be able to go as fast as other guys, but just quicker play and quicker thinking [are the goal]. It takes practice. It takes time."

The six days without a game will give the Flyers "time to refocus," forward Max Talbot said. "It'll be good for the team to work on things. Since Chief has been here, it's been game-game-game, so having a chance to practice a little more will be good."

A more aggressive forecheck in the neutral zone, Talbot said, is the biggest change between the systems used by Berube and his predecessor.

"We've been playing with more intensity and with a little more speed as well," Talbot said of the forecheck. "It's been good to create things and I think if we work at it a little more, it'll get even better."

During the break, Talbot said, the team plans to go out to dinners together, and the players may attend Sunday's Eagles-Dallas football game.

Breakaways

Center Vinny Lecavalier (lower-body injury) is expected to play Thursday. There is a chance that Lecavalier and Scott Hartnell (upper body) will skate at practice Sunday, general manager Paul Holmgren said. . . . Steve Mason made his sixth start in eight games and appears to have earned the No. 1 goalie spot, although Berube doesn't want to anoint him yet. "It's too early," he said. . . . Entering Thursday, the Flyers had a 142-84-30-8 all-time record against the Penguins. . . . Kris Newbury replaced Jay Rosehill on the fourth line.

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