Flyers Training Camp Takeaways: Day 2
Today was Day 2 of Flyers training camp in Voorhees, New Jersey, with Group C being the first group out at 8:30am. Again, the doors don’t open for the public until around 9:30am, so only the people who were in attendance for that were the players, coaches & anyone with a media pass. This group did a couple of different drills but not much. Group A’s and B’s roster both stayed the same, so no changes in lines from yesterday.
Group B and Group A switched time slots today, so Group B was first up. Nate Thompson, Martin Jones & Travis Sanheim were among those first out this morning.
The Flyers’ practice was almost the same as yesterdays, they worked on breakouts, line rushes, the simple things. The only thing that I noticed they added to practice were plays straight off the draw. AV seems to really be focusing in on the little things to start this camp. He’s been grinding the breakouts in the starts of practices, and today he spent a good amount of time with both groups going through these draw plays from center ice.
How many times did you look up at your TV last year right after the Flyers scored, only to see the other team come right back and pot one? It’s little things, but it’s something that definitely needed to be addressed and I’m glad AV is taking the time to do it.
Ristolainen showed us his more physical side today during rush drills. He had one play where he glided Connor Bunnaman into the boards, checked him, pinned him up against the glass and kept him there. Moments after, it was JVR’s turn to go up against Ristolainen, and again, Ristolainen didn’t shy away from being physical.
Thompson and Laughton didn’t have the same kind of spark today that they did yesterday, but they still looked good. Laughton continued to impress me in rush drills with his shot, he keeps labeling pucks top shelf.
The JVR – Frost – Farabee line looked really good yesterday and I thought today was no different. Each player had multiple really good plays throughout today’s session. Here, I thought Frost made a very nice drop-pass, taking the defender deep and opening up a perfect shooting lane for Farabee. Joel decided to try and pass it back to Frost instead of letting it rip, but the initial set up proves these two have chemistry.
We know how well JVR and Farabee play together, they were one of the only bright spots for the Flyers last season. Frost showed a little big of chemistry with JVR before he got hurt in his game and a half NHL stint last year, but didn’t have enough time together to build on that chemistry.
During 2-on-2 drills, Farabee and Ristolainen hooked up for a nice play. Ristolainen showing off that skating ability with Farabee driving the net and placing himself in the dirty area.
Again, the Flyers seemed to be focused on the fundamental side of things to start camp, so practices right now might not be the most exciting thing to watch for some fans. AV said in his presser after practice that the Flyers will get to PP stuff on Sunday, which is also the same day of the scrimmage.
The last highlight of Group B game from the same 2-on-2 drills Farabee and Ristolainen hooked up on. This time, it was Morgan Frost finding JVR. Frost finds himself behind the net (the last place you want to leave a player with his skillset) and feed JVR who has his stick down on the ice waiting for a pass.
Quick Hits for Group B
- Martin Jones’ glove hand has been very impressive to start camp. Like what I’m seeing out of #35 so far.
- German Rubstov actually made a couple of really solid plays today during the 3-on-3 drills. This might be his last chance to do something in the Flyers’ organization.
- I better start watching more of Adam Clendening because that’s who we are looking at as the 7th defenseman right now. Maybe Nick Seeler?
- Cam York used his active stick very well today, was incredibly disruptive all session, looked comfortable.
The drills were obviously the same in this group as the last group so we got to watch Ryan Ellis, Claude Giroux and company go to work. Yesterday there was a lot of talk on the timeline on how relaxed and poised Ryan Ellis is and today I really noticed it. Like JVR said in his presser yesterday, Ellis reminds me a little of Niskanen, in terms of the calmness and awareness he brings back there. During a 1-on-1 with Derick Brassard, Ellis makes this defensive stop look really is.
Oskar Lindblom was flying around out there for the second day in a row, he really looks like a different player from last season. I’m sure the full off-season to train, and recent news that his latest scans came back cancer free, helped with Oskar getting his strength back. Extremely excited to see what the Lindblom – Brassard – Atkinson line can do for the Flyers. Atkinson didn’t catch my eye yesterday but today he had a couple of really sweet goals, showing off that wrist shot.
Towards the end of the session, just how Frost ended his session with a sweet saucer pass, Giroux sends one of his own over to Konecny, who puts it home on the 2-on-1 rush.
Going to need 45+ of these this season
Quick Hits for Group A
- As Flyers camp comes along we’ll start to see more of the “fun stuff” (PP, PK, shootout drills, scrimmages) but these first two days have been nothing but hard work
- Isaac Ratcliffe had a really nice play where he danced through a defender and then went 5-hole for the goal. He’s a player who’s been through a ton with injuries, looking to have a solid year.
- Zamula had his second impressive day for me. He didn’t score a goal or dish a nice assist, but his patience with the puck and ability to use his size down-low has been very noticeable. Phantoms have a hell of a potential top pairing in York – Zamula
- Justin Braun had a really good day today. Scored on Hart twice and celebrated while doing it. Was all over players defensively as well.
Mandatory Credit: Amy Irvin/The Hockey Writers