Flyers training camp opened to a record attendance for the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ early Sunday morning. The excitement had not yet worn off from the incredible rookie scrimmage between the Flyers and Capitals where former second overall selection James van Riemsdyk showed exactly why he was taken so early with a four goal, five point performance. It had been standing room only in the Skate Zone for all open to the public practices all weekend.
Going in, there were questions about Mike Richards’ health, Simon Gagne’s health, Danny Briere’s health, and, of course, how Ray Emery would perform between the pipes. All those questions, and many more, were answered quickly through a vast array of drills ranging from skating, passing, board-work, checking, and shooting.
The only real pressing matter left to attend to is what exact this lineup will look like going into opening day. The bottom six cluster of Mika Pyorala, Krys Kolanos, Lukas Kaspar, Blair Betts, Mark Bell, Arron Asham, Riley Cote, Dan Caricllo, Ian Laperriere, Darroll Powe, James van Riemsdyk, Patrick Maroon, Andreas Nodl, Jonathan Kalinski, and Jared Ross became one step closer to a solution. Only six of those fifteen players will get substantial playing time with the Flyers to open up the season. For now John Stevens has made his decisions.
Line 1A: Simon Gagne – Mike Richards – Krys Kolanos
Line 1B: Scott Hartnell – Jeff Carter – Mika Pyorala
Line 1C: James van Riemsdyk – Claude Giroux – Danny Briere
Line 4: Dan Carcillo – Ian Laperriere – Darroll Powe
Extras: Lukas Kaspar, Blair Betts, Mark Bell, Arron Asham,
Riley Cote, Patrick Maroon, Jonathan Kalinski,
Jared Ross, Andreas Nodl
Stevens was quick to point out that things can change quickly. He does not want anyone to jump the gun on this lineup. Patrick Maroon, another prospect expected to make a strong push for playing time, was not even involved on the first day due to a minor injury. If he performs well it could mean Krys Kolanos gets dropped from the captain’s line to the AHL. There is still so much up in the air in terms of what the Flyers will look like offensively for puck-drop 2009, but they will run three scoring lines as they have in the past instead of going to the more traditional third line checking format.
The defense was also fixed as the team entered camp. Originally Stevens planned to place Kimmo Timonen and Chris Pronger together. Since putting all your eggs in one basket is never a good idea, Stevens seems to have changed his mind. The pairings now look a little more realistic.
The goaltending situation of course remains the same with Ray Emery starting between the pipes and Brian Boucher as his back-up.
More on Flyers Camps:
Van Riemsdyk looks good in orange, nets four
(Rookie scrimmage recap.)
Two Flyers camp invitees could wear orange this season
(The odds of Blair Betts and Mark Bell earning contracts.)