At training camp, Flyers look to pick up from where they left off

Ed Benkin
July 13, 2020 - 7:48 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) The Flyers aren't used to training camp opening up in July.

Such is the case in the world of a pandemic with the league looking to resume after shutting down in March. 

The Flyers and 23 other teams will begin their quest for the Cup next month. All of the games will take place in one of two hub cities north of the border, with the Flyers and the rest of the Eastern Conference qualifiers playing their games in Toronto. 

The first step is to get back into game shape, and defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere acknowledged there will be rust to shake off over the next few weeks.

"It felt like a pretty big break," said Gostisbehere. "Having everyone come back into town, it definitely felt like training camp again. You’ve still got those butterflies before you get one the ice for the first time being with the boys and having the coaches on the ice."

The Flyers and the rest of the qualifiers intend to be ready when the post-season tournament begins. 

Flyers coach Alain Vigneault had a plan in place when his players arrived on Monday — he understands the fine line between pushing his players too fast and the need to be ready when the puck drops for their first game against Boston. 

The coach also reminded his players of the chance they have to win the ultimate hockey prize.

"I obviously expressed to them the opportunity to compete for the Stanley Cup and how we were going to proceed throughout this process," Vigneault said. "As a group, you can tell in our players’ faces when we saw them this morning that there was excitement and understanding of the opportunity in front of us. We’re getting to do what we love.  For the players, that’s playing hockey."


The players returned to the ice on a day when the NHL announced 30 more players have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of positive tests among players to 43.  

Meanwhile, nine members of the Pittsburgh Penguins have been sent home after they were exposed to someone who came in contact with an individual who tested positive. 

Forward Travis Konecny said dealing with the risk will be part of the process as they return to action.

"I've kind of accepted that it's a possibility," said Konecny. "There is a chance you could definitely get it, but there’s no more possibility than there is being wherever else. You’re almost safer here because you’re testing so often.”​

If the league is able to get through the tournament without a shutdown, the Flyers will look to pick up from where they left off in March. 

The Flyers had won 10 of 11 before the shutdown, but Claude Giroux knows everyone is starting from scratch.

"I think we are in a position here that anybody’s got a chance to win it," Giroux said.  "Everybody is starting at zero. It’s whichever team gets on the same page as quick as possible.​"