Flyers coach Dave Hakstol put his team through the ringer on Friday during the club's opening day of training camp. Players were hunched over in between drills and sprints in what was easily the most intense Flyers practice in recent memory. For those wondering if the tempo was simply a 'welcome to camp' greeting - it was not.
The second day of camp was just as intense, if not more, as rookies and prospects hit the ice in the morning followed by the veterans in the early afternoon.
A couple of noteworthy takeaways from the first session were intriguing line combinations that could pay dividends with the Phantoms this season. On defense, hulking 6-7, 224-pound Sam Morin continued to be paired with the more finesse Shayne Gostisbehere. While it's unlikely that either will break camp with the Flyers, they are most certainly in the Flyers long-term plans and could receive a call-up to the big squad at any time. The pair compliment each other well as Gostisbehere is a crafty, offensive-minded defender while Morin is more of a punishing, stay-at-home type player.
Up front, the Phantoms top line might already be in the books as Taylor Leier, Nick Cousins and Aaron Palushaj continued to look good as a unit. Leier played on Lehigh Valley's top line last year as well, mostly with Andrew Gordon (now playing in the Swedish league) and Scott Laughton. Laughton, who had a great day with the vets, is in contention to make the Flyers roster, thus opening the door for Cousins to center the top unit. Cousins, who was part of the Jeff Carter - Columbus Blue Jackets deal, was one of the Phantoms best players in 2014-15.
In the afternoon session, Hakstol had the team focus on breaking out and utilized the same lines as Friday:
- Raffl - Grioux - Voracek
- Read - Couturier - Simmonds
- Porter - Laughton - Schenn
- Umberger - Lecavalier - Gagner
- Bellemare - VandeVelde - White
- Streit - Schultz
- Del Zotto - Medvedev
- MacDonald - Gudas
- Schenn - Manning
The pace was quick and emphasis continued to be on speed and conditioning as the players once again took part in sprints in between drills. The Redemption Line of Umberger, Lecavalier and Gagner, as penned by Sam Carchidi, stood out in drills against an equally sharp Steve Mason.
If the first few days of camp are any indication, Hakstol is preparing his team to battle against the quick and aggressive style of the NHL's elite teams.
- The Flyers practice facility was packed as fans came out in droves to support the club and welcome in the 2015-16 season. Photo booths and interactive games were set up and all fans in attendance received a season schedule key chain
- The team taped its annual Meet the Flyers program after practice in another fan-friendly event that gave some their first up-close look at the newest members of the organization
- Tomorrow's schedule will be flip-flopped from today - veterans will take the ice in the morning while the rookies and prospects will be up in the afternoon. Hakstol may place some rookies with the vets in order to get a better look.
Zach Hopkins is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @healedbyhockey.