Philadelphia Flyers Begin Preparing For Weekend Stretch

Chris DiFrancescoAnalyst INovember 19, 2008

The Flyers were on the ice yesterday for the first time since Sunday for practice. Coach John Stevens had a lengthy and rough practice for the guys. At the end of practice, they did hard skating, or "bag skating" if you know a little bit about hockey. When a team gets put through that it usually means the Coach is upset about something.

Well, little did we all know that John Stevens had a plan for his team for when practice was over. The team went through a hard practice today and got their second full day off (in three days) today.

"We had a really hard week last week and we were traveling. I try to use myself as a gauge and I felt tired (Monday) and I think you get a day of rest in, it gives you an opportunity to get some work in (yesterday) and then an off-ice workout and then off (today)," Coach Stevens after explaining why he ran a rough practice.

"And now we'll get geared up for a real good practice on Thursday with a back-to-back coming on the weekend. I think it's really important to get your work in, but rest can be as important as work is," Stevens added.

The Flyers travel to Buffalo to play the Sabres on Friday, then come home for meeting with the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday in the Wachovia Center. The one thing I doubt is that this team wouldn't be getting these days off if they gain seven out of eight points during last weeks road stretch culminating with the win at home against the Thrashers on Sunday.

"These guys have worked hard and they have had a real good week, and work and rest is going to be important for us," Stevens said.

The only bad news that came out of practice yesterday was the chance that Danny Briere, who has been out with a slight left groin pull, might not be ready for Friday's game against his former squad. According to Briere, his still isn't sure about the groin, and doesn't want to rush anything even if it is the Sabres.

"It's special playing in Buffalo," said Briere, who said he enjoys being booed. "I'd love to play. I was hoping that by [yesterday] I would get a better idea if I had a chance to get in the lineup, but I'm still borderline.

"You want to increase the workout and everyday go a little longer. (Yesterday) we went for about 40 minutes and (today) we'll go a little longer and a little more intense, and Thursday go all out."

"If that works out and that's fine, I might be able to play. But you never know, if (today) there is a setback or it doesn't improve then there's no sense, even though it's Buffalo and I'd like to be in the lineup," Briere said.

It doesn't sound like he will be ready for Friday, but it would be great to have him back before the next week begins. 


Other Injury Notes

Riley Cote, who has been out for with a torn oblique, will not be eligible to play until Nov. 28 against the Maple Leafs. Good news on that end, Cote participated in a full practice yesterday and he feels like he is getter better by the day and should be ready for the Maple Leafs.

Also, Ossi Vaananen said he probably came back a little early last Thursday in Pittsburgh. Especially after having surgery to repair the fracture in his right index finger. He played the first period, then popped all the stitches on his incision and had to immediately leave the game. He may be ready Friday for the game at Buffalo but that is not certain at the moment.

Lastly, after a great last week on the road trip, Marty Biron will be in net shockingly against the Sabres on Friday.