Flyers show up when and where they're asked at Lake Tahoe


Saturday handed the Flyers more adjustments as they geared up for their NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe game Sunday vs. the Bruins. By Jordan Hall

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The Flyers were originally scheduled to practice on the outdoor rink Saturday morning. That was canceled Friday night.

They were then set to visit the area Saturday afternoon to at least see the ice surface and surroundings. But that didn't happen, either.

Hey, like head coach Alain Vigneault said, the NHL is a game of adjustments.

The Flyers are plowing through the adjustments ahead of their NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe game Sunday against the Bruins.


The Flyers practiced Saturday at South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena.

The Avalanche and Golden Knights had practiced on the outdoor rink the day before ahead of their game Saturday, kicking off the NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe event.

The NHL on Friday night made an audible on the outdoor practices of the Flyers and Bruins for the purpose of the ice surface, which ended up taking a sun-induced beating later in the day Saturday.

"We were told yesterday that the conditions of the ice surface after both practices deteriorated a little bit and they wanted to make sure that the quality of the ice was real good," Vigneault said Saturday after the Flyers' practice. "They canceled it and we practiced in an ice rink today and the Bruins are doing the same thing a little bit later on. Hey, learn to adapt and get the job done."

The Flyers had a quick bus ride to practice and walked into South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena already geared up.


The Flyers flew out of Philadelphia at 2 p.m. ET Friday after practice. When they landed, they took an hour-plus bus ride to their hotel.

The site of the rink — Lake Tahoe at Edgewood Tahoe Resort — is in Stateline, Nevada, which is on Pacific Time, a three-hour difference from Eastern Time.

“We had a good, intense 30-minute practice today," Vigneault said Saturday. "That I think should take the plane legs out of the equation and the bus ride out of the equation. We’ll have our time to rest, get ready and we’ll be good to go tomorrow."

Nicolas Aube-Kubel joked how a chilly practice has prepared the Flyers for any conditions outside. South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena was apparently quite nippy.

"The rink was so cold this morning, so it's probably as cold as it's going to be tomorrow — probably even colder," Aube-Kubel said.


General manager Chuck Fletcher and the Flyers have had to make the best of a difficult two weeks.

Last week, the club went through a tense COVID-19 shutdown. This week, amid challenges, the Flyers slowly but surely got back up and running. However, they're still without six important players, so on Sunday Vigneault will play 11 forwards and seven defensemen with a small twist.

"They’re all special and it’s an honor to play in any one of them," Fletcher said on Feb. 2 about outdoor games. "The Bruins are a great opponent. It’ll definitely be a unique experience, playing an outdoor game without people, without fans in the crowd. We’re looking forward to it."


The Flyers on Saturday never made way to the outdoor rink because the Avalanche-Golden Knights game was brought to a halt. "Poor ice conditions resulting from extreme sun," as the league put it, forced the action into a delay at first intermission.

The game resumed at midnight ET.

To hopefully avoid a potential Round 2 of slush, the NHL pushed back the Flyers-Bruins start time Sunday from 2 p.m. ET to 7:30 p.m. ET.

“I’ve seen as much as you guys, just the pictures," Michael Raffl said Saturday. "It looks pretty cool and I think everybody is pumped to go out there.”


The Flyers saw the start time for their game change twice over the past three days and had their practice Saturday pushed back and moved indoors.

The Flyers won't have a morning skate Sunday but they should at least get a glimpse of the outdoor rink and area at some point prior to the game. Their first taste of the ice, though, will be warmups and then puck drop.

Given the sight lines and uniqueness of playing outdoors with no fans, the Flyers and Bruins will be tasked with feeling things out on the fly.

"It’s different, it’s not ideal, but it is what it is," Sean Couturier said Saturday. "Boston’s in the same situation as us, so it’s even playing fields. We’ll control what we can control and just show up on game time."

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