Flyers analysis

Flyers set for team bonding, Farabee's message to Allison and more

The Flyers open the regular season next week

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VOORHEES, N.J. — After an hour-plus practice Saturday, the Flyers will be off the ice for two straight days.

The players will enjoy some team-bonding activities, as will the coaches.

The Flyers had a busy training camp and preseason. They went through head coach John Tortorella's notorious Day 1 of skating, six scrimmages and six exhibition games in the span of 15 days.

Now they'll hang out away from the rink before having two more practices and then heading to Columbus, Ohio, for their regular-season opener Thursday against the Blue Jackets (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

"I think it's a perfect time," Tortorella said Saturday. "They've pushed along pretty well with a high volume of skating. Lots of meetings. We've done more meetings this year during camp than we did last year. It's the most I've done, coaches wanted to do a little bit more early on and we have.

"I don't have a formula that I go by; you just do it by feel. I think it's a good time that they get away for a couple. A couple of guys are sore. So it works out good. And we still have two good practice days and we get on the road."

The players and coaches will get together separately.

"I think sometimes when you want the team to bond, we get in the way," Tortorella said. "So we'll do our own thing and they'll do theirs.

"The team bonding thing I think kind of takes on a little bit of a life of its own, I think it gets a little overrated. I'm just glad those guys are going to get away and they're going to play a little golf and just get away from us. I think some of the best team bonding, after a long camp, is to get away from the coaches. And quite honestly, the coaches get away from the players."

Allison heads to Phantoms

Wade Allison cleared waivers Saturday afternoon and will report to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

The Flyers' decision to cut Allison was definitely a bit surprising. What went into it?

"Players played better," Tortorella said. "Kids."

Allison lives with Joel Farabee, who tried to lift his teammate's spirit after hearing the news Friday.

"It definitely sucks," Farabee said Saturday about an hour and a half before Allison went unclaimed. "Being his friend, being his teammate, too, I was talking to him yesterday and I think the positive is if he does get picked up, he gets to go play. If he doesn't, he gets to play a bunch of minutes for Lehigh.

"I really feel like for him, his best game is when he has the puck on his stick and he's making plays. Hopefully he gets the chance to do that soon. I think he's a really good player. He plays the right way, blocks shots, fights for his teammates. He does a lot of the little things."

The Flyers have liked what they've seen from prospects Bobby Brink and Tyson Foerster. They're also healthier (Sean Couturier, Cam Atkinson) and added to their bottom six in the offseason (Garnet Hathaway, Ryan Poehling).

"It definitely sucks, but at the end of the day, it's a business," Farabee said. "I think it's a credit to how good our pipeline of prospects is, with how many young guys are pushing for spots. With all the negative and how bad it sucks, I think there are definitely some positives from it, too."

Brink poised for opener?

It sure looks like the Flyers are setting up to have Brink in their season-opening lineup.

The 22-year-old winger was one of the Flyers' best players in camp and the preseason. He has been on a line with Couturier and Farabee the last two days. And he was featured on the top power play unit Saturday.

"He makes plays, he's an offensive guy, sees the ice very well," Tortorella said. "He had a really good camp."

The Flyers have 13 healthy forwards on their roster, which needs to be submitted Monday by 5 p.m. ET. Tortorella on Friday discussed the possibility of keeping both Brink and Foerster on the roster and getting them games on a rotational type of basis. Brink is 22 years old and Foerster 21. The Flyers don't want their prospects sitting too long.

Below is how the Flyers looked in practice Saturday.

"I've been pretty consistent with the ones here today," Tortorella said. "I'm still not sure if there will be changes or not."


Joel Farabee/Tyson Foerster-Sean Couturier-Bobby Brink

Scott Laughton-Noah Cates-Travis Konecny

Owen Tippett-Morgan Frost-Cam Atkinson

Nicolas Deslauriers-Ryan Poehling-Garnet Hathaway


Cam York-Travis Sanheim

Nick Seeler-Rasmus Ristolainen

Marc Staal-Sean Walker

Emil Andrae-Egor Zamula

Power play units

Sean Couturier, Travis Konecny, Cam Atkinson, Bobby Brink, Cam York

Owen Tippett, Morgan Frost, Joel Farabee, Noah Cates, Travis Sanheim

No Hart

Carter Hart missed practice Saturday because he was sick. The Flyers still have three goalies on their roster, with Samuel Ersson as the backup and Sandstrom the No. 3.

Sandstrom is expected to eventually be placed on waivers for the purpose of sending him to the Phantoms. At that point, the Flyers could be set at 13 forwards, eight defensemen and two goalies for their 23-man roster.

But it's uncertain if the Flyers will definitely carry one extra forward and two extra defensemen to open the season.

Return of Risto

Rasmus Ristolainen was back on the ice after missing Thursday's preseason finale and Friday's practice with an undisclosed injury.

"He practiced well today," Tortorella said. "He's good."

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