Today, in Arlington, Va., 20 people played a game of hockey while wearing Philadelphia Flyers jerseys. This is the first time that's really happened since late April. It was fun to watch.
And in doing so, the Flyers opened up the preseason/closed out the rookie camp on a good note, as they managed to shut out the Washington Capitals' rookie squad by a score of 1-0 in what was a pretty entertaining game start to finish.
Some quick thoughts, with the reminder that all success that players have in this game is a sure-fire harbinger for future NHL success:
* The top line of Scott Laughton centering Marcel Noebels and Petr Straka was all over the place. Laughton, the player in this game who has the best chance of making the Flyers, looked pretty quick, and other than a turnover while manning the point on the PP, did well in his ice time. Noebels made plays in both ends of the ice, which was good to see, and Straka's a guy who clearly has some skills with the puck even if he was (I thought) a tiny bit careless with it here and there. That was a real fun group to watch.
* Both goalies -- as is to be expected in a shutout win -- were very good. Anthony Stolarz played the first half of the game, and left without having let up any goals. I was definitely impressed by what he did out there -- he seemed like he was tracking the puck nicely and made some nice saves with the glove and the pad. Carsen Chubak came in halfway through the second period, and was similarly good, putting some pretty nice lateral movement on display.
* Taylor Leier, who signed his first pro contract earlier this afternoon, scored the first and only goal of the day, cutting up into the slot and firing a shot high in the right corner. He also was denied just short of another chance on a breakaway in the third period. Pretty good day for him.
* Mark Alt was the defenseman who probably stuck out the most to me, as he looked pretty good in his own end and had quite a nice shot on display. Unfortunately, his day was cut short when he was hit into the boards late in the second period by Caps rookie Tom Wilson. He stayed down for a while before being helped off the ice, and he didn't return. Hopefully nothing too serious -- nothing is worse than injuries suffered in meaningless preseason games.
* Samuel Morin's first game in a Flyers uniform was pretty good. A turnover or two, but he made a nice play to prevent a breakaway and seemed pretty calm while jumping into the offense or having the puck on his stick. For a guy as huge as he is, he really can move nicely, which was the book on him when he was drafted.
* There were four fights on the day. Derek Mathers dropped the gloves not more than a few minutes into the game, and won it pretty easily. Tyrell Goulbourne got in a fight with Wilson a couple minutes later, Matt Mangene got into what was more of a violent hugfest than a fight early in the third, and then Laughton went after Wilson again in the third.
* The PK was very solid when called upon, especially in the third. A lot of different forwards guys got some time with the man down -- I saw Laughton, Noebels, Leier, Goulbourne, Mangene and Tyler Brown all get time there, and there may have been more. Collective success there is good to see.
It was one game and it was a bunch of players who probably won't play for the Flyers again this year, but man, it's fun to see hockey back.
Comment of the Day:
why is that guy in the stands wearing a jaguars jersey
-- pncollins, because I saw him too and I laughed a lot.
Rookie camp is just about wrapped up, and training camp will start on Thursday in South Philadelphia. Flyers hockey is happening. Pretty cool. Now go root for another Philadelphia team to beat another Washington team today.