Flyers Ready for Season to Start
BOSTON — The real deal is less than a week away and Tuesday the final rosters have to be in.
There are still plenty of decisions for the Flyers to make and whoever ends up on that final roster won’t need much more work before the regular season begins next Friday in Los Angeles. Saturday the preseason schedule ended with a 1-0 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins, the final result not meaning much since the regulation effort was just about what it needs to be.
“Yeah, I feel like we’re ready,” coach Dave Hakstol said. “I thought this game was a different level than the first seven. It’s slowly been building toward this. The pace, for sure of the first period and the majority of the game, was a notch above the first seven. We’ve built. We’ve gotten a little better through the preseason here, but I feel like our group is ready. We’ve got some work ahead of us the next couple days, one day of rest, a couple days of work and then we go out west.”
The exhibition schedule ends with a 4-2-2 record for the Flyers and more important than the wins was the way the team built from the start. Goalies Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth played well, with Mason making 22 saves on 23 shots against the Bruins.
“I think overall, at least the games that I’ve played in, I’ve been really happy with the effort out in front,” Mason said. “I think we’re starting to really click together. Our guys played a really solid hockey game in the defensive zone and that’s where we need to start from is strong defensive play.”
As for the defense, that’s pretty much solidified thanks to injuries to Brandon Manning, who may be available for Opening Night, and Michael Del Zotto, who will be out a month with what the team calls a “lower-body injury.”