Vinny Lecavalier Hoping for Bounce Back Season for Flyers
BOSTON – Tonight will mark the 16th NHL opening night for Vinny Lecavalier.
Each time, he’s kept the same routine for 82 games. He warms up the same way, eats the same breakfast, parks in the same spot at the arena.
He usually tries out different habits during the preseason to see what works best for him and then, when the hockey equivalent of Christmas morning comes, he debuts his new routine.
In true superstitious form, he wouldn’t reveal what he’s going to do this morning when the Flyers open their schedule against the Boston Bruins.
“I have an idea,” Lecavalier said with a wry grin. “I’m not quite there yet.”
The customs of regular-season life aren’t the only things changing this year. The 34-year-old center had a real gut check this summer. At times, he might have preferred to be traded considering his first year as a Flyer didn’t go according to plan.
After a back injury, he was relegated to the wing for the first time in his career, then to fourth-line center. Still, he scored 20 goals for the 13th time in his career. Instead of pouting as an established NHLer, a four-time All Star, Stanley Cup winner and Maurice Richard Trophy winner as the league’s top goal scorer, he changed to fit Craig Berube’s system.
“Very good camp,” Berube said. “Worked extremely hard. I think he’s bought in like he talked about and worked really hard. It’s a lot of habits he’s trying to change, too. It doesn’t happen overnight.”
One reason to expect yet another 20-goal season from Lecavalier is his place on the top power-play unit.