Flyers

Flyers

VOORHEES, N.J. — First, it was 1-on-1 with Claude Giroux.

Then, 2-on-2 against Travis Konecny and Jordan Weal.

Good luck keeping up, kid.

Philippe Myers, a 6-foot-5 defenseman, actually did and rather impressively. The 21-year-old prospect has his eyes on a roster spot and showed why Saturday when he more than held his own against three of the fastest players the Flyers could throw at him.

In the morning session on Day 2 of training camp, Myers turned away Giroux coming with a head of steam during a drill.

Not long after, he stuck with Konecny and Weal, both 5-foot-10 speedsters switching directions like madmen. 

"We actually talked about it, he said that shift was harder than his bag skate yesterday," Konecny said with a laugh. "We stopped so many times and cut back, but he's a unique player, he's a big boy. If you cut back on him or try to burn him wide, you think you have room but he's right there with you."

Myers' mobility and quickness would stand out for a defenseman of any stature. At his height and with his leanness, it really turns heads.

"I told Phil after practice, I thought he had a good day," Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said. "Yesterday, it's a hard day, there's so much adrenaline and some of that energy is tough to get focused in one direction.

"It was a good, solid day, regardless of who he was paired against."

With defenseman Andrew MacDonald (lower-body injury) out until possibly Oct. 21, a job is there for Myers to grab. Saturday was an example of just how far he's come since going undrafted in 2015.

 

"He's good, he's a well-conditioned kid," Shayne Gostisbehere said. "He skates like the wind out there.

"He's a heck of a player and he'll be on this team soon enough."

Free-flowing Couturier

Sean Couturier (knee) participated in the full practice with Group 1 and didn't seem to have many restrictions.

He went through drills and played in front of the net with bodies surrounding him.

"The plan at first was to kind of go through the flow of the drills and stay away from any physical play and go from there," Couturier said. "But I've been feeling really good and have kind of pushed myself into contact and physical play a little bit. It's reacted pretty well."

Couturier is wearing a knee brace and still looks on track for a preseason game or two without any danger of missing opening night Oct. 4.

"My knee is feeling really well," Couturier said. "It's just getting used to the brace. It's a big part of the equipment and it's kind of restricting me in some motions. It's more getting used to wearing the brace than the pain."

Hope to eventually shed the brace?

"Once I'm cleared for contact, I haven't been cleared yet," he said. "I still have to be cautious, be careful, not risk it.

"Wear it as long as I have to."

Playing the long game

When Group 1 shifted to the second sheet of ice, Wayne Simmonds did not take part. Goaltender Brian Elliott also exited practice early. Both were likely planned.

Simmonds was seen later and fine. He underwent surgery this offseason to address a tear in his pelvic area. Elliott had core muscle surgery last season. Neither are expected to miss regular-season time.

"I'm not going to comment on injuries," Hakstol said. "I'll tell you this, as we've gone through the first day in terms of our practices and everything that we've been able to accomplish, we haven't needed to veer from anything that we've planned."

First dibs at goalie

Alex Lyon and Anthony Stolarz will get the preseason opener Sunday when the Flyers visit the Islanders for a 1 p.m. puck drop. It's the first of four exhibition games played in four days for the Flyers.

"We're going to try to spread our veterans through those four games and really give good opportunities to not only some of the younger players that haven't played NHL games before, but also some of the younger players that have and can grow their role a little bit," Hakstol said.

Quotable

"It was awesome. We got [36] more goals."

- Gostisbehere on his initial reaction to the James van Riemsdyk signing

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