By Spike Eskin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Players won’t have the same amount of time they would normally have to prepare for the NHL season. A week-long training camp will give way to a 48-game season, that is far closer to a sprint than a marathon.

READ MORE: Philadelphia Eagles Safety Rodney McLeod Hosts Sneaker Ball Toy Drive

The Flyers are a young team, who return many of the same players from last year, both factors that could be an advantage in an abbreviated season.

“So if we stay healthy and have guys playing at their ability, I think we’ll be just fine,” the Flyers’ Scott Hartnell told 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and the Morning Show. “We do have a tough division, and I haven’t looked at how many times we play the Rangers, the Pens, so it’s going to be tough and it’s going to be excited. This is almost like playoff hockey, but it’s going to be for four or five months now.

KYW’s Matt Leon talks about the upcoming season with CSN’s Sarah Baicker:

READ MORE: Car Crash In North Philadelphia Leaves Man Dead, Police Say

After having thousands show up to watch training camp on Sunday, the team will offer free tickets to an open practice on Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center. Tickets will be available via the Flyers website at noon on Monday.

“I don’t think there’s any questions about the Flyers fans, if they’re going to come back or not,” Hartnell said. “They love hockey in this city. They support us 100% win or lose, and to see that place so full—I heard a couple stories that a guy was getting kicked out, because he tried to sneak in a few different entrances to get into watch practice, and he was like, ‘Oh I’m sorry for being a Flyers fan everybody. Sorry for being a Flyers fan!'”

MORE NEWS: Residents Escape Flames In Levittown, Bucks County House Fire