VOORHEES, N.J. (CBS) — After being welcomed back to the Skate Zone by Gritty Monday morning, there was real business at hand for the Philadelphia Flyers, who were together on the ice for the first time in almost four months as they prepare for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Four months and one day ago, the NHL put its 2020 season on hold due to the coronavirus.
On Monday, the road to a restart began in Voorhees as the Flyers opened up summer camp, just about three weeks ahead of their first round-robin game in Toronto.
Normally at this time of year, the Stanley Cup champions are passing around the cup, celebrating a long season ending in a title.
But things have changed and the Flyers hope that Phase 3 of the NHL reopening is just the beginning of a renewed quest for a cup.
“Guys are pretty in sync, they know how fast we need to get back into things. So we know there’s not a big time period where you have the time to get where you need to go. You need to kind of be sharp right away,” forward Travis Konecny said.
For the players, it just felt good to be back out there with teammates.
“Definitely felt like training camp again. You still got those butterflies before you got on the ice for the first time being with the boys and having the coaches on the ice. So, it was a good feeling,” Shayne Gostisbehere said. “It was a good first day and I think it’s a good step forward for our team and getting ready for the bubble.”
Now comes the hard work to prepare for the bubble of Toronto.
“Don’t be an idiot out there. I think we could control this and even if someone does test positive, just keep following the protocols and what they want us to do and I think we’ll be OK,” Konecny said.
“We’re going to be as safe as possible and we’re not leaving to Toronto yet, to the actual bubble, and I know that here it’s definitely very safe. And the precautionary things we have to do and testing-wise, we feel like it’s a pretty good environment,” said Gostisbehere.
For those who enjoy this sort of thing, the Flyers begin the restart with 10/1 odds to win the Stanley Cup, which is the sixth-best odds of the 24 teams still involved.