Lunch Break: Flyers are back
The Flyers got into five fights in their final preseason game against the Capitals. (USA Today Images)
It’s best to be on high alert.
From the Flyers' standpoint, that implies dressing a bigger, tougher lineup on Wednesday night in their season opener against Toronto at the Wells Fargo Center (see game notes).
The Maple Leafs are coming off Tuesday’s October “fight fest” during a 4-3 victory at Montreal in which there were five separate fights among 26 penalties totaling 100 minutes between the two clubs.
The Flyers are coming off a final preseason game in Washington in which there were five fights as well, two involving centerman Adam Hall.
It's no surprise then that Flyers coach Peter Laviolette has elected to go with a bigger lineup for the Maple Leafs with the 6-foot-2 Hall subbing for rookie skill player Scott Laughton on the fourth line that will also include former Leafs enforcer turned Flyer Jay Rosehill, and Zac Rinaldo.
Does Laviolette expect a fight-filled game?
“I can’t speak for them and what’s gonna [happen],” Laviolette said at the morning skate. “I saw the game last night and it certainly was what you said. We want to be competitive. We want to be physical. You never know how it’s going to play out.”
Canadien enforcer George Parros was briefly knocked unconscious during his fight with Colton Orr but not from a punch. He fell.
Parros swung as Orr lost his footing with both players going down. Except Parros hit the Bell Centre ice face-first. He was carried off on a stretcher.
Vinny Lecavalier was asked by Toronto TV today whether he questions fighting when things like that happen.
“Yes, and we could talk about this a few weeks,” Lecavalier said. “It’s always something you don’t want to see when someone gets knocked out. With a hit or a fight or hitting the ice.
“The history, and fighting, it’s part of the game but obviously you don’t want to see something like that.”
Rosehill is chomping at the bit for a little fisticuffs. He missed the action in Washington while sitting at home with the flu.
“It’s real unfortunate I missed a game like that,” he said. “I was real surprised the game went that way. I didn’t think we expected it. To see Hallsy (Scott Hartnell) get into two (fights) no less and some of the other guys who got into them.
“Those are games I am biased about. I know the crowd likes that. I like to play in those games, watch those games. It’s good to see those kind of games are still out there.”
Does he expect tonight’s game to go the same route?
“Hard to say what happens,” Rosehill replied. “I never go in with expectations. Sometimes you expect something would have happened earlier in the year and you expect retribution and this guy is gonna get it and a big brouhaha, then nothing happens.
“And then sometimes you expect two teams to just go out and play and it turns into a bit of a gong show. You never know what is going to happen. I think both of these teams are physical teams and we will see what happens.”