LOS ANGELES – After a five-hour flight over America's Heartland, the Flyers landed in Los Angeles sometime around 1:30 a.m. PST on Tuesday morning and were back at it on the ice in Southern California less than 20 hours after knocking off the New Jersey Devils three time zones away.
Flyers captain Mike Richards did not participate in the team practice at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, Calif. Coach John Stevens said that Tuesday was a planned “maintenance” day for Richards.
The Flyers are only carrying 13 forwards (8 defensemen) on this trip, so Riley Cote filled in on Richards’ line on Tuesday:
Hartnell – Richards (Cote) – Pyorala
Van Riemsdyk – Carter – Briere
Powe – Giroux – Laliberte
Carcillo – Betts – Laperriere
The defensive pairings rotated throughout practice. It seems as if Oskars Bartulis will stay in the lineup, though, on Wednesday.
Here were a couple of quick hits from Tuesday’s practice:
-Ian Laperriere had a small fan club in the stands, presumably from his days as a Los Angeles King. Laperriere, a Montreal native, spent parts of 9 seasons in LA. A few of his fans wore t-shirts that read “It’s All About Lappy.” He joked with me: “See, there are a few people out there that like me!”
-Richards spent most of practice on the bench, watching in street clothes with trainers Jim McCrossin and Sal Raffa, but was also dribbling a basketball around the locker room area for a while.
-For some players, like James van Riemsdyk, this is their first trip out on the West Coast. Van Riemsdyk, 20, said earlier this week that he has never seen the Pacific Ocean before and was looking forward to seeing all of the sights and sounds. I find it fascinating that he has played as far away as the Czech Republic but hasn’t been to the other side of his own country. There is so much to do in the United States.
-When Arron Asham left Monday night’s game in the second period, David Laliberte knew that Tuesday was going to be a long day. He left Glens Falls, N.Y., at 3:45 a.m. EST in a limo that took him to the Albany, N.Y., airport. From there, he hopped flights to Chicago and then on to Los Angeles, where he met the team just in time for practice. Read the Daily News on Wednesday to find out why he couldn’t fall asleep on the plane.
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