When the subject of Twitter popped up at practice this week, Flyers coach John Stevens wasn’t exactly sure what to say. That's because Stevens doesn't know much about it.
“What is it?,” he asked.
Unlike the NBA or NFL – where specific league rules have been instituted to prevent players from tweeting, or sending 140-character texts to the web as updates, in the workplace – Stevens doesn’t have to worry much about the service.
The only Flyers player active on Twitter is Riley Cote. But Cote has gotten involved in a multitude of multimedia activities… He has his own web site and has edited his own You Tube videos.
At last glance, Cote has 2,215 people following his updates.
Many fans think that Flyers captain Mike Richards has a Twitter account but Richards assured me that it was fake. Younger players James van Riemsdyk and Darroll Powe use Facebook but neither tweet.
But that doesn’t mean that other high profile NHLers aren’t Twittering. Alex Ovechkin tweeted 37 times last season – and accumulated 24,847 followers – but held up on Jan. 30 and hasn’t posted since.
Other players like Patrik Elias and Dan Boyle use Twitter as well.
Even if it isn’t an issue now, Stevens said he would hit the roof if he ever saw a player Twittering at the rink.
“I would lose my mind,” Stevens said. “I would absolutely lose my mind.”
Stevens laughingly recalled his days in the AHL with endless bus rides when there was a cell phone policy instituted so some players wouldn’t keep others up by talking on the phone all night.
Ah, the good old days before everyone had cell phones.
With his current crop of players, Stevens said he offers his personal cell number to players’ families in case they need to get in contact with someone during an emergency. He made it clear though that when players are at the rink, their minds should be on hockey.
To follow Frequent Flyers on Twitter, visit http://twitter.com/DNFlyers.
Here are some quick hits from practice on Friday:
- Stevens mashed up the lines again, as he did in the third period on Thursday night against Boston. Friday’s lines were:
Hartnell – Richards – Asham
Laperriere – Giroux – Gagne
Van Riemsdyk – Carter – Briere
Powe – Pyorala – Carcillo
Betts – Cote
- The Flyers’ fathers are starting to trickle into town for the team’s annual Father-Son road trip. They will watch the two games at home this weekend before heading to Washington for Tuesday’s game.
- Stevens spoke about preparations for tonight's game against the Panthers. The Flyers lost to the Panthers last Friday in South Florida. This time, Florida will come in on the back end of a back-to-back trip against the Penguins.
"They are a much different team than Boston, who we saw last night," Stevens said. "They stretch the ice and get the puck from their goal line to the far blue line in a hurry. I want to see us play with a little more urgency."
- Backup goalie Brian Boucher will start Sunday’s game against his former team, San Jose, on Sunday. Boucher spoke about his old team and their debacle in last year's playoffs:
"They need guys that are not going to take no for an answer," Boucher said of the Sharks. "We certainly didn't play their best hockey in the last 30 games like we did in the first 50. It's unfortunate, we really did have a good club. Those first 50 games were amazing. We played bad hockey and won games and we played good hockey and killed teams."
For a complete injury report, more on the new lines and why Simon Gagne hasn’t scored yet and a peek into Boucher’s first start, pick up a copy of Saturday’s Daily News.