Flyers return to the ice with a few bumps and bruises

The Flyers returned to the ice on Monday for the first time since last Tuesday's 3-2 shootout win at Florida, well rested after the all-star break, but not totally healthy.

Jaromir Jagr (groin), Danny Briere (concussion), James van Riemsdyk (concussion) and Zac Rinaldo (upper-body injury) returned to practice.

Jagr and Rinaldo are listed as day to day. Brière and van Riemsdyk remain out indefinitely.

"It's good to get them back for the first day," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said after the practice in Voorhees. "I'm not sure where everything shakes out from here. . . . Just to get the guys out on the ice was a positive."

Jagr reinjured his groin in the Flyers' 4-1 win over the host New Jersey Devils on Jan. 21.

He said that he did some skating during the all-star break and that he would know more about playing in Tuesday's game at the Wells Fargo Center against the Winnipeg Jets after the morning skate.

"I don't feel any pain," Jagr said after practice. "Like I said before, the game is totally different."

Van Riemsdyk has not played since a Jan. 12 game at the New York Islanders. Briere's most recent game was the Jan. 21 encounter with the Devils. Van Riemsdyk and Briere were unavailable for comment.

Rinaldo said he originally suffered a neck injury on Jan. 14 in Nashville.

"I came back [to] practice the day after, shouldn't have practiced - pulled it again," Rinaldo said. "Took a couple days off, played in New Jersey, shouldn't have played."

He said the rest during the break was greatly beneficial.

"I went back home and regrouped, and I feel great right now."

Snider's plaudits. Flyers chairman Ed Snider gave 24-year-old Claude Giroux the highest compliment by comparing him to the person considered the greatest Flyer of all.

"I tell everybody he reminds me of Bobby Clarke at a similar age," Snider said before Monday's Philadelphia Sports Writers Association Dinner, where Giroux received the Outstanding Philadelphia Pro Athlete Award. "He looks like he did, acts like he did, played like he did. It's kind of exciting."

Snider said it did not take long to see that Giroux, now a two-time all-star, would be a special player.

"I remember watching him the first 10-15 games and telling guys we have a future superstar there," Snider said. "He just does things a lot of players just can't do."

Offensive fireworks? If Tuesday's game with Winnipeg resembles the previous two this season, there should be quite a few goals scored. Winnipeg is 2-0 against the Flyers, winning 9-8 Oct. 27 in Philadelphia and 6-4 Nov. 19 in Winnipeg.

"We have to put an emphasis on our defensive game," Flyers defenseman Matt Carle said.

Slap shots. On Monday the Flyers recalled forwards Ben Holmstrom, Tom Sestito, and Harry Zolnierczyk from the Phantoms. . . . Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov was among the many Flyers who enjoyed the break. "It was good to get away from hockey, recharge your battery, refresh the mind," he said. "It's just amazing when you can spend a weekend full time with your family and you don't have to go anywhere." . . . Giroux on the all-star experience: "It was a great weekend. I spent the whole weekend with family and friends. To put in some quality time with them is great." . . . With eight of the next 10 games at the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers look to improve on their 11-7-3 home record. They are 18-7-2 on the road. . . . Winnipeg is 7-14-4 on the road.

 


 Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at mnarducci@phillynews.com, 856-779-3225 or @sjnard on Twitter.