Episode five of the Flyers’ webisode series Flight Plan takes a look at the disappointment early this Flyers season. This three part episode focuses mostly on Brayden Schenn, Michael Rafl, and Claude Giroux as they go through training camp, some pre-season fan publicity, and the first three games of the season.
Part One begins by talking about how the Flyers’ felt at the beginning of this season. With much disappointment at the end of last season the players, and the organization as a whole, knew that missing the playoffs was unacceptable, and they had to come into this season with a “fix-it” attitude. Schenn really had something to prove coming into his third year with the team. He speaks about doing whatever it takes to win, and becoming stronger and faster in the gym. He says this year he is “hungry” and was looking forward to the start of the season. This part of the episode also includes Steve Mason seeing his newly-painted goalie helmet. His new mask, designed by Franny Drummon of Paint Zoo, includes many zombie-looking skeletons and skulls contributing to an overall “eerie feel.”
In Part Two, Michael Raffl’s potential with the team is discussed. He said that training camp was fun and competitive since the team is not necessarily set at that point. Playing in different foreign leagues, Raffl had to get used to the larger camp size as well as the smaller ice. However, the Flyers ultimately decided to send Raffl down to the Phantoms for a year. The episode moves on to some of the players meeting fans at Xfinity, across the street from the Wells Fargo Center. It was interesting to see how nervous most of the players were to speak in front of people. A funny moment ensues when a make-up artist is working on Giroux. She compliments him on his great skin and fixes up his hair for the appearance. Then as Giroux gets up out of the chair, he flashes a smile, missing some teeth, reminding us his actual profession.
The episode wraps up with Part Three looking at opening night when the Flyers faced the Maple Leafs. Streit and Schenn voice their excitement to get on the ice for the regular season , but Giroux is the focus while mic’ed up during the game. It is interesting to see him leading Simmonds and Hartnell on the ice and teasing former Flyers James van Riemsdyk. A funny outtake captured in this part of the episode is when a referee asks Giroux how his knee is doing. Giroux corrects him and says he had a wrist injury while golfing and the referee is clearly embarrassed. Although there were some laughable moments in this episode, it wraps up with the Flyers losing the first three games of the season. As a sad continuation of last year’s season, Holmgren decides to fire Coach Laviolette on the flight back from North Carolina. The next episode will follow the effects of the coaching change and Berube’s first days as the Flyers’ coach as well as the team’s first win. I am looking forward to seeing how much we will get to see of the coaching transition in the next episode, and how Berube’s presense differs from Laviolette on and off the ice.