On the first day of the Philadelphia Flyers’ training camp on Thursday, new head coach John Tortorella pushed his players full throttle on the ice in Voorhees, New Jersey. He was back at it again on Friday, still treating his new players with little mercy and skating them endlessly, with no pucks to be seen.
Pictures and footage of the action on the ice were trending all day Friday as some players seemed like they were barely able to get to their back on their feet from sheer exhaustion. After a pair of scrimmages, each of the groups went through approximately 30 minutes of skating drills, followed by more laps for conditioning.
It looks like Tortorella is set on getting everything out of his men.
At the beginning of his post-practice press conference, newly acquired defenseman Tony DeAngelo joked that he was so tired from practice that he “tried to find an elevator” to get to the media room on the second floor for his interview.
The 64-year-old Tortorella was hired in June as the Flyers’ new head coach. He was brought on board in order to change the culture of the team, which went 25-46-11 last season and finished last in the Metropolitan.
"For me, it's not physical. For them it is. You watch them and it has to be," Tortorella said. "I get that and I appreciate that. But for me, I'm watching the mental part of it. ... Especially with a new team, there are going to be mental and physical tests when they don't even know it's happening. I was really happy about how the guys handled themselves today."
Tortorella is sending the clear message that this is going to be a demanding camp because the 2022-23 season is going to be a demanding year. The new bench boss is establishing high standards on and off the ice to create a culture of accountability among the players after a disappointing run in Philly over the last few seasons.
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