Richards, Knuble and Sim Working Well So Far
Flyers preparing for second preseason game
by Kevin Kurz, philadelphiaflyers.com
Voorhees, NJ – Although it has only been one game, the Flyers may have found a threesome
that could generate some offense for the club once the regular season begins.
Mike Richards, Mike Knuble and Jon Sim have all never played a game wearing the orange and black. None of them had ever played together on the same
team before, either, but so far in training camp, a good chemistry is developing between the trio. On Saturday night in London,
they comprised the most productive line of the night. Richards posted three assists, Sim scored twice and Knuble added a goal
and an assist of his own.
All three hope that success continues as they take the ice on Wednesday night against the
New York Islanders at the Sovereign Bank Arena in Trenton, NJ.
“We’ve only played one game here, but it’s
encouraging,” said Knuble. “Mike comes in, and is a great passer, and Jon Sim is a much better shooter with the
puck than I ever knew. He’s just one of those guys that seems to find the back of the net.”
Knuble is the
NHL regular among the three, having spent eight productive seasons in the league. Richards, a rookie who was a former first
round pick of the Flyers in 2003, is in his first pro training
camp, while Jon Sim has bounced between the NHL and the minor leagues for most of his seven year career and was arguably
the Phantoms’ MVP during last season’s Calder Cup run.
|Mike Knuble had a goal and an assist on Saturday against Atlanta|
As the veteran of the bunch, Knuble will be vital
to the progress of Richards. It’s a role that he recognizes, and it is evident even this early in camp that there is
a friendship and a mutual respect between the two.
“You take a guy like Mike and he’s got incredible experience
being a World Junior captain and a ton of success,” said Knuble. “It’s not easy coming into your first pro
camp. You’re really nervous, and suddenly the guys are huge and they are men talking about their kids. It’s a
whole different world. It’s not kid stuff anymore. There’s a lot of pressure involved, and it takes a special
guy to be able to come here at 20 years old and be able to play.”
Richards is also enjoying getting to know his
“He’s been great so far,” he said. “I have been throwing a lot of questions off
of him over the past couple of weeks, and he’s really helped me out. He’s made it really relaxed to be out on
the ice playing with him. He jokes around with me, and makes it a good environment to play in.”
Knuble is helpful
to the rookie in other ways other than just on the ice.
“Today on the ice I had to explain to him what TiVo was
(laughs),” said Knuble. “I told him I had TiVo, and he said ‘what the hell is TiVo?’”
Flyers are hoping that the positive environment and positive results continue.
Primeau, Hitchcock Happy to be Playing
Closer to Home
Wednesday night’s contest between the Flyers and New York Islanders will give the local fans a
chance to see the team for the first time since the end of the 2003-04 season. Although it is listed as a home game for the
Islanders, it is expected that there will be more Flyers fans in attendance, as Trenton is only a short ride from Philadelphia.
will be good for the fans and the players,” said Primeau. “It’s kind of like a re-introduction, and in a
lot of instances, an introduction leading up to this weekend’s real home game at the Wachovia Center.”
saw many games in Trenton during the last season, and appreciates the crowd there.
“The thing I like about Trenton
is that it is a really nice knowledgeable hockey crowd there,” said Hitchcock. “It’s a crowd that really
knows the difference between good play and poor play. The thing I noticed is that they are really passionate about the game
“I think it’s kind of the first step towards Saturday night,” said Hitchcock. “I
think there are still some other fans there. There were some Devils fans last time we were there, and there will be some Islanders
fans there this time. To be honest with you what we are really towards is getting back in our own building on Saturday night.
We’re really looking forward to that.
The Flyers open up their home portion of the preseason schedule on Saturday
night against the Washington Capitals at the Wachovia Center.
Among the players skating on the
Flyers side at the Skate Zone today included Jamie Storr, Eric Chouinard, Ben Eager and R.J. Umberger, who returned to the ice after sitting out with back spasms on Monday.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005