By Tim Panaccio in Philadelphia
By the time the puck drops Sunday afternoon for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, the Philadelphia Flyers will have had seven full days and three hours between games.
They finished up against the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games and have been collecting dust and rust ever since.
And if you're a student of Flyer hockey, you are well aware that this team doesn't do well when there are more than three days between games.
Plus, given the Flyers are notoriously slow starters in games, the first period against the New Jersey Devils could be very ugly.
"That's why we've been skating every day and working hard - to get ready for that first game in the second round," defenceman Pavel Kubina said. "You get emotionally ready for the game. You get so excited, but it is definitely tough when you don't play for a week."
Then again, given how dull the Devils-Panthers series was in terms of goal scoring (35 overall), this series figures to be a lot different than the Flyers-Penguins, in terms of action, scoring, etc.
"Yeah," Flyers forward Scott Hartnell said. "There wasn't much action if you watched that whole Devils-Florida series. I can't imagine an 8-5 game, a 10-3 game coming up in these next few ones.
"More like the last game that we played against Pittsburgh, we're going to have to sacrifice, we're going to have to play great defence."
The only good that came out of this long break for the Flyers is that defenceman Nicklas Grossmann, who suffered a concussion in Game 4, will have had 11 days to recover.
He's been practising regularly with the team for several days and is expected back for Game 1. Also, Kimmo Timonen, who suffered a badly bruised left foot blocking a shot in Game 5, will play even though he took very little practice during the past week.
Health wise, the break helped the Flyers. That's it.
"We have to find a way to get that desperation back quickly, no doubt about it," Philadelphia forward Danny Briere said. "... I agree, to a certain degree, that you want to keep playing when you are in a groove, but that series [with Pittsburgh] was a battle.
"The series, the rivalry was tough, it was emotional and that drains a lot of your energy, all that emotion. We needed a few days off to get the juice back again."
A lot of people are picking the Flyers to win this series in six games.
Which means they get a split at home, probably to start the series. And given the layoff, that seems about right.
Game 7 heroics
Devils rookie Adam Henrique had the first goal of the game for New Jersey against Florida and he had the last with his double-overtime game-winner.
Henrique, of course, is one of the three finalists for the Calder Trophy, given to the rookie of the year.
"These kids are a big part of our success, a big part of our future, so for them to get some playoff time and be able to contribute and big, big situations like a Game 7 and like a Game 7 in overtime or double overtime, that's pretty good," Devils goalie Martin Brodeur told reporters.
"I knew [Henrique has] got a lot of success everywhere he's played. It's kind of nice to come through in the NHL."
Henrique said he was getting kidded the entire series about his rookie status.
"Maybe some of the guys stay on you about it," he said. "What's the difference now? You've just got to go out there and play."
He drew praise from forward Zach Parise.
"Since he's been here he's been great for us," Parise said. "He's scored a couple of big goals and he's playing well, fits right in. We need those contributions from the third and fourth lines.
"I think that makes a difference throughout the playoffs. It was big for us today. Hopefully, we can keep doing that down the road."
Quote of the week
Flyers defenceman Brayden Coburn said the players didn't care who they faced in the second round.
Even if it had been the Rangers.
"Whomever is sitting in our path, that's who we're honing in on and getting ready to destroy," Coburn said. "If they're our way, we'll claw and destroy whoever is in front of us ... scratch, bite, whatever. You have no control over it. Whoever is there is there."
Tim Panaccio reports for CSNPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @tpanotchCSN
Do you have improvements to suggest for this page?