While the NHL pllan to resume play just reached Phase 2, some players are already thinking about Phase 4, another name for the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Joel Farabee happens to be one of them.
The Flyers’ rookie forward, who is taking part in informal workouts at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J., said he’s looking forward to the round-robin tournament his team will participate in along with Boston, Tampa Bay and Washington in the Eastern Conference.
That competition, necessitated by a season on hold due to the pandemic, will be conducted strictly for seeding purposes while the other four teams in the East are established to provide a traditional 16-team event that can be played for the two conferences.
“Personally I think it’s a good idea,’’ Farabee said in an interview with the Flyers’ public relations department on Monday. “It’s tough, with everything going on, to make everyone happy. But I think it’s a good format for what it is. I’m excited to go through it. It’s something we’ve never done before but I think it will be a pretty cool experience.’’
The Flyers actually have the best seat in the house for this little skirmish. They’re the fourth seed, so they can’t drop. But they could move up to third, second or even first.
“That (first seed) would be huge,’’ Farabee said. “If you can acquire that first seed, that’s your goal. But I think we’ve put ourselves in a pretty good spot already. Hopefully, with a few good skates and get those games under our belts, I think we’ll be rolling once it starts.’’
Farabee admits getting back into the swing of things after not skating for three months might present more of a challenge than just showing up for a training camp in September after a summer off.
“I think it (right now) is just a little more difficult just because you have less time to prepare,’’ he said. “Usually you have the whole summer to prepare and usually you have a plan.
“Right now we’re just kind of going with the flow, trying to get back into shape. We have a few guys working out at the Skate Zone everyday now. It’s good to see that. I know when the season does resume, we’ll be ready.’’
Ever since the shutdown on March 11-12, Flyers players have been asked to comment on how tough it will be to get back the momentum they had built with a nine-game winning streak which had moved them to within a point of the Capitals for the Metro Division lead.
“You play how many games we played (69), you get that chemistry, you get that flow and then the season goes on pause,’’ Farabee said. “I think the biggest thing is just getting that chemistry back, get the flow going again. I’m pretty confident with our guys that we can do that well.’’
And finally, another question that’s been asked a lot: What will it be like playing in an empty building, with no roaring crowds to supply energy?
“I definitely think it will be an experience, you know, very abnormal,’’ Farabee said. “But I think it will be kind of cool. Obviously you have to create your own energy, you have to get up for games and I think the best team that is able to do that is the one that is going to come out on top.
“I think it will be a cool experience. Obviously we want fans there and we want to be playing in front of fans but we want everybody to be healthy and be safe so if that’s what we have to do, we’ll go with that.’’