The Philadelphia Flyers might have been feeling happy with their 3-2 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first exhibition game of the preseason to the 24-team playoff tournament on Tuesday, some players weren’t thrilled with the ice conditions.
While no fans are allowed in the building, the hot day in Toronto made it hard on the ice and both forward Kevin Hayes and Sean Couturier, who both managed to score for the Flyers, were quick to criticize the quality of the ice in the Eastern Conference hub city.
Couturier even expressed some concern for the next game to come, as the Montreal Canadiens will be facing the Toronto Maple Leafs on that same ice later tonight.
“It was all right. Wasn’t the best, but I’ve seen worse in the league. It’s the same for every team. I wonder about the second game (Leafs - Habs tonight), but in May and June it can get ugly and that’s no different here.”
The event planning in Toronto to welcome 12 teams of the Eastern Conference happened quite quickly over the course of the past few weeks and some fans are starting to wonder if something wasn’t done properly to the ice.
No player was injured today, so that’s a good sign, but how will the ice be affected as the tournament sets off on Saturday with many games in a day, every day of the week?
Later tonight, the Calgary Flames and Oilers face off in Edmonton, the second hub city in the league for the Western Conference clubs. We wonder how the ice will compared to the one in Toronto.
The Flyers got the fourth and final bye through the qualifying round. They’ll open seeding play Sunday against the Boston Bruins. Maybe the ice issues will have been resolved by then…