How Will Philadelphia Flyers Benefit From Sochi?

By Steven Smith
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

With five Philadelphia Flyers that include Jakub Voracek, Michael Raffl, Mark Streit, Andrej Meszaros and Kimmo Timonen all headed to Sochi for the Winter Olympics next month, many fans of the orange and black are having mixed emotions about the benefits and well-being of the players.

Anxiety about play-changing injury and bad habits race through the minds of the members of Philadelphia’s front office as well. Ease up though, everybody — imagine how much better the Flyers might be after Sochi.

Considering the level of competition, the five Flyers selected will have an incredible opportunity to boost their game. It’s obvious that Philadelphia doesn’t play against the greatest of teams night in and night out when playing in regular competition. With the pace and stakes of the games on a much greater level in the Olympics, players will be able to work on their cardio, different plays, strength and a number of other things.

With everything that the world’s best players will be bringing to the ice, the five players will ultimately never stop learning, which means their game gets stronger both short and long term.

What about the players not headed to Sochi though? How exactly do they benefit? Well, for starters, practices and drills will be different. The coaching staff will be able to mix up lines and build new chemistry among the players. In doing so, perhaps the team will find newer and more useful plays to utilize once NHL competition kicks back up.

In a nutshell, all the mixing up of different players, unfamiliar competition and different coaching strategies will pull out every bit of ability these players have. As long as those selected have the mental discipline to distinguish what works in the Olympics and what works in a regular game, they’ll be just fine.

Steven Smith is a Philadelphia Flyers writer for Follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook.

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