Sitting on the ice right by the end boards, Travis Konecny slammed his broken stick in anger, the victim of a physical play during the final minute of the second period.
After methodically getting back up on his skates and fetching a new stick, Konecny wasted no time channeling that frustration into a massive hit on Jets 19-year-old star Patrik Laine.
Konecny, all of 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, laying out Laine, a 6-5, 206-pound stud.
And boom, that's the energy and feistiness any coach would love.
But when Konecny committed a costly and ill-timed tripping penalty nearly midway through the third period Saturday, he never saw the ice again. The Flyers were leading, 2-0, and looking to close out arguably the most lethal power-play team in the NHL. Laine scored 32 seconds later and Konecny watched the rest of the way as the Flyers survived for a desperate 2-1 win (see observations).
Moments after the final buzzer sounded, Hakstol was seen talking to Konecny in the Flyers' dressing room. Given Hakstol's guardedness, it was surprising the scene ever made the light of day.
"I guess you guys beat me into the room tonight," Hakstol said with a slight laugh, "so that's just how it is.
"I won't get into my conversation with him a whole lot. There are a lot of those conversations that go on with individual players."
Was it a reminder to harness that aggression?
"It's all in the situation. T.K., he's a huge part of our team. That energy that he plays with, he's always got to be on the line," Hakstol said. "Tough part, this time of year, is navigating not going over that line. The penalty was obviously not good timing and something that can't happen, and he knows that. But he's a huge part of our team and unfortunately, we didn't get the kill on that one.
"But this time of year, little things make a difference. I don't want T.K. to change his game at all. There are a couple little adjustments he has to make in the third period, nothing more."
Sounds like a good ole teaching moment for a 20-year-old that has ridden nothing but highs since late December (27 points in 32 games). While Konecny has blossomed in his second season, it doesn't mean he's exempt from a coach's lesson.
Konecny, who committed two of the team's four penalties, said the tripping wasn't a matter of becoming too free from his success.
"I don't think I've played perfect every night," Konecny said. "He stepped on my stick. It's not like it's too loose, it's just a fluke thing."
As for what was said between player and coach …
"That's just between him and I," Konecny said. "Not going to comment."
And the discussion should be the end of something that really wasn't much.
"You guys are a little bit focused on the penalty that he took," Hakstol said, "but there are just little parts of the game that, at this time of the year, get ramped up — and it's not just him, it's our entire team."