Flyers

2019-20 Flyers season grades: Travis Konecny

2019-20 Flyers season grades: Travis Konecny

The 2019-20 NHL regular season has concluded and the next time the puck drops will officially kick off the race to the Stanley Cup. The Flyers are hungry and ready to battle it out, but that is thanks to the hard work from back in October. 

In an End to End series, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Brooke Destra, Katie Emmer, Joe Fordyce and Jordan Hall will be grading players based on individual performances. 

Today we will be looking at Travis Konecny. 

Destra

The Flyers would have been a fraction of the team it was this season without Konecny. You can’t say enough good things about the player he’s becoming. Now, at the end of his fourth season with the Flyers, he’s finally found exactly where he belongs on this roster. 

No. 11 has always been the kind of player to get under the opposing team’s skin — luckily, he’s on the Flyers' side. There was a distinct shift in confidence throughout the 2019-20 season and it was noticeable in all aspects of his game. While it could have something to do with his shiny new six-year contract, he also had a fresh start with the new additions behind the bench. 

Konecny dressed for 66 games this season and posted a team best in points with 61 (24 goals, 37 assists). This is the third straight season he’s ended with 24 goals, but had play not been suspended because of the growing COVID-19 concerns, he would have most likely found himself with a new career high. 

A+ for Konecny — and expectations are most definitely going to be raised moving forward.  

Emmer

This one is an easy grade.

The 2019-20 season was hands down Konecny’s best of his career. He was showing a more confident style that we hadn’t seen before, making more risky plays with the puck, taking more chances and capitalizing — all of which was portrayed in his 61 points in 66 games, which led the team.

He also stepped up on the Flyers’ improved power play this season, recording five goals and 18 assists on the man advantage. He was a spark plug — he consistently brought energy to the bench and to the game, especially when he made it on the score sheet.

His confident play landed him his first All-Star selection and his improved shooting percentage was a major key to the Flyers' offense.

A for Konecny.

Fordyce 

Konecny is an easy grade for me — it’s an obvious A. When Konecny is playing well, it’s infectious and has an effect on the entire team. The energy and spark that No. 11 plays with on a nightly basis is one of the most valuable parts of T.K.'s game.

This was a big growth season for Konecny, too, as he played a more disciplined game and shed some of the bad habits which had cost him and the Flyers in previous seasons with penalties and so forth. That can’t be understated. 

Now let's look at the numbers. In 66 games this season, Konecny equaled his career high in goals and if it were a normal season, it’s a virtual lock that he would have a new career high. Konecny’s 61 points were a career high and while he maintained his status as a scoring threat, he became more of a playmaker, dishing out a career-high 37 assists, 12 more than his previous high. 

This is certainly a player the Flyers will rely on in the future and this season was a huge leap. 

A for Konecny. 

Hall

On the heels of signing a new six-year, $33 million deal, Konecny had six three-point performances in 2019-20 after having a combined two over his first three NHL seasons.

That's big-time growth from a 23-year-old foundation piece.

Konecny led the Flyers in goals (24) and points (61) through 66 games. His 37 assists were a career high and he was one marker away from a new personal best.

The Flyers went 31-9-2 when he recorded at least a point and 10-9-5 when he had gone scoreless.

Konecny deserves an A for taking huge strides and backing up his contract.

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2020 NHL playoffs: Schedule, scores, updates, odds, game times, TV channels and live streaming

2020 NHL playoffs: Schedule, scores, updates, odds, game times, TV channels and live streaming

The first round of the NHL playoffs kicked off Aug. 11 and are officially in full swing. Between the two bubble cites in Edmonton and Toronto, there has been more than enough hockey to go around. While it’s every fan’s dream to have hockey on for the greater part of the day, there is a lot to keep up with — given the amount of games played daily with their turnaround times. 

So, in an effort to keep everyone up to date for each series in the first round — we created this playoff tracker. Consider this your one-stop shop for everything and anything you need to know. From who has the edge in the series, odds on who has the better chance at advancing per DraftKings, schedules, analysis and where to stream — it’s all right here for the taking.

This will be updated daily with the latest news and information from all eight series. 

East 
 

Blue Jackets vs. Lightning 

Series is tied 1-1

Series odds: CBJ +180 TB -225

Game 1: The puck dropped at 3:09 p.m. ET, but no one knew at the time it was going to run over six hours. This first game became the second-longest playoff game in the modern NHL era, going into five overtimes. You would think the team that had the goaltender that mad a record 85 saves, would have been the winners, but that wasn’t the case. 10:27 into that fifth overtimes, Brayden Point scored that game-winning goal for the Lightning on Joonas Korpisalo.  

Game 2: Blue Jackets’ net minder Joonas Korpisalo has brought his A-game in the first two games of this series. After stopping 85 shots in game one, he stopped 36 of 37 Thursday to help his team to a win over the Lightning. 

Remaining schedule 
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 — 7:30 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 — 3 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Wednesday, Aug. 19 — time TBD
*Game 6: Friday, Aug. 21 — time TBD
*Game 7: Saturday, Aug. 22 — time TBD

Bruins vs. Hurricanes 

Series is tied 1-1

Series odds: CAR +110 BOS -132

Game 1: After the Blue Jackets-Lightning game going far over the allotted time for their game, this series’ first game was pushed to the following day with an 11 a .m. start time. This now gave them back-to-back games to open the series. Also going into double overtime, Selke finalist Patrice Bergeron scored the game-winning goal. 

Game 2: The hurricanes were out for revenge Thursday night when they faced the Bruins in their second matchup of the series. Even though Boston finally started clicking on their power play (scoring two goals, after having no luck prior since the round robin began), it wasn’t enough to overcome the Hurricanes. 

Remaining schedule 
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 — 12 p.m. ET (Watch on NBC)
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 — 8 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Wednesday, Aug. 19 — time TBD
*Game 6: Thursday, Aug. 20 — time TBD
*Game 7: Sunday, Aug. 23 — time TBD

Capitals vs. Islanders 

The Islanders lead the series 1-0

Series odds: NY -167 WSH +137 

Game 1: Norris Trophy finalist John Carlson was back in the lineup for the Capitals, but still wasn’t enough to help his team to a win. The Islanders scored four unanswered goals to rally back after being down two to take the first in this series. 

Remaining schedule 

Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14 — 8 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
Game 3: Sunday, Aug. 16 — 12 p.m. ET (Watch on USA)
Game 4: Tuesday, Aug. 18 — 8 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Thursday, Aug. 20 — time TBD
*Game 6: Saturday, Aug. 22 — time TBD
*Game 7: Sunday, Aug. 23 — time TBD

Flyers vs. Canadiens 

The Flyers lead the series 1-0

Series odds: MTL +340 PHI -455

Game 1: The Flyers had a great jump at the start of the game, but things quickly shifted in favor of the Canadiens about 10 minutes in — and then they continued to control he game through well into the second period. If it wasn’t for Carter Hart, the Flyers would have been in deep trouble. 

Remaining schedule 

Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14 — 3 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSP)
Game 3: Sunday, Aug. 16 — 8 p.m. ET (Watch on NBC)
Game 4: Tuesday, Aug. 18 — 3 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSP)
*Game 5: Wednesday, Aug. 19 — time TBD
*Game 6: Friday, Aug. 21 — time TBD
*Game 7: Sunday, Aug. 23 — time TBD

West 

Flames vs. Stars

Series is tied 1-1

Series odds: CGY -109 DAL -112

Game 1: The Flames came out swinging right from the jump to try and get an early edge on the Stars. Along with the strong efforts of goaltender Cam Talbot, Flames’ Dillon Dube dominated through that first period, scoring the first two goals. Matthew Tkachuk and Corey Perry also dropped the gloves early on, making for quite an entertaining first 20 minutes of hockey. 

Game 2: In one of the most intense games of the day, the Stars and Flames went to battle in the third period. Things were a little too close for comfort when the Flames came from behind, scoring twice with less than ten minutes to play — but in the 59th minute, Stars’ Jami Oleksiak gave his team the go-ahead goal and carried them to a win. 

Remaining schedule 
Game 3: Friday, Aug. 14 — 10:30 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
Game 4: Sunday, Aug. 16 — 2 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Tuesday, Aug. 18 — time TBD
*Game 6: Thursday, Aug. 20 — time TBD
*Game 7: Saturday, Aug. 22 — time TBD

Blackhawks vs. Golden Knights 

The Golden Knights lead the series 2-0 

Series odds: CHI +1150 VGS -2500

Game 1: When the puck first dropped, the two teams looked far more balanced than they should have for a first and 12th seed. It might have taken some time, but the Golden Knights eventually shifted their gears into motion and never looked back. The third period put the Blackhawks away, when Reilly Smith scored not one, but two power play goals against Corey Crawford. 

Game 2: If there’s one thing that holds true in the playoffs, it’s that you should never underestimate Patrick Kane. In the second period, he tallied an assist for every Blackhawks goal. Their third goal, curtesy of Dylan Strome, tied the game and was the last one scored in regulation. Just over seven minutes into overtime, Reilly Smith scored the game-winning goal, officially getting the Golden Knights their second win of the series. 

Remaining schedule 
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 — 8 p.m. ET (Watch on NBC)
Game 4: Sunday, Aug. 16 — 6:30 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Tuesday, Aug. 18 — time TBD
*Game 6: Thursday, Aug. 20 — time TBD
*Game 7: Saturday, Aug. 22 — time TBD

Coyotes vs. Avalanche 

The Avalanche lead the series 1-0

Series odds: ARI +445 COL -625

Game 1: The scoring opened up late in the third period with the Avalanche, who then tallied a second goal in just 10 seconds. They didn’t stay silent for long and scored the third and final goal of the game just over a minute later. The Coyotes were shut out and had a mere 14 shots on goal. 

Remaining schedule 

Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14 — 2 p.m. ET (Watch on NHL Network)
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 — 3 p.m. ET (Watch on CNBC)
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 — 5:30 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Wednesday, Aug. 19 — time TBD
*Game 6: Friday, Aug. 21 — time TBD
*Game 7: Sunday, Aug. 23 — time TBD

Canucks vs. Blues 

The Canucks lead the series 1-0

Series odds: VAN -120 STL +100

Game 1: It’s safe to say the first two periods were very evenly matched — if the Canucks scored on the power play, the Blues followed suit, if the Canucks had an unassisted goal, so did the Blues. Going into the third period, it could’ve been anyone’s game, but Vancouver finally found the stride they were looking for, scoring three more times. With three power play goals and only 22 shots on goal, the Canucks left Blues’ net minder Jordan Binnington flustered, leaving the first game of the series with a .773 SV%. 

Remaining schedule 

Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14 — 6:30 p.m. ET (Watch on NHL Network)
Game 3: Sunday, Aug. 16 — 10:30 p.m. ET (Watch on CNBC)
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 — 10:30 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Wednesday, Aug. 19 — time TBD
*Game 6: Friday, Aug. 21 — time TBD
*Game 7: Sunday, Aug. 23 — time TBD

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Canadiens head coach Claude Julien released from hospital

Canadiens head coach Claude Julien released from hospital

Canadiens head coach Claude Julien has been released from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, the team announced Friday, after having a stent placed in a coronary artery.

Doctors expect a full recovery as Julien is headed home to Montreal after he was hospitalized because of chest pain.

"Coach Julien would like to convey his most sincere thanks to everyone at St. Michael's Hospital for the wonderful care he received during his stay," the Canadiens released in a statement Friday. "He also wishes to personally and sincerely thank everyone who has sent their well wishes during this time."

Julien, who is not expected to return for Montreal's best-of-seven first-round playoff series against the Flyers, was behind the bench leading the Canadiens in Game 1 Wednesday night at Scotiabank Arena. The Flyers beat Montreal, 2-1, while the series continues Friday with Game 2 at 3 p.m. ET.

Assistant coach Kirk Muller will take over head coaching duties in the interim.

The 60-year-old Julien has been with the Canadiens for parts of seven seasons over two different stints. He guided the Bruins to a Stanley Cup championship in 2011 and is Boston's all-time leader in wins with 419.

From 1981-83, Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault and Julien were teammates on the Central Hockey League's Salt Lake Golden Eagles.

"I've known Claude since I was 20, so we go way back, good friends," Vigneault said Thursday afternoon in a video interview following practice. "I'm going to reach out with him."

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