VOORHEES, N.J. — Monday started with bad news for the Flyers.
Travis Konecny, their 22-year-old leading scorer, is out indefinitely with a concussion.
Konecny was leveled in open ice by Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki during the first period of the Flyers' 4-3 win Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center. He left the game and never returned.
The 2015 first-round pick is on pace to shatter his career highs. He's been arguably the Flyers’ most important piece to their turnaround through 30 games of 2019-20.
He has 28 points (11 goals, 17 assists) after having 28 points through the team's first 50 games last season. The Flyers are 2-4-4 in games that he hasn't scored.
I didn’t know a ton about him. I knew he competed like hell, fiery player," Matt Niskanen, in his first year with the Flyers, said Monday. "Playing with him, that’s reinforced that thought — hungry on the puck, good quickness, really good at creating turnovers. He’s shown a pretty good scoring touch, too, so far this year. A lot of good tools and he’s been a really important player for us.
Philippe Myers left the Flyers' skill practice Monday with back spasms. With Konecny out and Myers potentially out for Wednesday's game in Colorado against the Avalanche (9:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN), the Flyers will most likely have only 12 healthy forwards and six healthy defensemen to open a three-game road trip.
Niskanen, who has 125 career postseason games on his résumé and a Stanley Cup title, said this can be a good challenge for the Flyers. The team is 12-3-4 and tied with the Capitals for the most points in the NHL at 28 since Nov. 1 (see weekly observations).
"Both guys have played really well for us," he said. "Hopefully they come back, we've been on a pretty good run here. But it gives somebody an opportunity and it tests us a little bit — and that's OK, early in the year, you're going to have to learn to deal with things."
As of Monday morning, the Flyers did not have plans to make a call-up. Forward Chris Stewart will enter the lineup and defenseman Robert Hagg will, as well, if Myers is unable to go in Colorado.
Head coach Alain Vigneault said it's uncertain if Konecny will or can travel with the Flyers. The team flies to Denver Tuesday afternoon.
"At this time, I would say no," Vigneault said, "but you never know how things change."
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