Flyers

Flyers weekly observations: Playoff hopes, Oskar Lindblom's role, a James van Riemsdyk misbelief

Flyers weekly observations: Playoff hopes, Oskar Lindblom's role, a James van Riemsdyk misbelief

Rust, what rust?

Coming out of the bye and All-Star break, the Flyers had themselves a week, winning all four of their games.

They're now owners of the NHL's longest active win streak at seven games.

And, believe it or not, they're thinking playoffs again (see story).

Let's get into some observations:

• Should we even be surprised?

The Flyers have always had a propensity for streaks, both good and bad. This team is clearly no different.

Before winning eight of their last nine games and outscoring the opposition 32-20, the Flyers lost eight straight and were outscored 31-15.

Impressively, they've flipped a switch and a lot of credit has to go to Carter Hart. Stability in net is everything and the 20-year-old has been integral in rebuilding the Flyers' confidence.

The Flyers actually are not all that far off from their pace last season, when they finished with 98 points and snuck into the playoffs. 

Through 52 games in 2017-18, the Flyers were tied for the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot at 24-19-9 and 57 points. This season, they're 23-23-6 with 52 points, seven back of the final playoff berth.

The problem, though, is the Flyers have given themselves little room for error.

• Oskar Lindblom is showing what he can do when he receives consistent minutes and plays with talented players.

During the seven-game winning streak, the 22-year-old winger has posted six points (three goals, three assists) and a plus-6 rating, while playing an average of 16:09 per game.

In his 29 games prior, he played just 10:35 a night to go with four points and no goals.

He's a young player with promise that has been put in a position to succeed and is taking advantage of it.

• There's a misperception with James van Riemsdyk that he'll coast or sort of float at times on the ice, as if he's not all-out trying.

It's simply not the case.

He talked about the style in which he plays last month:

(Alex) Ovechkin, guys like that, (Steven) Stamkos — it's not like they're necessarily blasting around, sprinting and stopping, doing all this stuff. They're kind of meandering and then they find that soft spot and everyone's like, 'How did he get there?' Well, he knows where to go and he knows how to get into the right spot when the guy who has the puck is ready to pass it, so that's what you try to learn over the course of your career. There are different things you try to watch and observe.

There's guile to his game and if you need an example of his effort, just watch the game-winning play in Saturday's 5-4 OT victory over the Oilers.

"Some unbelievable plays by JVR winning battles and setting me up there," Nolan Patrick said, "so obviously a lot of credit to him."

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The top 10 moments that make Travis Konecny, well, Travis Konecny

The top 10 moments that make Travis Konecny, well, Travis Konecny

When you think of Travis Konecny, you think of a first-round pick, A-plus chirper, currently in the middle of a breakout season and now an NHL All-Star. Konecny has had quite the career through his first four seasons with the Flyers and there will be much more to look forward to in the coming years.

For now, here are the 10 best moments since becoming a Flyer that make Konecny, well … Konecny. 

Chirp central
When NBC released "Wired: Stadium Series," Konecny officially became one of the best chirpers in the league. His quick wit during the game was iconic when he was on one of the biggest regular-season platforms in the NHL. Personal favorite chirp has to go to, “Eat up, bud!” 

Post Stadium Series dance party 
The fun didn’t stop on the ice though, the celebration continued into the Eagles’ locker room where he danced the night away with teammate Nolan Patrick. 

Speaking of Nolan ...
During the 2018-19 season, Flyers TV had a special on the youth of the team where a lot of it focused on the bromance of Konecny and Patrick. From tying ties to trying to get out of a parking garages, there’s a bunch of quality bits in there. 

The offseason with T.K.
Before going into the 2017-18 season, the Flyers gave everyone a sneak peek of what the offseason is like for Konecny when it comes to training and conditioning, his childhood town (which only has one stop sign), life on the farm and tons of fishing … tons of fishing. 

Reporting for duty
One of the most exciting moments of 2019 came once Konecny finally signed his contract and reported to training camp to be with his teammates and new head coach Alain Vigneault. The Flyers’ Twitter account had a field day with the announcement, replying to just about every "sign T.K." tweet there was on the platform. They even responded to my post about me talking about how they signed him … by letting me know they signed him. A-plus job. 

His career best
There have been multiple times in his career, five to be exact, in which Konecny wound up having a three-point game. They have become much more frequent this season, having three of the five coming in the first half of the 2019-20 season. While none of these three-point nights have resulted in a hat trick, I’m sure the next time he’s an All-Star that’s going to be a different story. 

A whole lot of fighting 
There’s no shortage of footage when it comes to Konecny dropping the gloves. This place on this list is dedicated to T.K. dropping the gloves and the penalty minutes endured because of it. 

A different kind of fight 
It’s hard to forget the impact young Zach Steward had on all of us during Hockey Fights Cancer Night at the Wells Fargo Center. No one was impacted more than Konecny. Steward had given his favorite player a "Strong then, stronger now" bracelet, worn by those who want to support him in his second battle of cancer. While it was an inspiring moment for Konecny to wear it for that game, he continues to wear it all season long and it doesn’t go unnoticed. 

“I think it really shows a lot about his character,” Steward said. “And that he has a big heart not just on the ice, but off the ice.

“Just a small simple gesture means a lot and makes my day every time I see him with it on.” 


Image credit: The Philadelphia Flyers

OT goals compilation 
This one is self explanatory but his cellies following each are just as good as the goals themselves. 

Evolving into his final form
It seems like that chipped tooth Konecny got on Jan. 11 might have been a good luck charm. Since that game, he’s averaged a point per game through five games. The chip may have been fixed but the power of it remains. 

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2020 NHL All-Star Skills: Flyers' Travis Konecny to participate in fastest skater event

2020 NHL All-Star Skills: Flyers' Travis Konecny to participate in fastest skater event

Not only will Travis Konecny represent the Flyers in the NHL All-Star Game, he'll add another activity to his plate on All-Star weekend in St. Louis.

Konecny will participate in the Bridgestone NHL fastest skater event at 2020 NHL All-Star Skills on Friday night in St. Louis.

Here are the other participants:

  • Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres
  • Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
  • Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
  • Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders
  • Chris Kreider, New York Rangers
  • Anthony Duclair, Ottawa Senators
  • Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks

The rules of the event are as follows, according to the NHL:

Eight players will compete in the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater. Each skater will be timed for one full lap around the rink. The skater may choose the direction of their lap and can be positioned a maximum of three feet behind the start line located on the penalty box side of the center red line. The skater must start on the referee’s whistle and the timing clock will start when the skater crosses the start line. In the event of a clock malfunction, the official time will be recorded by the referee’s stopwatch. The skater with the fastest time is the winner of the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater, and if there is a tie for the fastest time, the tied players will skate another lap to determine the winner.

Konecny will be up against stiff competition as McDavid has won the event three straight years.

The skills events will begin on Friday at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN

On Saturday, the All-Star Game will see Konecny's Metropolitan Division take on the Atlantic Division at 8:15 p.m. If it advances, it'll play the winner of the Pacific and Central Divisions at 10:15 p.m.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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