After a 1-0 loss to the Golden Knights on Saturday, the Flyers find themselves with a 2-3-0 mark through five games.
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Laughton’s three even strength goals leads the Flyers through five games. Starting the season on the fourth line, Laughton has also seen an increase in ice time as he’s jumped up to play with Mikhail Vorobyev and Wayne Simmonds. The left winger has also proven to be an invaluable contributor on the Flyers’ penalty kill leading all forwards in PK minutes. Saturday against the Golden Knights, Laughton’s aggressiveness led to a shorthanded breakaway. If Oskar Lindblom misses significant time, Laughton may even jump up to the Flyers’ second line once Nolan Patrick returns.
Radko Gudas should have no concerns that he’ll be replaced by Christian Folin anytime soon after Folin’s poor performance in Colorado. Gudas has not only contributed offensively with three assists in a 7-4 win in Ottawa but he’s been a steadying presence for Travis Sanheim, who is starting to develop a cohesion with Gudas as the team’s third defensive pairing. While he may be a below average puck mover, the puck possession metrics also favor Gudas despite starting a majority of his shifts in the defensive zone.
Weise started the season as the Flyers’ 14th forward and appeared to be a healthy scratch until injuries and ineffectiveness forced Dave Hakstol to utilize the 30-year-old winger. To Weise’s credit, he's effective when he plays with an edge, which he has done in his past two games. He has the speed to jump in hard and strong on the forecheck, creating takeaways and giving the Flyers’ fourth line a spark and some much-needed energy. Weise recorded two assists against Ottawa for his first multi-point effort in his last 47 games.
It’s been a slow start for MacDonald, who revealed on Friday that he’s not playing at 100 percent after coming back early from an offseason injury sustained prior to training camp. MacDonald also believes the two preseason games he played may have been premature. As a result, the Flyers’ defenseman has struggled in the first week and a half, allowing a team-high six goals at even strength. The MacDonald-Hagg pairing has also yielded a lot of time in the Flyers’ zone and a significant amount of shots on net.
Two games into the season, Dave Hakstol was ready to abandon Konecny’s role on the top line with Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux. Konecny’s ice time has taken a direct hit, playing nearly 16 minutes in the opener in Vegas to just under 12 minutes in each of his past two games. With just one assist in his first five games, Konecny doesn’t seem to be playing with the same degree of confidence he had at the end of last season when he scored 18 goals over a 33-game span. He still hasn’t weeded out the high-risk plays that can lead to opposition scoring chances.
For a player that many expected a big sophomore season out of, it’s been a tough start for Patrick. He didn’t have a strong preseason and it appears it has carried over into the start of the regular season. Patrick left the game in Ottawa in the first period with an upper-body injury and never returned. Prior to that game, Patrick was a minus-5 over his first three games, failing to register a point centering a line with Oskar Lindblom and Jake Voracek. We haven’t seen the jump and assertiveness in Patrick’s game that we saw when he finished his rookie campaign strong.