Flyers

Travis Konecny channels his inner Joel Embiid, wants to 'bring a championship back' to Flyers

Travis Konecny channels his inner Joel Embiid, wants to 'bring a championship back' to Flyers

VOORHEES, N.J. — Joel Embiid would have been proud of Travis Konecny.

The Flyers' 22-year-old dynamo was back in town Tuesday and wanted everyone to know this is where he wanted to be. Despite a little bit of drama swirling around the unknown as he missed the first three days of 2019 training camp, Konecny is now here and will be for the next six years after signing a $33 million contract Monday.

He didn't like being away.

"It was stressful because you want to be back with the guys, getting ready with them," Konecny said.

"You want to be there with them. You want to go through the process — training camp, all the ups and downs, the hard stuff — you want to be there with everybody."

How did he ease the stress?

"I guess it's part of it, it's part of the process, so I just had to trust it," Konecny said. "Thankfully, we're here right now and it wasn't too long and I'm just thankful for that."

The Sixers' 7-foot-2 superstar would approve.

He also would approve of Konecny's desire to be in Philly long term. Konecny and his camp were eyeing a lengthier deal as opposed to a bridge contract in which the winger could have proven himself even more and potentially landed a bigger payday around the age of 24 or 25. Konecny wanted more years in Philadelphia. 

You guys have all been around here and you know what the team is all about. Our goal is to bring a championship back and I want to be a part of that, I want to be a part of Philly. To be locked in for six years and have a chance to play with this organization is an honor and I'm just really happy we could get it done.

Konecny took part in his first practice Tuesday. The team plays preseason games Tuesday and Thursday night. Head coach Alain Vigneault said the Flyers are shooting for Konecny to make his preseason debut Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

"He's going to skate [Wednesday] with our skills coach," Vigneault said. "He's got video sessions planned as far as catching up to what he's missed. That will permit him to practice on Thursday, practice on Friday and in theory it should be the same amount of time."

Vigneault and the Flyers were excited to see Konecny. The 2015 first-round pick has the potential to be a 30-goal guy. His role will continue to grow in his fourth NHL season and his presence bolsters the Flyers' depth at forward. The team's third line could feature Oskar Lindblom, Nolan Patrick (when healthy) and possibly a prospect like Joel Farabee. The 23-year-old Lindblom scored 17 goals last season as a rookie, the 20-year-old Patrick was the 2017 second overall pick and the 19-year-old Farabee has many buzzing.

"Happy to see him, he's happy to be here," Vigneault said of Konecny's return. "In talking to him briefly, I know he wanted to be here, just an issue sometimes. But he's here, we're happy to have him. Now let's get to work and get caught up here."

Konecny undoubtedly makes the Flyers deeper and more dangerous for Oct. 4 in Prague, Czech Republic.

"I'll be ready," he said. "I didn't miss too much time, I did a lot of work on my own when I wasn't here. I think we've got a great group here that's going to pick everybody up. They're helping me a lot and just going to make sure we're ready for when the puck drops."

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Yikes! Flyers choke away 3-0 third-period lead for shootout loss to Islanders

Yikes! Flyers choke away 3-0 third-period lead for shootout loss to Islanders

BOX SCORE

The Flyers choked away a 3-0 third-period lead Saturday night en route to a crushing 4-3 shootout loss at the hands of the Islanders.

The aftermath: an ugly and lost weekend.

Returning home to the Wells Fargo Center, head coach Alain Vigneault's team was in prime position to secure a noteworthy win following a befuddling letdown in Ottawa the night prior.

The Flyers wilted, though, in the final stanza, wasting away an opportunity for a quality win within the division. The Flyers (10-6-4) have lost three straight and gone to the shootout seven times this season because of blown leads and an inability to finish games.

After scoring two goals over their last two games, both losses, the Flyers were able to put up three on New York through two periods. The Islanders entered allowing the NHL's fewest goals per game at 2.29.

If only the Flyers kept their foot on the gas.

Give credit to the Islanders (14-3-1) for storming back and extending their point streak to 14 games (13-0-1). They took advantage of a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty in the third period and completely had the Flyers on their heels.

• The Flyers are at the 20-game mark and this was not how they wanted to reach it. While they look different this season, they are still maddeningly inconsistent at times.

Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, James van Riemsdyk and Kevin Hayes went scoreless against New York.

It's a good thing when others are producing, but the Flyers will need to get their big boys going with the others. It hasn't happened yet and the team's record reflects it.

• Brian Elliott came in and out of his crease quite often Saturday night. He had a weird game as he made some timely saves but fell flat in the third period.

That's when they really needed him.

• Oskar Lindblom has arguably been the Flyers' best forward 20 games into the year. The 23-year-old plays on both special teams units and has nine goals and seven assists.

Other NHL players with nine goals so far: Sebastian Aho, Filip Forsberg and Artemi Panarin.

Lindblom had a two-point effort Saturday, marking his third multi-point game of the season after having four all of last season.

He has run away with the opportunity given to him by Vigneault and company.

• The new line of Lindblom, Joel Farabee and Sean Couturier features plenty of intrigue.

The group opened the game's scoring just 1:38 into the action when Lindblom found Couturier, who had a two-point performance himself. The Flyers were 12-5-2 when Couturier had a multi-point game last season.

Lindblom, Couturier and Farabee combined for five points. It still wasn't enough, which is troubling.

• Ivan Provorov and Shayne Gostisbehere have been flip-flopping on the first and second power play units. Provorov was moved off the first group in Friday night's 2-1 loss to the Senators.

"Provy started off, he had three turnovers in the first 10 minutes, made a switch," Vigneault said before Saturday night's game. "Ghost seemed to me that he was playing a little bit better. If you want to play, you’ve got to make the plays."

Provorov made one on the man advantage Saturday to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead in the opening frame. He has four goals and nine assists in 20 games. Last season, he had four goals and eight assists through 40 games. The addition of Matt Niskanen has been huge for the 22-year-old defenseman.

• A little over two hours before puck drop, Vigneault said the Flyers had lineup decisions to make regarding some players nursing minor injuries.

The club's full roster took warmups. Afterward, Philippe Myers and Carsen Twarynski were the scratches as Robert Hagg and Chris Stewart played in their spots.

It's uncertain why the Flyers went that route. Vigneault said postgame that both Myers and Twarynski were healthy.

Myers will be back in the lineup. The 22-year-old defenseman has been great with three goals, an assist and a plus-7 mark in eight games since being called up from AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

Twarynski, a 21-year-old forward, is in a more precarious spot with Scott Laughton (broken finger) nearing his return from long-term injured reserve. Laughton could be back as soon as next Saturday's game against the Flames.

• The Flyers rocked military appreciation jerseys during warmups.

• The Flyers are off Sunday and practice Monday at 11:30 a.m. in Voorhees, New Jersey, before traveling to Florida for a matchup Tuesday with Joel Quenneville's Panthers (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

 

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Flyers vs. Islanders: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers vs. Islanders: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

The Flyers are hoping some home cooking can serve as the remedy for their sudden scoring troubles.

Sparking the offense will not come easily Saturday when the Flyers (10-6-3) host the Islanders (13-3-1).

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 7 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• The Flyers' goal-scoring difficulty crept up rather quietly because the team was playing well, beating quality clubs and on a seven-game point streak.

The issue became much more recognizable when the point streak was halted Friday night by a 2-1 loss to the Senators (see observations).

After scoring 3.27 goals per game over their first 15 games, the Flyers have put up just 1.50 in their past four. They've lost two straight games, scoring only one goal in each outing.

• Why won't it get any easier?

Because Barry Trotz and the Islanders are in town. New York is on a 13-game point streak (12-0-1) and allowing just two goals per game during that stretch. Overall, the Islanders surrender the NHL's fewest goals per game at 2.29.

However, New York has played only five road games — the fewest in the NHL — compared to 12 home games. The Flyers have earned at least a point in eight of nine home games (6-1-2) and are scoring 3.67 goals per game at home.

• Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss, who is 7-1-0 with a 1.88 goals-against average and .942 save percentage, doesn't have great career numbers against the Flyers: 6-4-2, 3.35 GAA, .897 save percentage.

• Playing a back-to-back set, the Flyers did not skate this morning, so it's uncertain how the lineup will look exactly.

Projected lineup

Forwards

Joel Farabee-Claude Giroux-Jakub Voracek
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk-Kevin Hayes-Carsen Twarynski
Andy Andreoff-Michael Raffl-Tyler Pitlick

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Shayne Gostisbehere-Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim-Philippe Myers

Goalies

Brian Elliott
Carter Hart

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