VOORHEES, N.J. — Scott Gordon wanted Travis Konecny to see the play — and the potential.
The Flyers' interim head coach wasn't showing Konecny his goal from last Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Flames, which was the 21-year-old's first tally since Dec. 8.
Instead, he wanted to highlight Konecny's hustle on a backcheck to break up a Calgary scoring chance and save Ivan Provorov, who coughed up the puck.
These are the types of plays that end up leading to "good-fortune goals," as Gordon puts it. What do you know, that good fortune came around later in the game when Konecny capitalized on a mistake by goalie David Rittich and buried a go-ahead, third-period goal.
Gordon remembered the backcheck and made sure to remind Konecny of it.
"I sat down with him [Sunday] and that was one of the first clips I showed him, just to say, this is being a 200-foot player, this is being a complete player, this is attention to details," Gordon said Monday after morning skate. "Tough play for Provy where the puck rolled on him as he's trying to stick handle, it gets away from him, but T.K. was aware of what the situation was and did everything he could to stop the guy from scoring and not take a penalty.
"Right there, he does something that's selfless and next thing you know, he's getting an empty-net goal with the goalie out playing the puck. You do good things on the ice and eventually you get rewarded."
Gordon picked a perfect time to praise Konecny for a play that doesn't go noticed in the box score. The 2015 first-round pick hadn't been getting the results (three assists, no goals in his previous 16 games) and this was a great moment to explain how the 200-foot game can be a constant even when the numbers aren't there.
"It was nice. As a player, you want to get some good feedback like that," Konecny said. "I've been working hard at trying to complete my game because I know lately things haven't been going the greatest for everybody, so just trying to focus on the little things and fine-tuning your game."
Konecny can be the most noticeable player on the ice and a true terror when he's going all out, in all situations. As long as he's consistent on that end, with his speed and skill evident, he's not worried about goal droughts, something Jakub Voracek told him all players go through.
"Everybody does. Everyone who's ever played has, so I'm more focused on trying to turn our year around right now and figure out what's going on," Konecny said. "As soon as that starts to turn around, everyone's individual success will kind of take care of itself. And I think that's everyone's attitude in here — no one is individualized and looking at the stat sheets or contracts or whatever it is, we're just trying to play for each other and figure out what's going to work for us."
With the Flyers in last place at the midway point of the season, they'll take some more of that good fortune.
"The good-fortune goals are goals that if you do enough of the right things, things are going to happen and I think T.K. is a perfect example of that," Gordon said.
"That's usually how luck changes — when you consistently do things correctly and put yourself in the right spots, you'll get those bounces."
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