Flyers

Flyers

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Ivan Provorov has been receiving some veteran advice during this final full week of training camp.
 
Mark Streit talked to him. So did Andrew MacDonald. Even sophomore blueliner Shayne Gostisbehere, who is a 23-year-old vet.
 
“I talked to him and T.K. [Travis Konecny] a bit,” Gostisbehere said. “I’ve been where they’re going — a little stressed out, obviously. I told them, just play the game. Don’t be nervous out there, don’t grip the stick too tight. Go out there and have some fun.”
 
The 19-year-old Provorov, who is certain to make the Flyers' roster, will be paired with Mark Streit on Thursday in New York against the Rangers.
 
“He plays like he has a lot of experience,” Streit said. “Very calm, always in position and obviously, a great skater. A really good young player.”
 
MacDonald added Provorov has a “great skill set and mindset” for being just a teenager.
 
“He’s very prepared and it shows in his game,” MacDonald said. “He skates so well and is very poised with the puck. He’s got a good, long stick that he uses very well. He reads the game very well.”
 
Konecny’s situation is different. His spot isn’t nailed down. He will play on an interesting fourth line with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Dale Weise on Thursday.
 
Thus far in camp, the feisty Konecny has played on the first, second and third lines, so Flyers coach Dave Haskstol is now seeing what he can do in a checking role.
 
“He was on the left side today — that’s a group we wanted to look at,” Hakstol said. “We’ve tried to practice with lines at least a day and go into the game with that line. I don’t want to lock that in 100 percent, but it’s most likely.”
 
On Gudas
Hakstol said he spoke with defenseman Radko Gudas about his hit to the Rangers’ Jimmy Vesey that narrowly avoided being a suspension. The thing is, Gudas has had three or four such dubious hits in the past year.
 
Hakstol said he told Gudas he was happy with “the adjustments” he had made in his game and he needed to focus on maintaining those adjustments this season without suspension.
 
“It's the preseason now, but we have to have a start to the year with that adjustment in place,” Hakstol said. “He remains a very effective player. So to answer your question, yes, we've talked to him.”
 
New cuts
Colin McDonald cleared waivers and went back to the Phantoms. Both defenseman Sam Morin and forward Taylor Leier were sent directly to Lehigh Valley on Wednesday.
 
That leaves the roster at 28, including the injured Mark Alt and Cole Bardreau.
 
Hakstol said Morin isn’t far off from being an NHL player.
 
“He was a confident player all the way through camp,” Hakstol said. “He’s shown he’s taken a big step toward this level. He’s very close. He has work to do.
 
“Taylor Leier, several things impressed me. His hockey sense and detail. He makes extremely good decisions and reads on the ice. He’s a third-year pro now and shown he is very close.”
 
The roster
It now appears Scott Laughton, who lost a skate blade in practice and was injured Wednesday, is on the bubble.
 
He and Chris VandeVelde are the likely cut possibilities. Laughton did not get a strong endorsement from Hakstol.
 
“He had a real good start to camp,” Hakstol said. “His conditioning level was good. I was very happy with his first part of camp. The last couple exhibition games he hasn’t been as effective.
 
“There’s ups and downs as you go through weeks of training camp. We want to look for him to push that back toward the positive direction.”   
 
Because of Brayden Schenn’s three-game suspension to start the season, the Flyers must carry 14 forwards initially, which means only seven defensemen. Add goalies Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth and there’s 23 players.
 
Laughton and VandeVelde have been on the bubble in camp given general manager Ron Hextall’s strong backing of Matt Read.
 
Here’s the best guess on who goes: If Konecny makes the roster, then the likely cuts are Laughton, Jordan Weal and Manning. If Konecny goes back to junior, then it’s Laughton and Manning.
 
The Flyers expect the Rangers and Bruins (Saturday in Boston) to go with a near-full NHL lineup, which raises the stakes for Konecny.
 
Management needs to see how Konecny fares under those conditions before deciding whether he returns to his junior club in Sarnia.