Flyers

Travis Konecny will return to Flyers' lineup vs. Capitals

Travis Konecny will return to Flyers' lineup vs. Capitals

UPDATED: 12:22 P.M.

The kid is back.
 
Travis Konecny will return to the Flyers lineup tonight in Washington against the Capitals after missing nine games with an ankle and knee injury.
 
"I feel good," he said. "Anybody in my position would want to play some hockey. I feel 100 percent.
 
"Everything has been going good on the ice this week. I feel in great shape and feel like I did before I got injured."
 
On Friday at Flyers Skate Zone, Konecny practiced with a revised second power-play unit that now includes newcomer Valtteri Filppula with Sean Couturier, Jordan Weal and Ivan Provorov.
 
The entire unit changes with the departure of defenseman Mark Streit. Nick Cousins had been on that unit.
 
"We're moving the puck around good and getting different looks," Konecny said. "We'll have to see when we put it in the game what the difference is. It's going to be exciting to try it out."
 
Konecny has three of the four power-play goals scored by the second unit this season. Dale Weise has the other.
 
The bad news? That unit hasn’t scored on the power play since Konecny did Jan. 12  against Vancouver -- 20 games ago, which is one reason why coach Dave Hakstol has to adjust his personnel.
 
Hakstol didn't use Filppula on the power play during a 2-1 shootout win over Florida on Thursday night because he was trying to ease the Finn into the lineup on such short notice following the trade deadline.
 
"We looked at it [Friday] and with limited practice time, we have to look at different spots that are suitable for [Filppula] and what those units look like and start building chemistry," Hakstol said of the unit's shakeup.
 
"Whether we use that in the game, we haven’t decided yet, but as you can see from the March schedule, there's not that much practice time. If we have an opportunity to look at things, we're going to do that."
 
Hakstol said he would have to limit Konecny's ice time. The plan was to start him on the fourth line initially.

2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule: Maple Leafs, Golden Knights can clinch on home ice

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2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule: Maple Leafs, Golden Knights can clinch on home ice

Four first-round playoff series remain alive.

Two of those four series could end Sunday.

Both the Maple Leafs and Golden Knights can advance to the second round if they win their respective Game 6s on home ice.

Below is the full schedule for Day 12 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. You can watch the entire playoffs on the networks of NBC. 

Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs (TOR 3-2)
Game 6, Eastern Conference first round
3 p.m. ET | TV: NBC | Live stream here

San Jose Sharks at Vegas Golden Knights (VGK 3-2)
Game 6, Western Conference first round
7 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN | Live stream here

Old acquaintances, new acquaintances and Flyers flavor as Alain Vigneault gets head start

Old acquaintances, new acquaintances and Flyers flavor as Alain Vigneault gets head start

These are chaotic times for Alain Vigneault.

Exciting, of course, but chaotic — much different than last April and throughout the 2018-19 season when he was without a job.

"After a year off and figuring out I'll never be the golfer that I thought I would be, it's time for me to get back to work," he said Thursday with a smile.

Back into the workforce in full force.

Not only does Vigneault have a new job, he's got two of them … starting at once.

He was introduced as the Flyers' new head coach Thursday. He is also the bench boss for Team Canada in the 2019 IIHF World Championship from May 10-26.

As busy as it is, coaching in the worlds will give Vigneault a head start on getting to know two of his most important players with the Flyers: Sean Couturier and Carter Hart.

Team Canada will also provide a unique situation with plenty of Flyers ties.

The tournament will serve as a job interview of sorts for Flyers goalie coach Kim Dillabaugh. The statuses of the team's assistant coaches Dillabaugh, Kris Knoblauch (power play), Ian Laperriere (penalty kill) and Rick Wilson (defensemen) appear nebulous with a new head coach in town.

Because of his time with Hart, Dillabaugh will join Team Canada.

"Right now, we have a solid, young goaltender that all I've heard about were positive things," Vigneault said of Hart and the Flyers' situation in net. "We're going to be able to work with him at the world championships. We decided [Wednesday], with Hockey Canada, to also bring a goalie coach — we're going to bring the Flyers' goalie coach to the world championships. He's worked with Hart and he's had real good progression with him."

On Thursday, near the top of Vigneault's to-do-list was to discuss the Flyers' staff with general manager Chuck Fletcher and meet the current assistant coaches. Fletcher said: "We're going to talk a little bit more today and a little bit over the next week or two. I don't think it's going to be a rush to hire or a rush to judgment here."

Couturier will be playing for his new coach and his old coach Dave Hakstol, who is on Team Canada's staff. Former Flyers general manager Ron Hextall is also a part of Team Canada's management group.

Don't expect Vigneault to seek out advice from Hakstol regarding the Flyers. That would be a tad bit awkward.

"I'm going to lean on him for the tournament but I'm not going to ask Dave or Ron Hextall anything about players with the Flyers," Vigneault said. "I've said to Chuck that I want to come here with everybody fresh, clean, no preconceived notion. Players are going to come and they're going to show me what they can do. 

"Those would be two great sources for me to ask, but I'd rather trust my eyes, talk to the guys, get to know them and get a personal feel for who they are, what they can do and what they can bring."

Players like Couturier, Hart and Claude Giroux shouldn't have a problem showing what they bring to the table. They're three of the Flyers' surest bets right now.

Giroux chatted with Vigneault on Thursday at Flyers Skate Zone.

"Everything I've heard about him is this passion to win," Vigneault said of the Flyers' captain.

As for Giroux on his new coach: "Very excited," he said via text message to NBC Sports Philadelphia's Marc Farzetta. "Heard a lot of great things."

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