Travis Konecny was the Flyers MVP last season. He kicked things off with a bang in Prague, grabbing two goals, before posting an All-Star campaign in his fourth season in the league. It looked like he was becoming the shoot-first player the team was looking for.
And then the pause hit. Konecny had tied his career high in goals and would’ve surpassed that with 13 games remaining. Hockey did not return for months after that. And it’s very possible that hurt Konecny’s momentum. 16 games without a goal in the playoffs for the Flyers’ star winger. He did grab seven assists, but that was far from the player that shined in the regular season.
So it was clear Konecny was coming into this season with a chip on his shoulder. He wanted to prove that who we saw in the playoffs was not who is was. And that his regular season success was not a fluke.
And things started off well. He posted seven points in his first five games. That included a four-point net where he netted his first career hat trick. Things were looking good for Konecny and he was putting the postseason behind him.
Seven games later and Konecny only has one assist. He has four total shots in those games. The Flyers are also getting severely outshot in most of those games, averaging out to about 10+ shots per game. He was benched during that span of time as well. His 5-on-5 play was not up to his usual standards, nor was the team’s as well. The message was clear, Konecny needed to better as they expect more from him that what he has shown.
That doesn’t just mean his offense either. While he is expected to be able to chip in more often than he is, his defensive game needed some work as well. It hasn’t all been bad as he has out-chanced his opposition in seven of his 13 games. Though it is hard to say Konecny has truly had a lot to do with it.
“I’m trying to focus on playing the right way and playing effective. That doesn’t always mean being on the scoresheet. I think those things just come with playing the right way. And even if it doesn’t happen right away, you get rewarded from just doing the right things consistently.”
Konecny added that he is just trying to be in the right spots and help create whenever he can. The other side of his game will come if he focuses on the little things on the other end.
He hasn’t needed to contribute on the scoresheet recently. The trio of James van Riemsdyk, Joel Farabee and Scott Laughton have carried them for now. So it has given Konecny time to focus on other areas of his game.
The Flyers would certainly like him to find his offensive game again as well. But if Konecny is able to round out the rest, we should certainly see him on the scoresheet again. He is still top ten on the team in scoring and is only three points off of top five.
It has been clear to see that Konecny isn’t necessarily there yet. He has struggled with puck management and getting back on defense when need be. The message was sent when he was scratched against the Islanders. It’s up to Konecny to keep working hard and fixing the other parts of his game that will make him successful.