This one shouldn’t surprise anyone. TK has fallen back into his 19-20 form. The game of hockey has become fun for him again. It was clear and evident when he scored against the New Jersey Devils. His celly was of love for the game. Consistently being a threat on the ice, I don’t remember the last time he was invisible. With 10 goals and 13 assists in 21 games, Konecny is two points over the ppg mark.
The evolution of his game can’t be understated as well. Konecny has become a good penalty killer under the new coaching regime. While he has been working on his 200-foot game, this evolution has made him even more valuable to the Flyers and potentially an untouchable for Torts. As of right now, he is one of four players I would consider for the All-Star Game.
A season after two surgeries, losing his brother and finding himself once again, Kevin Hayes has really become the work horse that Torts has envisioned him to be. While the A was stripped from him with Torts coming in, that didn’t seem to stop him from being a leader and a player who Torts can rely on in the locker room. With nine goals and 19 assists, Hayes is one point above a ppg this season.
No one knew where exactly Hayes would be mentally and physically coming into this season. Who could blame him? Losing a family member, let alone a brother who you were so close with, isn’t something you can just walk away from. It takes time to heal the emotional damage but seeing him with an extra jump in his step makes it seem like he is on a mission to prove to himself this year that he is exactly what Torts believes him to be.
The only player with a letter on his sweater. Scott Laughton has become THE go to guy for Torts. Whether its leadership in the room or leading by example on the ice, Laughton has done exactly what has been asked of him. With four goals and six assists, Laughton has been playing the Couturier role. Going out there on the PK and trying to help shut down the opposing centers behind Hayes and Cates now.
Stats don’t tell the full story and with Laughton that is absolutely evident. Forechecking, laying the body and giving 150% when only asked for 100% is what he does. Laughton doesn’t give up on plays and works until he can’t anymore. Giving Laughton some scorers around him will help him and give him more options to pass to outside of the Max Willman’s or Morgan Frost’s.
There are also three players who need to be better on this offense who should be difference makers for the Flyers.