During Saturday's game, Travis Konecny scored a shorthanded goal against the Calgary Flames. It is his team leading fifth shorthander of the season. It also tied him with Simon Holmstrom of the Islanders for the NHL lead. In fact, the Flyers have been at the top of the shorthanded goal category pretty much all season. Currently they are leading the NHL with 10 shorthanded goals.
Let's put this into perspective. Philly has 10 goals while down a man and yet they have just 13 goals, good for 31st in the league, when they are on the power play. Likewise, they've given up just 17 goals while on the penalty kill and their 86.3% penalty kill percentage is second best in the NHL to Los Angeles.
Besides Konecny, Sean Walker has scored two shorthanded goals. It's one of the improved elements of his game that has helped to get him noticed by other teams. Scott Laughton, Garnet Hathaway, and Ryan Poehling have also scored while the Flyers are down a man.
This is one thing you can credit Flyers head coach with John Tortorella with, as well as assistant coach Brad Shawn. The two have worked closely together before and the trust is most certainly there. It's like he's unlocked some sort of super power playing EA Sports NHL. His teams usually are good defensively, as well as fairly chippy. However, this is a new sort of dominance. And it’s being done largely by a player who has never been on the PK before.
""It's shocking to me that he (Konecny) never killed penalties," Tortorella said a few weeks ago. "When we started with him killing penalties, it was new to him, he said he has never done it before. I think his inner confidence has grown that he can be a great player; not a good player, that he can be a great player. And that he can put some people on his shoulders and carry.""
Konency has learned to be able to read a play while on the penalty kill and then strike. Soon, he's off the races and lights the lamp. For any team, there are fewer things more demoralizing than a shorthanded goal....unless you are the one doing it. The Flyers have 10 such goals this year and it gives them a bit of a cushion.
Whatever Totorella is doing with this team defensively is working. Now if they can just get that power play thing solved.