When it comes to the Flyers offense, a lot of it runs through Travis Konecny. He has 16 goals and 23 points in the team’s first 27 games. Of the 81 goals Philadelphia has scored this season, Konecny has a point on almost 30%.
Even as he added two more goals in the 5-2 win over the Avalanche, it was nice to see some other faces chipping in. Eight players registered at least one point, while Konecny was one of four players to have a two-point outing. Finding ways to spread out the offense is the sign of a team with strong depth. And it helps that this group believes in themselves no matter what anyone else thinks.
"I don’t think anybody wants us to win. That definitely fires us up and fuels the fire for us to prove everyone wrong. It just strengthens our belief in each other…Everybody is willing to fight for the next guy sitting beside them."- Hart on the belief the team has.
It was Konecny that got things started for Philadelphia. After Tyson Foerster sent the puck up to Sean Couturier in the zone, the veteran had to settle the puck down before finding a streaking Konecny. The speedy winger took care of the rest, snapping the puck past Ivan Prosvetov.
Unsurprisingly, it was also Konecny who helped put the game away for the Flyers in the third period. The Avalanche had cut the lead to one over midway through the second. Using his speed to force a turnover, he drew a penalty shot as Nathan MacKinnon held him on the breakaway chance. Using a slow curve to the left side, Konecny tried to wait out Prosvetov and ended up shooting it off the goaltender's pad and in. A dirty goal counts, nonetheless.
Travis Sanheim has shown more confidence in stepping up in the play and hasn't been afraid to drive the net. That has added yet another weapon to this Flyers' attack. And it's not often you see him unleash an absolute snipe from the faceoff dot. That goal ended up as the game-winner for the Flyers. In the first season of his eight-year contract, Sanheim has been a much different player. There had been a recent dip in his play as John Tortorella has been looking to cut back on some of his minutes. He still ended up playing a game-high 22:48 and had two points, two blocks, and two hits.
The Flyers may have also found something in the trio of Bobby Brink, Owen Tippett, and Morgan Frost. The former and latter had been in and out of the lineup while Tippett struggled to start the season. The three seem to have found chemistry with each other, though. Tippett gave Philadelphia a lead they wouldn't relinquish with his patented power move to the net to make it 2-1. Frost helped set up Sanheim's with a nice pass from behind the net on the 3-1 goal. After Sanheim made yet another power move to the net, Brink found the loose puck and got it across the slot to a wide-open Joel Farabee for the tap-in goal to officially ice the game at 5-2. While the trio was even in chances with the Avalanche at even strength, the more important stat was the two goals they scored and the zero they gave up.
"He's a smart player. You can even see on Joel's goal, he has that patience to wait for that guy to open up, there's four guys around him. He thinks the game really well and he has the patience when he needs to. "- Tippett on Brink.
Philadelphia may have bent at times, but they never broke. While MacKinnon made Rasmus Ristolainen look a fool on Colorado's first goal 1:18 after Konecny's opening goal, the Flyers carried on. They did the same when Josh Manson cut the deficit to 3-2 in the second period. Dealing with the firepower the Avalanche possess, closing them out wasn't going to be an easy task. And yet, the Flyers played an all-around great against one of the better teams in the league.
"I think you expect that when you get a lead, especially against a skilled team like that. They're gonna push you try to bend, not break and get back on your toes. Obviously we did that, found a way to get a couple goals to get a bigger lead. Hartsy made some big saves so it was a great team win. "- Sanheim on handling the Avs pressure.
Nashville is the last stop on the road trip as the Flyers will take their four-game win streak into Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night.