While the end result was less than ideal for a team looking to end its season-opening road trip on a positive note, there was plenty to take away from the Philadelphia Flyers’ 6-5 loss to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.
The final test of a challenging road trip to start the 2017-18 season, the Flyers knew they were walking into the lion’s den in Nashville. The defending Western Conference Champs were 0-2 heading into their home opener and figured to come out guns blazing.
That’s exactly what they did, and the Flyers were smacked with a brutal onslaught from puck drop in front of a raucous crowd at Bridgestone Arena. They sort of withstood the wild attack from the Predators early, though, allowing just one goal in a series of shifts that most certainly could’ve been more had Brian Elliott not stood tall in the first period.
But then the downfall began, and before they knew it, the Flyers found themselves in a 3-0 hole. They needed a catalyst, any sort of spark during a shift that could reignite the team and force them to push back and start wiping away the deficit.
Enter Travis Konecny.
Konecny and his linemates came out firing in their first shift following the Predators’ third goal to set the tone for the comeback they put on before the eventual loss. It was one of many shifts from the sophomore forward that provided some energy, some spark and some threat to score on Tuesday night.
Here’s the shift in full, which begins about 30 seconds after the goal was scored when 4-on-4 play ended.
TK enters the picture and starts his shift by attacking the puck with full speed behind the Preds’ net and sets the tone for the rest of the shift. The group put some pressure on the home team and Pekka Rinne, pushing back when they could have easily been flat down 3-0 in that environment.
While that shift helped push
momentum in the Flyers’ direction, Konecny was in the mix all night, not shying away from anyone and continuing to show that he is ready to build upon his rookie campaign and grow as a player for the Flyers. In the first period, he drove the net hard and drew the ire of PK Subban in front of the Predators’ net.
It would be a common theme for the night as a pestering Konecny made his mark on what could’ve been a signature win for the Flyers had they not fallen apart late. Here Konecny is again stirring the pot and refusing to play at any other speed but full-go, despite the 2-0 deficit at the time.
While his spark plug shifts were important for the moral of the club and feel of the game from the Flyers’ side, Konecny’s biggest contribution came in the form of his first goal of the 2017-18 season that gave them their first lead of the game at 4-3.
He used his speed to break away and get a chance all alone on Rinne and did not disappoint. Konecny buried his first goal of the season in style, even if the referees tried to squash the moment by not knowing his shot hit the inside bar and not the crossbar.
He knew it was a goal and celebrated as such.
Robert Hagg and Shayne Gostisbehere both knew it was a goal, too.
Konecny’s motor didn’t stop there. He remained on the ice after his goal and immediately got another scoring chance.
The smaller forward doesn’t shy away from contact or a battle no matter the deficit. He was one of the biggest catalysts of the comeback that would’ve been one for the ages had the disaster of a final few minutes not happened.
After a strong preseason and two points in the first four games of a tough West Coast trip, we’re even more excited to watch Konecny’s second season in the pros.
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