Konecny takes his shot at ending Flyers skid
Travis Konecny’s new working philosophy worked to free the Flyers of a losing streak that was creeping into their heads at the wrong time.
Hitting the halfway point of the season in the midst of a soul-searing slide of five consecutive defeats and seven losses in eight games, the Flyers hit their stride almost from the start of Saturday’s matinee-hour game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
By the time they hit the locker room for the first intermission, however, all their efforts to stop that skid resulted in facing a one-goal deficit.
Konecny’s newfound approach, however, would soon start working its wonders.
“We were actually really happy and confident with our first period,” the Flyers rookie winger said. “It was just a bad bounce and it ended up in the net. There was nothing we could do with that but we knew we were coming back and (would) have a good second and third period.”
At least Konecny felt it, especially when he stepped onto a 2-on-1 break with Jake Voracek, then stepped into a one-time shot on Voracek’s ensuing pass, whistling it past Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy before the puck sped right back out again. A blast so hard it would take a replay to track its path, it rightfully ignited a celebration just 1:11 into the second period.
That goal erased an advantage created by another turnover-turned-opposition-goal (by the Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov) in the first period, and perhaps instantly exorcised whatever losing spectre had been tailing the Flyers’ every move of late. They dominated the last 39 minutes of the game in gaining a much-needed 4-2 victory at Wells Fargo Center. Simple as that. “Honestly, I just shot the puck,” Konecny said. “I actually had an opportunity on my first shift too. (Vasilevskiy) had a little room on the short side. I guess it was just in my head where I thought I should try it again.”
The puck apparently bounded off the inside crossbar, moving the officials to call for another look on replay. By the look on Konecny’s face at the time, that replay could have gone either way.
“I didn’t know it was in,” Konecny said. “I shot it and Jake stopped playing, so I stopped playing. I figured he knew.”
It was his second goal in three games, the other coming in a shootout loss in Anaheim in which Konecny had scored his first goal since Nov. 11.