Konecny getting as good at blocking shots as taking them

Travis Konecny

NEW YORK – Travis Konecny might get people excited with his team-leading 18 goals but if you want him to really energize the Flyers’ bench, just have him block five shots.

That’s exactly what he did in Monday night’s 4-1 win over Florida.

The only drawback? He woke up pretty sore and stiff on Tuesday morning and there was the little matter of playing the New York Islanders in Brooklyn on Tuesday night.

From here, it looks like that shot-blocking extravaganza was just part of Konecny’s commitment to play hard at both ends of the ice.

“I think everyone in the locker room knows that’s how you have to win games,’’ Konecny said at the Barclays Center a couple hours before game time.

“It’s not a matter if you want to or not. You kind of have to do it and it’s my job yesterday to block a few.’’

Konecny admitted he was “sore, but good to go.’’

If nothing else, Konecny now has a greater appreciation for what elite shot-blockers like Robert Hagg do on a regular basis.

“It’s crazy,’’ Konecny chuckled. “You know the ones that I took yesterday hurt but I can only imagine his hurt about 10 times worse.’’

And don’t forget, some of those shots came off the stick of super sniper Alex Ovechkin, who fires cannon blasts from the off-circle.

“It’s just something that he (Hagg) has bought into,’’ Konecny said. “Something he’s really good at. Some guys are better at it than others. He (Hagg) just knows how to be in the right spots. Not a lot of pucks get through him.’’

>Farabee in, Frost out

With Joel Farabee pretty much recovered from the flu, he returned to the lineup on Tuesday night and Morgan Frost was a healthy scratch.

Farabee was scheduled to play on a line with center Kevin Hayes and Konecny. Scott Laughton moved back to center to work with James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Pitlick on the third line.

“Taking an extra day (off against Florida) should be beneficial,’’ coach Alain Vigneault said of Farabee.

As for Frost, Vigneault said “his decision making, with and without the puck, could have been better.’’

>Gostisbehere knee pain still bothersome

Shayne Gostisbehere, still feeling some discomfort from his surgically-repaired knee, did not skate again on Tuesday.

Vigneault is hopeful to get Gostisbehere back on skates by Thursday.

“It’s not a setback or anything,’’ Vigneault said. “There’s some scar tissue from the operation that has given him some pain.

“So they (the doctors) are dealing with the pain. I’m hoping he’s back skating by Thursday. Throughout this (process) there’s been some discomfort and the discomfort got worse after a couple days because of the scar tissue that had formed there.’’

Vigneault and Gostisbehere chatted at the pre-game meal and the player said everything seems to be “going the right way.’’

>Short shots

Even though he’s played only 43 games, Farabee is the Flyers’ penalty-minute leader with 39. That’s because he’s been involved in a couple fights. Also, that 39 has to one of the lowest totals ever after 56 games in Flyers’ history. . .Sean Couturier’s plus-21 has moved up to 14th in the NHL. . .The Flyers’ penalty kill continues to improve, now standing at 12th in the NHL at 81.3 percent. . .The Flyers’ home goal differential of plus-36 is tops in the NHL. Tampa Bay is second at plus-35.

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About Wayne Fish 2348 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.

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