VOORHEES, N.J. – The number 11 Travis Konecny wears on his back might very well be No. 1 if not for it already being retired to respect Flyers’ Hall of Fame goaltender Bernie Parent.
That’s how sure Konecny is of his talent.
Which is why it was so unsettling to watch the talented right wing fail to score a single goal in 16 playoff games last season.
Clearly, after hitting a post or firing a shot just wide, Konecny looked a bit lost and perplexed. The old saying “if you can’t be good, be lucky’’ certainly didn’t apply here.
Having led the Flyers with 24 goals during the regular season, it only added more mystery to Konecny’s struggles.
That was then, this is now. Konecny, now positioned on a new top line with Sean Couturier and Oskar Lindblom (at least for training camp), wants to get back in a groove for this 56-game sprint of a season.
Those three played together a bit at the start of last season before Lindblom took ill (Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer) in mid-December.
Maybe this reunion could rebuild some of Konecny’s confidence.
“It was bitter for me because I thought that we were so close in the playoffs there,’’ he said during a media Zoom call on Friday at the Skate Zone. “I was trying to do whatever I could to contribute. “Obviously, I didn’t bring my best and that sat with me for a couple weeks. I let it settle in and let it bother me and used it to fuel myself for the off season.’’
Konecny knows what he does in the playoffs means more than the regular season and that just magnified the situation.
“That was kind of my reflection just looking back,’’ he said. “I played well last year before the break. When it comes down to the playoffs, the regular season really doesn’t matter. Hopefully, we can build off what happened before the break last year and get into the playoffs and have another shot at it.’’
The offseason was a little shorter than usual but Konecny put in as much work as he could to get ready for the 2020-21 campaign.
“I feel pretty good this camp,’’ he said. “Again, it’s hard to tell until you get into a real game. I feel pretty good so far. I feel like I’m moving my feet and as a team we look good. I’m excited.’’
>Hart a “hero’’ once more
Once again, goalie Carter Hart has demonstrated what a great guy he is.
Hart decided to do something special before the new season began. He received his first Reverse Retro Jersey but thought it would be better if someone else claimed it.
So he gave it to five-year-old Carter Gettler, one of his biggest fans, who suffers from LCH.
Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a rare disorder in which the body makes too many dendritic cells. Dendritic cells are a form of histiocyte, or white blood cell. These cells play a role in the body’s immune system. They can be found in the skin, lungs, stomach, bone, eyes and intestines.
Hart feels like he has an obligation to interact with fans and engage with those who are less fortunate.
“For sure, we are definitely looked at a lot through the microscope and people look up to us, especially kids,’’ Hart said during a media Zoom call.
“I think that is really important for us as athletes that we set a good example for younger generations. People are always keeping their eye on us, so we have to always make sure that we are doing the right thing. I guess that’s just who I am. That’s how I was raised and brought up by my parents and I just wanted to brighten up his day.’’