The Philadelphia Flyers are getting the band back together. Travis Konecny, the last Flyers player to come off the COVID list, will return to the lineup tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Konecny missed five games in total, with the Flyers going 3-1-1 in those games. They have won the last three against the Rangers (once) and Sabres (twice).
We speculated earlier on Tuesday about where Konecny might play when he returns to the lineup. However, it’s not exactly the lineup change that we thought.
Konecny will play on the fourth line on Tuesday night. Nicolas Aube-Kubel will be a healthy scratch.
Lineup changes: Per AV, Travis Konecny will return to the lineup tonight vs. the Penguins. He will skate on a line with Michael Raffl and Connor Bunnaman. Nic Aube-Kubel will come out of the lineup. #PHIvsPIT
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) March 2, 2021
It’s good to get Konecny back in the lineup, but benching Aube-Kubel is a curious decision. Aube-Kubel had a more difficult time earlier in the season but made a few good plays over the weekend. He was active on the forecheck and creating issues in the offensive zone. Aube-Kubel had an on-ice Corsi For of 61.11% (22-14 shot attempts) this weekend. The Flyers had a 13-2 advantage in scoring chances at 5-on-5 play with him on the ice in the two shutouts against the Sabres.
There’s also the possibility that this decision is less about Aube-Kubel and more about the entire lineup. Alain Vigneault could want to continue the Patrick at wing experiment before switching him back to center.
We’ll see what happens on Tuesday night as the game progresses and in the Flyers’ two other games against the Penguins this week. No matter what, it’s great to see Konecny back. He has five points (including a hat trick) in two games against the Penguins this season. He has 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 16 career games against the Penguins.
Photo: Heather Barry Images