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Exit Interview: Nicolas Aube-Kubel toeing the line in Flyers’ bottom-six



Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Philadelphia Flyers

Nicolas Aube-Kubel had a down year for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was solid in the 2019-20 season, but couldn’t take that next step in 2021.

The Flyers missed the playoffs and closed out their season earlier than expected this year. They finished the season with a win on Monday, May 10th, then held their end-of-season media availability on Tuesday.

Alain Vigneault and Chuck Fletcher both spoke about the big picture and larger issues plaguing this Flyers team. After that, the players took to the podium for their exit interviews.

Alain Vigneault talkin’ ’bout practice, wanting a ‘normal season,’ and letting ‘everyone down’

Chuck Fletcher: Flyers will be ‘creative’ to ‘upgrade everywhere’ in crucial offseason

This week, we’ll be going through those exit interviews with full transcripts and quotes. We’ll dig into any interesting tidbits at the end.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel Exit Interview

On toeing the line between being a physical presence and taking penalties

It’s a thing I have to work on, mentally. I have to stay aggressive, not too aggressive, know the fine line. I think I was better in my first year to stay out of the box, but it’s never been my strong suit so I think I’ll have to work on that. I think I kind of did a little bit of a better job at the end of the year but it has to improve.

Why was the forechecking consistency harder to find this season?

I feel like last year I was really in ease with my linemates, everything was going well. We had strong guys with me. Maybe the way we forecheck was a little different. It’s hard to tell because I feel like the forecheck should just be really consistent game after game. It’s kinda an easy thing to do for me. A little harder this year, try to stay physical but sometimes teams watch videos and see what we’re doing. I don’t know, it’s a hard question to answer.

On his “elevated” role this season with veteran departures in offseason

I think my role stayed pretty much the same: a bottom-six guy. As I said earlier, trying to be effective on the forecheck and creating momentum for the team. Try to stay consistent. I think this year was a little harder to do that, but I guess next year we’ll have more experience on our team from all those young guys that will be growing into their game. It’s just promising whatever we have in front of us.

Did penalties give him a bad reputation with referees?

I’m sure on my side I think I didn’t deserve one of them the whole year. I think it’s stick penalties, I gotta work on that. I’m kind of an aggressive guy so I try to take the puck away from guys. This league guys are way too good to do that. I just need to learn from it and maybe watch more videos. Try to learn the game a little more on that side.

Will competition in training camp fuel him for a big season next year?

Every camp I’m fueled up. I’m getting in good workouts during the summer, getting in shape. I’m always ready in camp. Now I have a spot to defend, that was the same thing last year and I think I had a good camp as well. I’m really excited already for next year.

The comments about the forecheck are interesting. The Flyers’ forecheck was nonexistent in some games and inconsistent in others. Mixing up linemates could’ve hindered Aube Kubel’s –– and the Flyers’ –– ability to get into a groove on the forecheck.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel will absolutely need to defend his roster spot in training camp. He was one of several young players that either plateaued or took a step back, as Chuck Fletcher said. NAK was a non-factor in most games and got on the scoresheet more via a penalty than he did for recording a point. It drew the ire of Alain Vigneault and got himself healthy scratched a few times.

There wasn’t a lot to dig into here, but Nicolas Aube-Kubel acknowledged his penalty problem and spoke about the team’s forecheck.

Flyers Exit Interviews

Nicolas Aube-Kubel toeing the line in Flyers’ bottom-six

Justin Braun and the Flyers couldn’t fill the hole on defense

Has Sean Couturier thought about a future with the Flyers?

Has Brian Elliott played his last game with the Flyers?

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