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Flyers’ Locker Room: Travis Konecny’s Sizzling Season Aided by Danny Briere

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Travis Konecny, Philadelphia Flyers
Travis Konecny is in the middle of hats thrown on the ice after he finished his hat trick. Photo: AP.

Travis Konecny’s career season keeps getting better.

The Philadelphia Flyers’ 25-year-old right winger had his second career hat trick in Wednesday’s 5-3 home win over Washington, and he now has a career-best 10-game point streak.

Konecny has an eye-opening 20 points in his last 10 games, collecting 12 goals and eight assists in that span. He has already tied his career high in goals (24) in just 36 games.

And that came with missing six games due to a hand injury.

Everything Konecny touches has turned to gold this season.

“I’ve just been trying to come to the rink every day, and just work hard. I’m kind of getting my bounces right now,” Konecny said. “It goes around the locker room throughout the season, and it’s just going my way right now.”

Props to Briere

Coach John Tortorella credited Konecny’s work ethic for his sensational season. He also credited Danny Briere for refining Konecny’s game. According to Tortorella, Briere has gotten Konecny to go to the inside more and less on the perimeter.

“That started last year and into this year,” Konecny said. “… Instead of taking shots from the outside, maybe making plays and not wasting a (long) shot There is more detail to it, but too long to talk about.”

Konecny has also been added to the penalty kill this year, and he scored a shorthanded goal Wednesday. Being used on the penalty kill has added another dimension to his game.

“It definitely gives me another opportunity to get involved in a game if I’m not feeling it five-on-five, or I’m not feeling it on the power play,” Konecny said. “The penalty kill is somewhere where you’ve got to bear down, you’ve got to block shots. You feel like you’re part of the momentum swing in a game. And that’s huge for us.”

Chemistry with Laughton

With that has come his chemistry with Scott Laughton. The two have formed quite the duo when it comes to the PK. The Flyers now lead the league with eight shorthanded goals. Both Konecny and Laughton have three apiece.

“I’ve learned so much from Laughts, and he makes it so easy for me to learn the PK,” Konecny said. “And I make mistakes every single day trying to become a better penalty killer. And he always bails me out, being the better one of us two. I just keep trying to learn and trust that me and Laughty are gonna get the job done.”

Laughton also played a role in Konecny’s hat trick as he fought against the boards and was able to get the puck to him for the empty-netter at the end. He also assisted on the short-handed goal as well.

“Good game by him. Any time you can get a hat trick, it’s pretty awesome,” Laughton said. “Good for him, and he gets a big goal there late in the first. Good shorty and then he finishes it off with an empty-netter.”

Taking the next step

Laughton has been around Konecny through plenty of ups and downs. Konecny had a career season back in 2019-20, posting 24 goals and 61 points in 66 games. He has taken another step forward this season.

“He brings a lot of energy on a nightly basis,” said Laughton, who had a goal and two assists Wednesday. “Something that we’re going to continue to need from him.”

Konecny managed just 16 goals last season.

And with Tortorella known as a more defensive-minded coach, was there a belief Konecny could have a scoring breakout like this?

“Honestly I didn’t know what to think. I knew he wanted us to work hard, and that’s all I’ve really focused on,” said Konecny, who has thrived since being benched in the third period of an early-season game. “I want to win games. As long as our team’s playing well, working hard, and building toward a winning hockey team, I didn’t really care.”

Konecny has been the catalyst during a spree in which the Philadelphia Flyers have won six of their last seven games. In a season where most fans have wanted a rebuild, it’s Konecny who is dragging the Flyers toward better days.

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