In his first full season with the Philadelphia Flyers, Owen Tippett burst onto the scene with a career-high 27 goals last year.
With a blazing shot and a relentless style, it seemed like it was the start of a journey that would make him one of the Flyers’ most dependable scorers.
The Flyers still believe that will happen, but Tippett, 24, has been shooting into a lot of tough luck early this season.
Eight games, a team-high 31 shots, and just one goal.
That’s a shooting percentage of just 3.2 percent.
By comparison, Travis Konecny has eight goals on 29 shots, a 27.6 shooting percentage.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) October 28, 2023
Tippett had a staggering 14 shot attempts — eight on goal — in the Philadelphia Flyers’ 7-4 loss Saturday to suddenly hot Anaheim.
Lukas Dostal made a few terrific stops on Tippett. Goalies have been frustrating him so far. On the bright side, he’s getting his chances and seems on the verge of breaking out.
Even with Tippett’s slow start, the Flyers are averaging 3.5 goals per game, primarily because of Travis Konecny’s ridiculous pace (eight goals in eight games), and Sean Couturier (two goals, seven points) and Cam Atkinson (five goals, eight points) making eye-opening returns after missing last season with injuries.
Still, the Flyers will need Tippett to regain his form from last year, when he played primarily right wing. He has been shifted to left wing this season and says he feels comfortable there.
‘A Bit Uneven’
“I think Tip has been a little bit uneven,” coach John Tortorella said Saturday after the Flyers slipped to 4-3-1. “Having the puck, losing the puck. Scoring chances. More and more, he is getting scoring chances. Hopefully, more go in than they have. I just want to see him protect the puck better. … He’ll find his way.”
Konecny, 26, has found his way. He is tied for second in the NHL with his eight goals – one behind Detroit’s Alex DeBrincat.
To his credit, Konecny didn’t want to talk about his scoring spree after Saturday’s two-goal performance in the loss to the Ducks. He is an unselfish player, and all he wanted to talk about was his turnover – he gambled and was trying to make a play that led to a shorthanded goal. The miscue was converted into an Anaheim power-play goal, one that took away the Flyers’ momentum and gave the Ducks a 5-2 third-period lead.
“Obviously, we’re looking to get back into it,” Konecny said. “I think I’ve got to reflect there and and realize why I’m out there — to kill the penalty. We played good in the second (period) and we probably would have had a good opportunity if we just stayed in the game there to crawl our way back in it. I’ve got to reflect on that one.”
Konecny was being hard on himself. Too hard. He tried to make a play to cut it to 4-3. It may have backfired, but the aggressive style – trying to score shorthanded – has worked several times for the Flyers already this season.
This is a season for taking chances, a season for spreading their collective wings, a season for being more offensive.
Give Konecny a well-deserved mulligan.
Rookie Bobby Brink had two assists Saturday and has six points in seven games. … Egor Zamula leads the Flyers with a plus-6 rating. … Joel Farabee has a five-game point streak, during which he has three goals and two assists. … The Flyers are not practicing Sunday; they host talented Carolina (5-4) and Tony DeAngelo on Monday.