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Flyers Grades: Konecny and York Unstoppable vs Coyotes

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Philadelphia Flyers
Travis Konecny was dominant for the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night, scoring two goals in the 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. (Photo: AP)

Don’t look now, but the Philadelphia Flyers are on another win streak.

After knocking off the Pittsburgh Penguins twice in two games, the Flyers traveled out west to face the Arizona Coyotes to start their three-game road trip. Arizona – a team that was 5-0-0 in their last five and defeated the last five Stanley Cup champions – stood no chance against the visiting Flyers. 4-1 was the final score at the Mullet Arena, and Philadelphia got some winning contributions from all over the ice.

The Flyers’ penalty kill continued its excellence on Thursday night, as did the team’s leader in goals, Travis Konecny. It was the latter’s two-goal night that helped propel the team to victory, but as is standard with the Flyers, it was a compete team effort.

Flyers Penalty Kill: A+

Let’s talk about this penalty kill. At this point, we’ve all established that this unit is one of the very best in the league, but they also might be the most unique.

With Konecny’s short-handed goal against the Arizona, Philadelphia’s penalty kill has an on-ice goals percentage of 46.7%. In layman’s terms, the Flyers have scored nearly 47% of all the goals scored while they’re on the ice short-handed. For being down a player, that’s frankly absurd.

There are entire teams that don’t have a goals percentage that high; the Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Seattle Kraken, New Jersey Devils, Calgary Flames, and Buffalo Sabres all have worse goal differentials.

Konecny also has six short-handed goals over the last two seasons, which is tied for the most in the NHL. Only Chris Kreider and J.T. Miller rival the Flyers winger in this category.

Travis Konecny: A

Travis Konecny has always been a really good player, but his legs have been churning at an unprecedented pace lately. I can’t say for sure what it is, or whether or not it’s just the placebo effect, but Konecny just looks like he’s been shot out of a cannon on every shift.

That was the case on his short-handed goal, and he scored his first of two goals on a shot from a faceoff. The 26-year-old benefited from a fortuitous bounce on that one, as Coyotes goaltender Connor Ingram wasn’t fully prepared for the strength of Konecny’s shot.

That being said, as long as Konecny is on his A-game, the Flyers have a chance to win. That’s been the gist of it lately, and the Flyers suddenly look strong again after a few ups and downs.

Olle Lycksell: Incomplete

Olle Lycksell was officially called up by the Flyers on Wednesday, but unexpectedly made his 2023-24 debut after Ryan Poehling was too sick to play on Thursday.

As it turns out, the Flyers didn’t really have a plan for Lycksell, evidently. The 24-year-old played just 6:11 and didn’t record any stats, besides a penalty that John Tortorella was not pleased with the referees for calling. If Poehling is still sick by the weekend, expect Lycksell to get a more significant look from Tortorella and the coaching staff.

Cam York: A

So, Cam York might have finally arrived for the Flyers. The 22-year-old was recently promoted to the top power play unit, and has since recorded a point in three of his last four games, including this one against the Coyotes.

York also scored the all-important goal in the 4-1 victory, making a nice little move around an Arizona defender, creating his own shooting lane, and burying his shot to the far side past Ingram. Ingram probably could have done more to stop the shot, but sometimes it’s the plays you don’t make that count more. Also, Nick Deslauriers will be happy to get his 100th NHL point with an assist on that goal.

No. 8 also helped set up Philadelphia’s second goal, making a nice touch pass on the rush to Cam Atkinson, who then found Joel Farabee streaking to the far post for a tap-in that gave the Flyers a 2- lead.

The Flyers will be back in action on Saturday night, when they face the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena at 9 p.m.

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