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Flyers’ Travis Konecny scoring short-handed at historical pace



Travis Konecny
Travis Konecny is on pace to put himself in Philadelphia Flyers and NHL history books this season. (Photo: AP)

The Philadelphia Flyers’ ‘power kill’ isn’t a myth. It’s very real, in fact, and they’re being led by the one-man band named Travis Konecny.

Named an All-Star for the second time in his career on Jan. 4, Konecny scored his fifth short-handed goal of the year two days later against the Calgary Flames. The Flyers are less than halfway through the 2023-24 season having played 39 games, which means Konecny is on pace for 10 short-handed goals this season. That’s a historic feat.

Only four players have scored 10 short-handed goals in a single season in NHL history. They are: Marcel Dionne (10, 1974-75), Wayne Gretzky (11, 12; 1983-84, 1984-85), Dirk Graham (10, 1988-89), and Mario Lemieux (10, 13; 1987-88, 1988-89). It’s been over three decades since Lemieux last achieved this rare feat, so it’s safe to say that Konecny’s play has been more than All-Star caliber.

The true test for the Flyers forward will be replicating this success as the season grows longer, of course. The last 41 games are much harder than the first 41, and especially so with this crazy January schedule the Flyers have. It’s also worth noting that Dionne, Graham, Gretzky, and Lemieux all played fewer than 82 games when they reached double-digit short-handed goals. That’s a tall mountain for Konecny to climb. Graham was the only player who did not have 300 or more shots on goal when he did it. The message to Konecny and the Flyers? Keep shooting.

The 26-year-old has already registered 130 shots on goal, so he’s not far off of that 300 mark. Konecny is also scoring at a 16.2% clip for the second year in a row, and that’s well above his career average of 12.7%. As simple as it sounds, all Konecny needs to do is to do what he did in the first half of the season and his name will be right next to Gretzky and Lemieux in the history books.

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