It has been a tale of two halves for Philadelphia Flyers forward Travis Konecny. A rough start to the season saw him demoted to the bottom-six. After working on his game and earning more minutes, Konecny was given a promotion to the top line on December 23rd. He hasn’t looked back since.
In Konecny’s last eleven games he has four goals and six assists. All ten of his points have come at even strength. In his previous 26 games, he had just two goals and two assists.
Promotion To Top Line Providing Confidence For Travis Konecny
The beginning of the season was a struggle for Konecny. His first goal of the season came on October 10th, followed by his second on October 26th. It was a little over a month until he potted his third goal of the season. Konecny has seen multiple double-digit goalless droughts this season.
Before the promotion to the top line, Konecny’s most common linemates were Valtteri Filppula, Dale Weise, and Nolan Patrick. It is not hard to believe that was part of the blame in his inconsistency early on in the season. Konecny immediately began producing once he started playing with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier.
In the first six games since the Christmas break, Konecny had five points in those games. He had posted just one point in the previous 12 games before that. Consistency will be a key factor for a player like Konecny. Going through stretches like that cannot happen as a player the Flyers traded up for three years ago.
There were brief mentions earlier on in the season that Konecny may benefit from a stint in the American Hockey League. When Danick Martel made his NHL debut in November, he was immediately slotted into the left wing spot on the second line. At the time, it highlighted the potential regression that Konecny was going through.
Ron Hextall had been quoted before about how the AHL hadn’t hurt a player and someone couldn’t be over-developed in the minors. But Konecny remained on the NHL roster and fought his way through the struggles.
Trust In Travis Konecny Is Growing
The growing trust that Konecny has achieved has been prevalent since this move to the top line. It was highlighted even more when he saw time in the extra period in the Flyers overtime victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs. And Konecny was a big part of that win.
Hello, hi, yes, Travis Konecny is a stud and deserves all of your praise. Also–this celly from Coots is vintage Danny Briere pic.twitter.com/1nco0drUUM
— Jordie 🔵 (@BarstoolJordie) January 19, 2018
After Michal Neuvirth made a save on Auston Matthews, Konecny took the puck from his defensive zone. He drove up the right side of the ice, sliding a pass across to Couturier for the game-winner. It is plays like that where Konecny has shown off his speed and playmaking ability. It was even more evident on Ivan Provorov‘s goal in the team’s 3-1 win against the New Jersey Devils.
Mentioned before how good Travis Konecny is at wheeling around the offensive zone with the puck on his stick. Great work here, gets a shot on net and Provy cleans it up in front of the net. pic.twitter.com/30ezM35Ksi
— Jordie 🔵 (@BarstoolJordie) January 20, 2018
Konecny showed off his puckhandling skills in the Flyers 2-1 overtime victory over the Washington Capitals. Earlier in the season, Konecny had not earned enough trust to play in overtime situations. This was back to back games where he saw time in the extra period. It was the second game in a row he helped on the game-winner.
Travis Konecny wins it in overtime! pic.twitter.com/AaiSIi6HlI
— Sons of Penn (@SonsofPenn) January 21, 2018
The ability that Konecny has in the offensive zone has helped him average between 14 and 15 minutes in his last six games.
The trust in Konecny is quickly growing and he is showing that it is more than warranted. Playing with teammates such as Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier is certainly helping. Couturier is fourth in the league in goals while Giroux ranks fourth in points. Most players would benefit from playing with such high-calibre teammates.
But Konecny has flashed this ability before. It was evident in his first season last year when he notched 11 goals and 17 assists in 70 games. He is currently at seven goals through 46 games. It would be no surprise if Konecny surpasses his goal total from last season.
If he continues to play the way he has the last 11 games, Travis Konecny will easily break his highs from his rookie season.
Embed from Getty Images