When you’re playing a team that can score like the Panthers, everybody needs to play defense.
Travis Konecny did not register a point on Monday night, but his fingerprints certainly were on the Flyers’ 4-1 win over Florida. His fingerprints, his knees, his butt, all 5-foot-10 of him.
“He definitely put his body on the line on a few occasions tonight,” coach Alain Vigneault said.
Konecny was not immediately available afterward — he was probably submerged in an ice tub like a quarterback following a football game. He also took a slash to the right hand and was on the wrong end of a collision with MacKenzie Weegar, who outweighs Konecny by 25 pounds.
The Flyers gave Konecny a six-year, $33 million deal in September because the pesky winger was coming off consecutive 24-goal seasons. They were rolling the dice that the 22-year-old would grow into having a contract worth $5.5 million annually.
It’s looking like a bargain.
Konecny blocked a career-high five shots, and from all angles. Flyers goalie Carter Hart allowed a goal on the first shot he saw, then stopped the next 30.
Afterward, Konecny’s teammates half-joked that he must have been taking lessons from defenseman Robert Hagg, who had four blocks in Saturday’s win in Washington.
“If TK does it, anybody can and should do it,” Michael Raffl said. “I think he ate five tonight and Hagg ate a few the other night. It’s different guys stepping up in different roles right now and that helps a team to win.”
Konecny’s five blocks were off Weegar, Aaron Ekblad, Anton Strahlman and a pair off the stick of Riley Stillman. His previous career high was four two years ago. His season high this year was two.
“A lot of times, we say that a good, strong defensive play is as important as scoring a goal," Vigneault said, "and there’s no doubt that he made a couple of real nice defensive plays tonight.”