As expected, the Flyers reacted to the news that Sabres star Jack Eichel would miss Thursday’s game because of an upper-body injury better than Eichel’s teammates did. Through the first two periods, each team had put three goals into the net. Only problem for the Sabres was, the net they put their three into was their own. A few quick observations on the Flyers’ easy 6-1 victory...
Travis Konecny is 10 feet tall and bulletproof
Konecny had three assists Thursday and leads the Flyers with 32 points this season, and the growth in his game is evident with each shift. He appears to be finding that necessary balance between pushing the play on offense and tending to his responsibilities on defense. And two nights after he blocked a shot -- in his defensive zone -- and spent several minutes in pain on the bench, he showed no ill effects either from that incident or the recent concussion he sustained.
The NHL is a Mickey Mouse league, Part Infinity
Eichel entered Thursday having scored at least a point in 17 consecutive games, one shy of the Sabres’ record. But according to NHL rules, such streaks are marked by the particular team’s games, not the player’s. So by missing Thursday’s game, Eichel ended his streak.
This, to put it mildly, is lunacy. Under Major League Baseball’s rules, Joe DiMaggio didn’t have to play in 56 consecutive games to compile his hitting streak. He just had to get a hit in the 56 straight games in which he played. Such individual achievements and story lines are what make sports fun and interesting to follow on a daily basis. But then, from its convoluted standings system and playoff alignment to its inconsistency in the enforcement of its own rules and infractions, the NHL is always making things harder on itself.
The progress of Nicolas Aube-Kubel is worth tracking
A second-round pick in 2014, Aube-Kubel didn’t score a point in nine games with the Flyers last season. But he has an assist in his three games this season, rejoining the team during a recent rash of injuries, and he plays a hard-nosed style that could keep him around a while as a fourth-line player. Better for the Flyers to give him, Misha Vorobyev, and their other young players and prospects opportunities than to sign an aging veteran forward such as Ilya Kovalchuk.