AFTER PICKING up his first fighting major, Travis Konecny is now officially a Flyer. Somewhere, Ed Snider is beaming.
The 5-10, 175-pound rookie made some bones within the locker room Friday when he picked up for teammate Brandon Manning, who had been smeared by Rangers winger Brandon Pirri midway through the first period.
Konecny went right after Pirri (6-foot, 186), got a few punches in as both fell to the ice, then skated to the penalty box to a raucous ovation from the Wells Fargo crowd.
There was a problem, however.
Konecny's instigator penalty gave away a power play the Flyers would have had when Pirri was whistled for boarding Manning. But none of his teammates or coaches had an issue with the rookie's move.
"We see it as a teammate stepping up and respecting another teammate, and that builds chemistry and respect in this locker room," Brayden Schenn said. "A 19-year-old kid coming to do that . . . I think everyone sees it and we're not worried about giving up that power play. We'll decline those power plays any day when guys are doing that."
Konecny also picked up a 10-minute misconduct, so he was banished for 17 minutes as the Flyers offense struggled to get any sustained pressure in the first two periods. They also had zero power-plays for the entire game.
"I like what he did," coach Dave Hakstol said while disputing the instigator penalty. "I thought the Rangers guy dropped his gloves first. I don't think we should have lost the power play there. You can go skate over to a guy. His gloves were off and he was ready to go before our guy even got to him. So, I liked what TK did in that situation."
Konecny said it was just a matter of being a good teammate. The fighting major was also the first of Pirri's career, but he's been in the league for seven years.
"We talked about team toughness and making sure we're sticking up for each other," he said. "When a guy gets hit like that, I was the one in position to do something about it and I did what I had to."
Manning, who fought Chris Krieder near the end of the first period, was unable to finish the game. Hakstol would not disclose any injury, saying only he "was unavailable the last half or so of the third period."
Manning played only four shifts in the third period. In the final two periods total, after the fight with Krieder when he was knocked down, Manning played only 8:41. He played 7:07 in the first.