Instant analysis: Konecny powers Flyers to a season-opening victory

Flyers players celebrate the first goal
Flyers players celebrate the first goal during NHL Global Series match Philadelphia Flyers vs Chicago Blackhawks, on Friday, October 4, 2019, in Prague, Czech Republic. Photo/Ondrej Deml (CTK via AP Images)

Hockey season is finally upon us and the Flyers will league Prague with their heads held high. The Orange and Black withstood a late surge from Chicago to win 4-3. Here’s everything you need to know.

Travis was magic

Remember all the concern about missing time in Training Camp? It seems like a distant memory. Konecny glistened in the Czech Republic, scoring a pair of goals shortly after penning his future to the team.

The first came on a stunning forced turnover that he then took all the way home. The second wasn’t as glamorous but punched just as hard.

The 22-year old was knocking on the doors of a hat-trick from then on, but it wasn’t to be. Either way, Konecny was excellent and is deserving of all the praise.

Discipline was key

It took a while to settle, but aside from a few pesky turnovers, the Flyers played very tightly. The offense flowed fast with a focus on ‘stretching the ice’ being evident.

Perhaps it was due in part to rotation. Vigneault made sure all four lines received plenty of action, which is a new concept to Flyers fans, who are used to seeing their vets burn out. Minutes were spread generously and Kevin Hayes told me that it keeps the lines above that fourth one honest. It enforces accountability, which of course goes hand-in-hand with discipline.

It was never going to be a whitewash, but the fundamentals for a new style of play were on show and left fans purring.

Forechecking

The Flyers were just a problem all night long for the Blackhawks, who were kept silent for the most part. Forechecking was consistent and impressive and it led to a possession-based style of play reliant on guys like Kevin Hayes to spearhead attacks. They frustrated a potent offense with aggressive defense and strategic offensive gameplan.

It wasn’t until very late on that Chicago mustered any kind of offense and by that point, the Flyers were in full ‘park the bus’ mode. Philly took it to Chicago in a way that smothered its biggest playmakers…and that’s all anyone could ask of a reshuffled defense that’s still finding its feet.

Mandatory Photo Credit:Ondrej Deml (CTK via AP Images)

More from our Sister Sites