The Philadelphia Flyers organization nailed it with their picks for the team awards in 2019-2020. Ivan Provorov, this season’s Barry Ashby Trophy winner, showed his work ethic throughout the regular season pause. His focus on skating allowed him to keep up with the tempo on defense. Scott Laughton, this season’s Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy and Yanick Dupre Memorial Class Guy Award winner, immediately showed why he was deserving. His game-winning goal secured the exhibition win for the Flyers.
Back to normal
“Not going to lie, I felt pretty good out there. I think the tempo is great. Our team did a great job playing fast and play our game from the puck drop. I think we just played the same way we played in March.”Ivan Provorov; 7/29/2020
Ivan Provorov was on the ice for just under a half-hour. He showed that his preparation paid off. Provorov tallied an assist and a plus-two performance. The Philadelphia Flyers were shorthanded for six minutes and, Provorov was on the penalty kill for three. Scott Laughton played two minutes on the penalty kill.
“Our PK definitely improved this year. I think everybody saw that. The way our group has been from the get-go, at camp. Just being hard on pucks. Making it hard for other teams to enter our zone.”Scott Laughton; 7/29/2020
Scott Laughton was as effective as Ivan Provorov. Maintaining a perfect penalty kill is not a small accomplishment against the Pittsburgh Penguins. They are a top half powerplay team. When all the intricate details come together on special teams, it makes winning easier. That is what Provorov is focused on, not the NHL.com opinion list.
“I’ve seen the list. To be honest, it’s their opinion. It is what it is. It doesn’t really bother me. I don’t play the game of hockey for making some sort of list. I play the game because I love it and I want to win.”Ivan Provorov; 7/29/2020
It’s all about chemistry
Go on, Ivan Provorov! Winning speaks louder than opinions. The scoreboard and stat sheet are undisputed. When Provorov is buzzing like he was during the exhibition, the Philadelphia Flyers are a better team for it. He is only 23-years-old and is mentoring Yegor Zamula through his development.
“He’s a great player, great kid. He wants to learn. I just told him to be himself and don’t think too much. Just play your game and enjoy every shift. Try to learn every shift. I think he’s done a great job so far during camp.”Ivan Provorov; 7/29/2020
In some ways, Scott Laughton’s chemistry with Travis Konecny is a development in progress. Laughton is a physical player with a like-minded teammate in Konecny. The line of Laughton, Konecny, and Kevin Hayes was on fire in the exhibition against the Pittsburgh Penguins. A stat line of one goal and a plus-two shows Laughton’s improvement and chemistry with his teammates.
“We’ve had a couple of good practices before we came here. Just tried to follow it along. TK and Hayesy are really good with the puck. Just try to get it to them and find spaces. I think we’re pretty good on the forecheck.”Scott Laughton; 7/29/2020
Ramp it up
Pushing the physicality is vital for the success of the Philadelphia Flyers through the Stanley Cup playoffs. Knowing that they are conditioned to outlast playoff teams is a mental victory. The Flyers view this exhibition game as one with value. Defeating a rival is a huge momentum boost heading into the round-robin series. Scott Laughton knows the importance of this overtime victory:
“You play the game to win. Everyone’s competitive. I think it matters for sure. I don’t know about the reseeding or anything like that. Every game you go into, you are going to try and win. Build confidence and carry that into the playoffs.”Scott Laughton; 7/29/2020
Next, the Philadelphia Flyers begin their round-robin series against the Boston Bruins. Momentum means a lot in the NHL. For the Flyers, an overtime victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins could provide the confidence, to begin with, a win in the round-robin. The Bruins were handled by the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-1. Sunday’s game between Philadelphia and Boston begins the round-robin series at 3pm.