How Konecny Is Making Giroux, Couturier Even Better - NBC 10 Philadelphia

How Konecny Is Making Giroux, Couturier Even Better

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    How Konecny Is Making Giroux, Couturier Even Better
    CSNPhilly.com
    How Konecny is making Giroux, Couturier even better

    So much has been made of Travis Konecny benefitting from playing alongside Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier.

    And while that is true, Konecny is also doing his part. The 20-year-old is making those first-line studs better, too.

    After all, speed kills, right?

    "It creates a lot of room for us," Giroux said Thursday. "Guys respect his speed and they've got to back off a little bit."

    It's not like Giroux and Couturier needed any help with creating separation or space. With Konecny's climb to the top unit, that's been the result and it's meant trouble for opponents. Not only is Konecny making a dent in the scoring column, but Giroux and Couturier also aren't slowing down.

    "When he's put in the right situations, I think T.K. is going to flourish," Shayne Gostisbehere said. "He's definitely a confident player, you can see him making plays. He's making some really nice plays, he's fitting well with Coots and G there. I know they're building him up to go out and make those plays."

    Joining Giroux and Couturier, Konecny has recorded 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in his last 18 games dating back to Dec. 28 for a plus-8 rating. Giroux has 19 points (three goals, 16 assists) over that stretch, while Couturier has 21 points, including 11 goals, tied for fourth in the NHL since Dec. 28 entering Friday's action.

    The Flyers are 11-6-1 over that time and now lead the Eastern Conference's wild-card race with 28 games remaining.

    "He battles, he's got speed, a little attitude on him," Giroux said. "He's fun to play with because he beats guys 1-on-1, he usually makes the right play … he's fun to play with.

    "He gets on that forecheck, finishes his hit, he gets the loose pucks. This year, you can see that he's a little bit more comfortable and that's just normal."

    With two goals Thursday, Konecny has 13 through 54 games, already topping his total of 11 last season through 70 games. He's currently a plus-7 compared to his minus-2 last year as a rookie. For a first-round pick that scored in waves at the junior level, Konecny paired with top-end talent in the NHL seemed like a no-brainer.

    "T.K. has been playing well for quite a while before he got together with Coots and G," Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said. "Now he's probably getting the benefits of a few more opportunities coming his way, but I don't think he's changed his game a whole lot."

    He doesn't have to playing with a guy like Giroux.

    "When he has the puck, it's just a matter if you're in the right spot, he's going to put it on your tape," Konecny said. "I think that's just the moral of the story for me and Coots is just getting to the right areas and letting him do his thing."

    Konecny doing his thing is just as important.