CHICAGO — Among the new wrinkles with the Flyers this season has Wayne Simmonds on the penalty kill and … Matt Read on the first-unit power play.
Read got yet another promotion during the Flyers' 7-4 loss Tuesday at United Center when Michael Raffl went down injured (see game story).
Read, who was already promoted to the third line, responded with a power-play goal and an even-strength goal, giving him three for the season. It’s his best start as a Flyer.
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“That was a roller coaster game for us,” Read said of the Flyers' rallying from a 4-0 hole to tie it in the third before collapsing (see Instant Replay). “First period, kind of on our heels and not making the right plays of supporting the puck very well. Gave them an early lead.
“Second period we played better … we came back and then we got back on our heels again and weren’t supporting each other.”
At one point, the Flyers seemed to control the opening period after a slow start and a bad first goal. Yet the bottom line is three games now, they have not had good, clean starts.
“We’ve talked about it,” Read said. “I couldn’t tell you what it is.”
Regardless, Read seems rejuvenated in his offensive game.
“I just concentrate on working hard, going to the net and finding myself in the tough areas,” Read said.
Highs and lows
Great comeback, but it fell short.
“We lost and we can’t give up seven goals,” Wayne Simmonds said.
Raffl suffered an upper-body injury in the second period. He said he was injured along the boards with a hit. The awkward way he was walking suggested either a shoulder or rib cage injury.
The orange and black look faster and one of the officials who worked both the L.A. and Arizona contests commented how much faster the Flyers are this season.
Someone of the skill of Travis Konecny makes a team look faster, especially on a line with equal speed in Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek.
“We want to be a fast team,” general manager Ron Hextall said. “Want to play a fast game. I’ve said all along, nobody moves faster than the puck. If you have good, crisp, sharp puck movement, you are going to be a fast team. That’s the reality.
“What makes teams fast is quick puck movement, which essentially allows you to get on the puck in the offensive zone. We do not have an issue with speed. Our team is fast. But if you look on some nights when we are not executing, we probably don’t look fast. But that is every team in the league. We upgraded our speed. But most of it is execution.”
Konecny has impressed so far with his vision on the ice and the amount of offense he generates every shift.
“Why not? That’s his game,” Hextall said. “Travis is an offensive player. What is the best aspect of his game? For Travis, it’s offense. It’s a huge element and certainly one we needed to upgrade.
“He make plays, he’s got speed, he scores goals. He’s got a lot of offensive gifts. With any young player, he has to tidy his game up a bit. He’s been really good and that’s why he is on our team.”