Despite recording the first multigoal game of his infant career and completing probably his best performance as a Flyer, rookie Travis Konecny hung his head low and spoke barley above a whisper following Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to the Blue Jackets.
The 20-year-old forward took the loss hard and even pinned it on himself.
With the teams knotted at 3-3 midway through the third period, Konecny was headed across the ice to the bench when he took a minor detour and plowed into a Blue Jackets player. He was given a penalty for the unnecessary hit, and Brandon Dubinsky scored the go-ahead goal on the ensuing power play.
Following the game, a dejected Konecny felt he cost his team two crucial points.
“It’s kind of the only thing on my mind right now,” Konecny said. “I kind of let the game get to me. … It’s a stupid penalty and honestly I put the game in my hands there. It’s unacceptable.”
Sure, the kid was being a little too hard on himself, but Konecny is known as an emotional player on the ice. During a game where he injected himself into scrums and was also the target in others, his emotions simply caught up to, and got the best of, him.
And he knows it.
“I was just high on adrenaline going into the third period,” said Konecny. “It’s a tough pill to swallow right now, but I have to learn from it.”
And he will.
It was a good, but costly, lesson. In similar situations in the future, it’s easy to assume Konecny will hold his emotions in check.
Coach Dave Hakstol spoke to Konecny after the game about the penalty but said the conversation will remain between him and his young player.
“We do things as a team, that’s the bottom line,” he said. “Whether it’s a good result or a bad result, everything is as a team. That’s the way it is.”
As a team, the Flyers went a dismal 1-for-8 on the man advantage and had multiple defensive breakdowns, including a two-on-none breakaway that led to Columbus’ second goal.
“The loss was not [his fault], but for a young kid to take responsibility like that I am sure he feels bad,” forward Brayden Schenn said. “He shouldn’t carry that loss on his shoulders, though.”
Konecny, who has three goals and an assist in his last five games, had a third goal waved off when the net came off its moorings.
“The way he competed is the type of player we want,” captain Claude Giroux said. “He was on the puck, he made some great plays and it was one of his best games this year.”