For many hockey fans, the passion starts as early as the watching. No matter the age, there’s a special draw to the atmosphere around teams and players. Certain players wind up being favorites, leaving legacies of what they brought to the game—or simply to those watching.
And when you watch these players today, they sometimes remind you of your first favorite player or some of the greats from years past. With those thoughts in mind, we take a look at how some current Philadelphia Flyers resemble those of the past.
The most obvious connection is between Giroux and Bob Clarke, both the leaders in their respective eras. “As Clarke goes, the Flyers go” could just as easily describe Giroux, as players and fans collectively recognize his abilities. As the current captain continues to reach milestone achievements, his skill, capability, presence and dedication increasingly remind us of Clarke’s qualities—though, admittedly, with a little less “bully” than Clarke played with.
Couturier had a career year across the board last season. This year, he’s already set a new career high in goals and will likely do so in points, too. His continuous development of all areas of his game actually makes this deduction a little tougher, but the way he creates and produces, his presence on the ice, and his increasing defensive strengths are reflective of John LeClair. Couturier, a recent Selke candidate, continues to show similar capabilities in both his play and his numbers. He finds the net often and is dangerous with the puck, all while being able to skillfully defend it with this body. Fans don’t call guys like these clutch players for nothing.
Konecny is another player who resembles a handful of significant Flyers. He reminds us of those underestimated for their size but who surprise the league with their determination and heart. With his quickness, both mentally and physically, Konecny could be compared with Danny Briere. Being a threat with the puck isn’t enough for Konecny, though. He’s also known for sporting a mouth like Jeremy Roenick’s.
Together, these three Flyers formed a successful top line in the 2017-18 season. Each player had a big year, and the three showed great chemistry. With their success and the significance of their individual roles, the line as a whole resembled the Primeau-Gagne-Recchi dynamics we saw many years ago. We’ll see how far the Flyers can get with these three in the future.
Images: Heather Barry Photography