Flyers Rookies Provorov, Konecny Ready for Opener
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Forty-nine years ago the Flyers embarked on a trip to California to play the Los Angeles Kings in a battle of two expansion teams on Oct. 14.
“I said, ‘My God, I thought Montreal was the only place on Earth,’” Hall of Fame goalie Bernie Parent, a Montreal native, recalls. “It was so beautiful. The game has brought us so many things.”
Forty-nine years later, it’s happening again. The Flyers and Kings will face off and a fresh-faced rookie makes his first trip to California.
“It’s new. Flying across the country to play a game, yeah that’s new,” 19-year-old defenseman Ivan Provorov said. “That’s definitely the NHL, but it’s just a game. It doesn’t change anything. It’s another road game.”
“I’ve never been out here before,” added left wing Travis Konecny. “I love it. Beautiful weather and a great city.”
As the Flyers and Kings celebrate their 50th years of existence this season, there’s a lot that could be a distraction. The Flyers’ two prized rookies remain pretty focused. Konecny will begin the season on the second line with Sean Couturier and Jake Voracek. Provorov will be on a defense pair with Mark Streit.
No one is trying to repeat the performance of Toronto Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews, the No. 1 overall pick who Wednesday night was the first player in league history to score four goals in his debut.