On the Ice With Isaac: Laughton is Confident, Sticking With Seven Defenders
UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Last season Scott Laughton probably put a little too much pressure on himself.
The Flyers’ 2012 first-round pick said he lacked confidence at the time. He made the squad out of training camp, but didn’t play in the opening game and was sent back to juniors the next day.
This time around, Laughton, 20, is here on a recall and wants to stick around. His confidence is much, much better.
“The thing with me is I think I wasn’t carrying the puck as much last year,” Laughton said. “Now I feel more comfortable with it. In the past, I’d just try to get it off my stick and be nervous and stuff. I’m just trying to take it day-by-day and play my game and work as hard as I can to stay here.”
He’s centering the third line with veterans R.J. Umberger and Vinny Lecavalier flanking him on the wings. Heading into Monday night’s game against the New York Islanders the line hadn’t scored yet, but felt close.
“We’ve been getting a lot more chances the last couple games and it’s chemistry,” said Lecavalier, who has had to move from his natural center position to right wing. “I’ve never played with Laughts, but now it seems like we’re starting to find each other out there.
“It hasn’t gone in, but if you have opportunities, it will go in and go from that and get confidence from that.”
Entering Monday night, Umberger was on a 12-game pointless drought, the longest of his career. He’s hoping the rookie, who had 11 points in 13 games with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, can get him going a little bit.
“A guy like that is eager to be out there, eager to learn,” Umberger said. “He has fresh legs, young legs and he’s enjoying every minute of being on the ice. You can tell he has that passion, the hunger to play in games and stay on this team as long as he can. It’s fun to be on a line like that.”
The question is how long Laughton can stick around.