Provorov Continuing to Improve Through Ups-and-Downs
PHILADELPHIA — Ivan Provorov doesn’t get excited about much.
He’s stone-faced and serious, careful to stay tempered despite all the attention he’s getting as a rookie. It didn’t take long for him to earn the responsibilities of being the Flyers' No. 1 defenseman. He’s not concerned about hitting any so-called “rookie wall,” where fatigue of a long season deters performance. He’s played 90-plus games in a season since he came to the U.S. to pursue his NHL dream.
He only cracks a smile at the difference from junior that he enjoys the most: how he travels.
In the Western Hockey League, where he played two years for the Brandon Wheat Kings, the wheels on the bus went round and round and round and … almost never got near an airport.
“A lot of bus trips, day trips, long trips, especially for us in Brandon because we were so far East,” Provorov said with a grin, happy his bus days are largely over. “I think us and Prince George had the worst travel in (all of Canadian junior hockey).
“It is definitely better flying than bussing.”
Brandon was the easternmost team in the WHL by a long shot. The only time any team in the league got to fly was if it was in the finals when expenses were incurred by the league.
Provorov is flying all over the place, from South Florida to San Jose, and neither jet lag nor big-time minutes has caught up to him.
His performance Wednesday against the New York Rangers wasn’t his best, but he was still the steadiest of the Flyers’ defense corps. He had some bad luck when a faceoff win saw the puck come bouncing back to him. He wasn’t able to corral it and the Rangers scored on an empty net.