Gostisbehere Looking to Avoid a Sophomore Slump
PHILADELPHIA — Among the many reasons Flyers general manager Ron Hextall lists for not bringing along young players so fast is endurance.
It was a big question he had of Shayne Gostisbehere last season and the defenseman passed the test with flying colors. He went from a 42-game season and national championship at Union College, to missing all but seven games with knee injury, to being a finalist for the Calder Trophy, awarded to the league’s best rookie. Monday night he had two assists in a 4-3 overtime win over the New York Rangers.
The ascension that high for a player usually ends in a downfall. Gostisbehere, 23, knows the critics will be looking for it. They’ll use those two words every second-year player rolls their eyes at: sophomore slump.
“Of course you could label everything like that,” Gostisbehere said. “I don’t really pay attention to that. I’m going to go out there and play my game. Obviously teams are going to be a little more aware now, but I’m not going to change anything. I’m going to keep shooting as many pucks as I can, getting pucks to the net and just letting everything take care of itself.”
Gostisbehere had 17 goals and 46 points in 64 games last season. His offense was the show that everyone came to see, sometimes at the cost of defensive miscues. They quickly became few and far between and Gostisbehere has the speed to make up for them.