Flyers vs. Sabres: Things to ramp up for John Tortorella and staff after preseason loss


The Flyers fell to the Sabres, 2-1, in preseason action Tuesday night at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York.

Travis Konecny ​​scored the club’s lone goal. Morgan Frost and James van Riemsdyk picked up assists.

The Flyers are 1-1-0 in the preseason.

The games will start to pick up in meaningfulness as John Tortorella begins implementing system work and the Flyers make more cuts.

• The Flyers’ top line of van Riemsdyk, Frost and Konecny ​​was the most noticeable. The trio was very good in one of the two scrimmages Sunday at the Flyers Training Center.

It connected in transition during the first period as Konecny ​​finished off the play with an impressive shot.

Frost has two assists through two preseason games. Understandably, he looks much more confident than he did last preseason. The 23-year-old center is winning faceoffs and has played in all situations.

“I’m a big believer in Morgan Frost,” AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley head coach Ian Laperriere, who was behind the Flyers’ bench, said Tuesday after the morning practices. “I think he can be more than just what people [think]. Offensively, he did put up numbers in junior and when he was with [the Phantoms], he was a point a game. That’s nice, but I feel like he’s got more.

“I really do feel that Morgan is more than just an offensive player.”

• Everyone knows the 2022-23 season is a big one for Konecny. Given the club’s lack of offensive firepower, the Flyers will need him even more, particularly from a goal-scoring standpoint.

Konecny ​​got off to a nice start in the preseason Tuesday night.

He said over the summer and leading into camp that he had watched some film from his previous seasons, the 2019-20 All-Star campaign being one of them.

“I went over some stuff with some people in the office and just going over analytics,” he said last Friday. “It’s nothing major but just trying to remind myself when I’m at my best, kind of talking where I thought a lot of my success came from and then actually seeing it on the page and showing you exactly where it comes from. And then translating it back onto the ice.”

• Troy Grosenick, who is competing with Felix Sandstrom for the Flyers’ backup goalie job, played the first two periods.

The 33-year-old yielded a pair of goals on 14 shots. Buffalo forward Brandon Biro scored both of them.

Grosenick twice got some love from his left post early in the second period but then lost his luck when Biro got him again to hand the Flyers their 2-1 deficit.

Grosenick had a nice stretch save on a semi breakaway for Jeff Skinner during the first period.

So far this preseason, he has stopped 26 of 29 shots.

Samuel Ersson converted seven saves in the final stanza.

Craig Anderson, the 41-year-old veteran, denied eight of the Flyers’ nine shots through 30-plus minutes for the Sabres. Malcolm Subban turned away all 12 shots he faced to finish off the Flyers.

More: Good signs on injured Hart as Flyers’ goalie gets plenty of practice

• Noah Cates has really shown the Flyers’ new coaching staff his ability to kill penalties.

His smarts and effort at shorthanded have to be making an impression on assistant coach Brad Shaw, who likes an aggressive PK.

Cates made a solid defensive play to create an opportunity up ice on a third-period penalty kill. He had his legs moving all game and continues to look like a guy that can help the Flyers now.

“He’s a coach’s dream,” Laperriere said last Saturday.

• The Flyers’ first power play opportunity came in the middle stanza and it looked like a first-time-together group of guys in a second preseason game. Kind of to be expected, with little chemistry and lots of sloppiness.

In the third period, the second man advantage opportunity featured some offensive zone time but the Flyers couldn’t net the equalizer.

• Tortorella appreciates those team-first qualities like blocking shots when a club’s back is up against the wall.

Cam York ate a hard shot on a third-period penalty kill. Ronnie Attard finished with a team-high three blocked shots.

• The Flyers are right back in action Wednesday when they host the Capitals (7 pm ET/NBCSP+).

Assistant coaches Shaw, Rocky Thompson and Darryl Williams will be behind the Flyers’ bench.

The game group and non-game groups are scheduled to skate in the morning at Flyers Training Center.

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