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Flyers example, Laughton emerges as leader

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Philadelphia – Scott Lawton He had a different opening night than the last nine NHL seasons.

It was John Totorella’s first game as coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, and after delivering a short message in the locker room, he handed Lawton his lineup card and read out the starters. It was a small gesture, but it said a lot in terms of Laughton being held.

Laughton was the only player with lettering on the front of his jersey as acting captain.

“Obviously, I’ve developed a very close relationship with the people here, and I want to be a part of something special here,” said Laughton. did.”

Laughton then went out and showed that Tortorella embodies everything they want from their players.

Watch his second shift in the season opener against the New Jersey Devils. Hard forecheck offensively wins battles along the walls of his zone, cuts into the net, Travis Connekny try to block it under the goalkeeper Mackenzie BlackwoodAs Blackwood covers the puck, Lawton starts pushing and pushing with the New Jersey puck Damon Severson When Miles Wooddraw whistles and players from both sides.

“He drags people in,” said Tortorella. “Teammates see what he’s doing, all the different things he’s doing, and the drive he’s got. I will force you to bring it into the game.”

This is a style of play that Laughton has worked hard to develop. In 2012 he was selected by the Flyers with the 20th overall pick in the NHL Draft. Play Anywhere Switzerland He has evolved into his knife in the army. He lacks lineups, attacks and is willing to stir up the opposition.

“I remember his first year in the league when I was in Toronto. He was already in my skin. James van Rimsdik Said. “So he definitely has that style in his game and definitely part of what makes him so effective.”

He scored the tying short-handed goal in the Flyers’ 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday and played in the top left and lower center line-ups throughout the two games. He also played a big part in his kills on penalties and played at the net front on the power play.

Video: VAN@PHI: Laughton Benefits on SHG Breakaway

But that’s not the only piece of Laughton that matters to the Flyers.

“Sometimes the intangibles Scotty brings are more important than what he does on the ice,” said Tortorella. “He wore an ‘A’ and I think there’s a reason for that. Others didn’t. He only had one ‘A’.” [the first two games] And I thought he deserved it. So he brings us a lot. “

The intangible “things” that Tortorella referred to include rising voices in leadership groups and a seemingly endless reservoir of positive positivity.

“He’s definitely someone who makes it fun for us to come to the rink every day, and everyone gets along very well with him.” Sometimes they think they’re very important guys to say things, even in the locker room.”

Laughton credits his wife, Chloe, and his parents with keeping him positive. He also learned how to focus on his mental health to help him stay in the moment.

“I do a lot of things in the summer. It’s more spiritual, a little meditation, breathing, etc.,” he said. “I think you’ve come a long way in your game… I try to stay in the present as much as possible and try not to look to the future or the past.

“Everyone has their own [tough] But whenever I play in the NHL, I think it’s a pretty big blessing to be able to step in this door every day and play the game as an adult.

Laughton is quick to laugh. Also, if he needs to say something, he is not afraid to speak up. Holding his teammates accountable is a pillar of Tortorella’s oft-cited goal to change Philadelphia’s culture, and the 28-year-old is no shy about speaking out.

“It’s not just the younger players, but the older ones as well. “And that’s something I think we need to keep improving as a group, holding each other accountable for different things. is….on the ice it’s always been pretty loud to me and in the room it can help.”

rookie forward Noah Cates Laughton has been his role model on and off the ice since joining the Flyers on March 27 on a two-year entry-level deal.

“He was great with me last year and early this year, so he’s definitely a key person on this team and kind of the winning side,” Cates said. and he doesn’t care if it shows up on the scoresheet, he does it for the team, he’s a very important player and I think he I honestly think he’s a guy who can model my game, then his versatility, very similar to him [penalty] Killing, playing on the net front, different things, his details. So it’s a big thing for me to see every night. “

The Flyers started the season with two wins, but there’s sure to be bumps along the way. Last season he started 2-0-1 but finished last in the Metropolitan Division.

To maintain their current success, Laughton will need to be leaders on and off the ice.

“He’s one of the best teammates I’ve been with,” said Conekney. “He does all the little things during the game….He’s one of our all-around best players who does all the little things. There are players like that and all will follow him.”