Here's a friendly reminder as the Flyers kick off the preseason on Monday night: none of this really matters all that much.
I mean, if you wanna get cross-sport about this, look at the Eagles great preseason versus what they've done in the first two games of the regular season as an indication that none of this exhibition crap matters all that much.
But in hockey, where we're pretty aware of that when it comes to team performance, we mostly look for cues into individual performances during the preseason. We do that particularly when it comes to young players.
Let Ron Hextall remind you, though, that even a great four or five games from a player in preseason won't change a ton about the overall outlook around those players.
We know where our prospects are, for the most part. How they show in camp can certainly impact whether they make the team or not, but the hard part for us is, you can't look at a player in preseason and say "he played great". He's playing against 10 NHL players who are looking to get ready for the season, not necessarily have their midseason form yet, and he's playing with 10 other guys that aren't necessarily NHL players. The level of play, quite frankly, is not up to the regular season. So to evaluate at that point, it's hard, so you've always got to be cognizant of the fact that they're really not at the level they're going to be playing at opening night.
So if Ivan Provorov or Travis Konecny -- just to use easy examples -- have absurd games tonight against the Islanders, that's awesome. If they have incredible preseasons, that's great. It's only one factor into whether or not they stick with the team beyond the preseason. You can't read into these game performances all that much.
Remember also that there are log jams all over this roster, so even if these kids look absolutely unbelievable to the point where you couldn't imagine sending them back to juniors, there are only so many roster spots. Fitting Provorov or any other player onto the roster, particularly on defense, will be contingent on moving a veteran player off of the roster.
Enjoy the preseason, but keep it in perspective.