By Michael Donovan
It’s been a long time since the Flyers have had a player who turns people’s heads.
Especially a Flyers’ coach.
Flyers coach Dave Hakstol yesterday called Shayne Gostisbehere “a player that can bring people out of their seats” and a “guy that draws a lot of spotlight.” Coming from college, Hakstol said he watched “Ghost” a lot when the defenseman was patrolling the blue line at Union College and he’s been able to translate that to the NHL level.
“Obviously it’s a much different game at the pro level, especially at the NHL level,” Hakstol said, “but I think he’s stayed pretty much true to who he is as a player.”
Since being called up to the Flyers on Nov. 14, Gostisbehere has captured the city with his exciting brand of hockey and he’s also giving the city a glimpse into the future.
Gostisbehere has seven goals and nine assists in 23 games this season. He’s quarterbacking the power play and has three overtime game-winning goals.
All the while, the defenseman is doing so understanding he still has flaws in his game and that is what’s catching the eye of Hakstol.
“I really like how low to the ground that he is,” Hakstol said. “He’s working hard to be an efficient defender and an efficient puck-mover. He knows he makes mistakes there, but he addresses that and works on some of those holes and then on the flip side, he tries to really stay true to what his abilities are.
“Confidence wise, that’s not an easy thing for a young guy to do day after day at this level. Now, he has to prove it over the long haul of the season. To this point, he’s done a good mix, keep his feet on the ground, really working on some of the holes of his game, but also staying confident with the puck and trying to make things happen.”