Making offense ‘out of nothing,' Tippett gives Flyers look into future

Making offense ‘out of nothing,' Tippett gives Flyers look into future originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

VOORHEES, N.J. — As Owen Tippett barreled down on Justin Faulk, danced around the Blues' defenseman and flicked a backhanded shot top shelf, everyone saw a glimpse of the unique upside.

The speed, the strength and the skill.

All in one play.

"Just an unbelievable goal to win the game for us there, to put us in the lead," Flyers head coach John Tortorella said at morning skate Thursday. "He has a chance ... man, I don't know where it goes. He has an opportunity to be a really good player in this league."

With the highlight-reel, game-winning play in the Flyers' 4-2 decision Monday over the Blues, Tippett has four markers over the last five games. He enters Thursday with 16 goals on the season, putting him on pace for 30. Last season, his first full one with the Flyers, the power forward broke out for career highs in games (77), goals (27) and points (49).

"You saw it last year, the way he uses his speed, especially from our own zone, I think he creates so much offense for us," Scott Laughton said at morning skate Thursday. "He has been really good. He creates a ton of offense out of nothing, so it has been fun to watch. Big body who skates well, physical, he brings it all. It's going to be exciting to see what he becomes, but he's starting to find the identity right now."

When Tippett is on his game, he's unleashing shots like a pitching machine. In St. Louis, he had 11 total shot attempts and 10 of them were on net. A shot mentality is important, but putting shots on net is just as critical.

Tippett has the NHL's 12th-most shots (162) and the fourth-most missed shots (78). Skills coach Angelo Ricci has worked with Tippett and the Flyers want him to consistently make plays toward the net. Tortorella called Tippett "a terrific kid, very coachable."

"Angelo's doing a lot with him on the ice. He changed his stick a little bit. I'm constantly in his ear," Tortorella said. "I know the amount of emphasis we're putting on him on how many goals he could have right now, I think it's resonating with him, I think he's concentrating on it."

Tippett, who doesn't turn 25 years old until next month, came to the Flyers in the Claude Giroux trade during March 2022. On a playoff-focused Florida team, Tippett was buried in the lineup because of the Panthers' talent up front. With more opportunity for a Flyers team looking to identify young foundation pieces, the unassuming Tippett has taken off.

"I think he's got a quiet confidence within himself," Laughton said. "He is a quiet guy, he keeps to himself, really good human being, cares for guys. It's hard in the league when you first enter, you're up and down, things like that. I think just getting a fresh start here probably really helped him to get in a role that he's in with us, kind of taking his game to another level."

The Flyers don't want to restrict Tippett by overcoaching him. They know the ceiling is too high.

"He's kind of all over the place away from the puck," Tortorella said. "I try to balance that, in teaching him that part of the game, without getting in his way offensively because he's so dangerous.

"So we're just trying to spoon feed him a little bit as far as some stuff away from the puck because he shows up on both ledgers. Hopefully we're trying to get some of that off of this ledger and maybe it'll add to that ledger. The limit there, I have no idea where it goes. He could be a really good player."

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