Whitehall-Coplay Press

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Defenseman Morin gets assigned to LV

Thursday, November 7, 2019 by CHUCK HIXSON Special to the Press in Sports

Sam Morin is trying to catch a break.

After missing most of last season recovering from knee surgery, the 24-year old defenseman hoped to break camp with the Flyers and get things going in his career.

He did break camp with the team, but was a healthy scratch through their first eight games of the season.

When he finally did get a chance to play against the Islanders he was basically outmatched and out-skated. With the long layoff, it’s hard to blame Morin for the performance, but it’s also hard to blame Flyers coach Alain Vigneault.

It’s been hard to find a spot to insert Morin because the play of the Flyers’ defenseman has been pretty good this season. Vigneault admitted that he was impressed by Morin in camp and liked what he saw from him in practice, but just couldn’t find a reason to scratch any of the other defenseman, leaving Morin caught in the middle.

Last Thursday, the Flyers made what is probably a smart move, sending Morin to the Phantoms on a conditioning assignment. Technically, a conditioning assignment is supposed to be reserved for players coming off an injury and needing ice time before returning to the grind of the NHL.

Morin’s situation is likely stretching the rule slightly, since he was available to play all season long, but just wasn’t put into the lineup. It’s one of those things that nobody is going to complain about and the rule has been abused more blatantly than the Flyers did when sending Morin to Lehigh Valley.

Justin Braun is the likely weak link in the Flyers’ defense, having a minus-five rating on the ice this season. The Flyers may have a decision to make about Braun when Morin is deemed ready to return to Philadelphia.

Morin played in two of the Phantoms’ three games over the last weekend with three shots on goal, but no points in the two games. While Vigneault credited Morin with his performance in practices, let’s face it, playing in practice isn’t the same as playing in a game.

The move to send Morin to Lehigh Valley was just one of a bunch of moves the Flyers made going into the weekend. Forward Mikhail Vorobyev was also sent to Lehigh Valley on loan from the Flyers. Meanwhile, Philly recalled forwards German Rubtsov and Carsen Twarynski along with defenseman Phillippe Myers.

FROSTY THE POINT MAN... Morgan Frost has four goals and five assists in his last seven games and is riding a seven-game point streak with the Phantoms. The streak started with a three-assist game against Binghamton and is now the third longest active point streak in the AHL.

BRIDGEPORT SNAPS PHANTOMS’ STREAK... The Bridgeport Sound Tigers came from behind Sunday in Bridgeport to gain a 3-2 win over Lehigh Valley. The Phantoms’ loss ended their string of consecutive games with a point at eight. A night earlier, Lehigh Valley Jean-Francois Berube made 26 saves in a 3-2 Phantoms win to stretch the streak to eight and tie the team record.

PUTTING IN THE OT... For the fourth time this season, Lehigh Valley came from behind to force overtime when it overcame a 3-0 deficit to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Friday night to go to OT. Three of the Phantoms’ four overtime games have come on their home ice.