Twenty-five months after TSN analyst Bob McKenzie brought Philippe Myers into the spotlight, saying he looked NHL-ready or “close to it,” the prospect finally got his first look in a Flyers sweater Sunday during a 3-1 win in Detroit.
And he didn’t disappoint.
• My assessment of Myers last season was that he was a hybrid of Samuel Morin and Travis Sanheim, and it was interesting to hear interim head coach Scott Gordon’s pregame comments, labeling Myers a “blend of Sam Morin and Travis Sanheim. He’s got some bite and some edge, and he has the skill of Travis.”
His skating ability is very comparable to Sanheim and perhaps even a little better, as he won a foot race in the second period to eliminate a potential scoring chance.
• At one point in the third period, Myers (7:59) had more ice time than Shayne Gostisbehere (7:53), but Gordon didn’t want to assert any more pressure on the rookie defenseman with a one-goal lead. Myers' last shift came with 8:40 remaining in regulation as he finished with 9:53 TOI, seeing only 1:54 in the third period.
• Breaking down Myers' shifts: five came with Ivan Provorov, four with Andrew MacDonald, three with Gostisbehere and one with Robert Hägg.
• Right away, Gordon showed some confidence in the 22-year-old defenseman. On Myers' second shift of the game, Gordon had him out there for an offensive zone faceoff with the Flyers' fourth line. Later in the first period, Myers was tasked with a defensive zone faceoff with the Nolan Patrick line. Gordon certainly wasn’t shying Myers away from any situation.
• We saw that bite and edge early on as he pinned his man against the boards like a flyer thumbtacked to a bulletin board. The one element to Myers' game that’s already a notch better than Sanheim's is his ability to separate a player from the puck.
• The one play everyone will remember is Myers' slight pinch to keep the puck deep in the offensive zone, which eventually led to Provorov’s game-winning goal. The simple play looked very effortless and the type of plays he has repeatedly made throughout his time with the Phantoms.
When I asked him recently about his assertiveness in the offensive end this season, Myers told me he’s just playing on instincts and not purposely thinking about jumping into the play.
• Myers' mother and father hopped on an early flight from Moncton, New Brunswick, caught a connection in Montreal and flew into Detroit to catch their son play his first game — one they’ll never forget.https://twitter.com/johnborukNBCS/status/1097323865406169089
Now you’re left wanting more from Myers, and perhaps wondering when that next game might come.
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