Samuel Morin is set to face the player he has been emulating in his transition to left winger.
The Flyers (5-2-1) begin a big back-to-back set at home against the Islanders (3-4-0) on Saturday. The 6-foot-6 Morin is expected to draw into the lineup and play his first game since moving from defense to the wing.
Let's get into the essentials for the game:
- When: 7 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 6 p.m. ET
- Where: Wells Fargo Center
- Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
- Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
• With Travis Konecny surprisingly looking like he'll be a healthy scratch for tonight's game, Morin will play his second game since the start of last season. Morin appeared in one game during 2019-20 and it was against the Islanders when he was playing as a defenseman.
The 2013 first-round pick made the switch to left winger this offseason after the Flyers suggested the idea to him and his agent. The 25-year-old has worked hard at the position change, receiving advice from Danny Briere and consistently getting in extra work with skills coach Angelo Ricci.
A player he has studied on tape throughout this transitional phase has been Islanders winger Matt Martin. Now he'll face New York's big, hard-working winger up close in his first NHL game at the forward position.
"I watch Matt Martin a lot," Morin said on Jan. 5 during training camp. "Thirty minutes every day before I go to bed, try to see what he’s doing. It’s so efficient and simple. It's kind of so easy, but he's really good at it. He's always in good position, he skates really well and he finishes every check."
• The Flyers are facing the Islanders for the first time since their second-round Game 7 loss to New York in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Whether it was stylistically or the Flyers committing unforced mistakes, New York turned out to be a bad matchup for Alain Vigneault's club. The Islanders beat the Flyers nine out of 12 times in 2019-20, including the preseason, regular season and postseason. In all 12 games, New York scored three or more goals. All three of the Flyers' wins came in overtime.
"We didn’t play them well this year. Why? We’ll have to dig into it," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said in September after his team's playoff exit. "They’re a heavy team, but it’s hard to generate speed and look fast when you’re defending and having your defensemen get run through the end boards."
New York is currently on a three-game losing streak, while the Flyers have won two straight but have made a number of changes and aren't overly pleased with how they're playing.
• Philippe Myers will return to the lineup after suffering a fractured rib on Jan. 20. Sean Couturier has been placed on injured reserve. Couturier, who has been skating as he recovers from a costochondral separation suffered on Jan. 15, is "still a couple of weeks away," Vigneault estimated on Thursday.
Claude Giroux-Nolan Patrick-Jakub Voracek
Oskar Lindblom-Kevin Hayes-James van Riemsdyk
Samuel Morin-Scott Laughton-Joel Farabee
Michael Raffl-Connor Bunnaman-Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Ivan Provorov-Shayne Gostisbehere
Travis Sanheim-Philippe Myers
Erik Gustafsson-Justin Braun
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