Flyers

Morgan Frost's injury impacts Flyers' 2019-20 roster decisions

Morgan Frost's injury impacts Flyers' 2019-20 roster decisions

Morgan Frost played only one preseason game last year before being sent back to his junior club the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

This year, the playmaking prospect was looking forward to a real shot to showcase himself for a bid at the Flyers' roster. Turns out, he played only one more game than he did the previous preseason. Frost has a groin strain and will be out five to seven days. He missed the team's first two preseason games dealing with the groin issue.

"Definitely wanted to play, but at the same time, I want to stay healthy, that's definitely important," Frost said after missing the opening two games. "Make sure I'm 100 percent when I go into a game so I can show my best and prove that I can make the team."

The Flyers play exhibition games Monday and Thursday night before flying out to Switzerland Friday ahead of their final preseason contest next Monday.

With that, Frost's preseason is more than likely over.

The 20-year-old didn't look out of place during training camp and two exhibition games. He was challenged on Day 2 and showed some nice things in game action. He exhibited his skill and improved strength on the puck, along with a good forecheck.

However, he was held off the score sheet. Turning pro this season and with an injury to Nolan Patrick, Frost was vying for a job in the Flyers' bottom six. At this point, though, it would be surprising to see him make the big club's roster. Production would have forced the hand of the front office and coaching staff, but Frost was limited to two games and couldn't generate points in his short audition.

The Flyers have plenty of candidates still pushing for the vacancies at forward, including German Rubtsov, Carsen Twarynski, Joel Farabee, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Andy Andreoff, Chris Stewart and Mikhail Vorobyev.

It's a tough blow for Frost, but his health is most important. It's not like the Flyers don't know what Frost can do. It's very possible, though, Frost and Farabee will open the 2019-20 season with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

Farabee, who is scoreless through three games, shouldn’t be counted out. He might get one more game Thursday at Madison Square Garden. An impressive performance from the 19-year-old winger will make the decision harder. His game can play up and down the lineup, so if he's not scoring, it's not a deal-breaker.

"I don't think we're at that decision-making point," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Saturday. "We still have a few games before we leave for Europe. But those two young men, you can tell there's a tremendous amount of potential and upside, smarts to their game. We have a lot to work with there. It's just a matter of doing what's right for the team and that's what we're going to do here when we make the final decisions."

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2020 NHL All-Star Game: Flyers' Travis Konecny shows off his career-high stuff for Metropolitan Division

2020 NHL All-Star Game: Flyers' Travis Konecny shows off his career-high stuff for Metropolitan Division

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Travis Konecny stormed into the NHL All-Star break already with a new career high in assists. The Flyers' winger has 26 helpers and is projected to finish with 44, a sign of significant growth in a breakout 2019-20 season for the 22-year-old.

On Saturday night in the 2020 All-Star Game at Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Konecny put his facilitating on display during the 3-on-3 action featuring the world's best players. He finished with three assists in the Metropolitan Division's 9-5 semifinal loss to the Atlantic Division.

"I had a lot of fun," Konecny said Saturday, via Flyers senior director of public relations and communications Zack Hill. "It was pretty funny, I was watching my parents in the stands and my mom didn't understand why we weren't playing like a real game.

"It's my first game and it's her first time seeing it. I don't know if she was expecting me to be blocking shots and forechecking, stuff like that. I had a lot of fun with it.

"It was a really cool experience, getting to play with some players, too, that I usually won't get the chance to play with was fun."

Konecny playing in his first All-Star Game at 22 years old should be exciting for the Flyers. Claude Giroux was 23 years old for his first All-Star Game back in 2011. The future looks bright for Konecny, who signed a new six-year, $33 million contract back in mid-September.

With 17 goals and 43 points through 47 games, Konecny is eight goals and seven points away from setting career highs across the board.

A breakout, indeed.

Here are more sights and scenes from Konecny's first All-Star Game:

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Why Flyers fans should be hopeful about post-NHL All-Star break playoff chances

Why Flyers fans should be hopeful about post-NHL All-Star break playoff chances

Today, we break down why Flyers fans should be hopeful for the post-All-Star break stretch. On Sunday, we’ll look at the reasons for concern.

Through 50 games, the Flyers have done two important things. They’ve played well within the division and have dominated at home. 

Those two trends bode well for after the All-Star break because divisional games become much bigger and confidence at home is paramount as the pressure builds.

The Flyers are 17-4-4 at home and 9-2-3 against Metropolitan foes. The marks are notable given the Flyers fell sorely short in those areas last season, when they finished 19-18-4 at home and 10-16-2 in divisional play.

Another positive is the Flyers are getting healthier after the break. Shayne Gostisbehere (knee) could be back Friday in the Flyers’ first game out of the bye week, while Carter Hart (abdominal strain) is expected to return not long after.

But what might be the Flyers’ most convincing piece of evidence for optimism is how they’ve performed against the NHL’s best teams. The Flyers have shown they can play with any club, which is huge for their own belief moving forward.

The Flyers are 11th in the NHL standings at 27-17-6. They've gone 9-5-3 against the top-10 teams and 5-1-1 vs. the top four.

Head coach Alain Vigneault has a history of taking teams to the playoffs, and doing so in Year 1 on the job. At his previous three stops (Canadiens, Canucks, Rangers), each of his first seasons produced playoff bids and at least one series victory.

Vigneault’s track record will be tested over the Flyers’ final 32 games.

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