The Flyers head into tonight’s Halloween Eve matchup coming off of their most impressive win of the season yet. With Nolan Patrick out of the lineup and Shayne Gostisbehere out the entire third period, Philadelphia hung on to beat the flashy Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 in their building on Hockey Night in Canada.
Now... they return home to face the winless, yet loaded with potential, Arizona Coyotes.
The Yotes come into the game after losing to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday by a score of 4-3. That “loaded with potential” part I mentioned was in full force in that game highlighted by the then go-ahead goal by super rookie Clayton Keller. If the Flyers want to keep the Coyotes out of the win column, shutting down the red hot Keller will be the first step.
Philadelphia Point Leaders
- Voracek - 16 points (2G, 14A)
- Couturier - 13 points (7G, 6A)
- Gostisbehere - 13 points (1G, 12A)
Arizona Point Leaders
- Keller - 12 points (8G, 4A)
- Domi - 8 points (1G, 7A)
- Stepan - 7 points (2G, 5A)
Team metrics breakdown
- Coyotes: 48.62 CF%
- Flyers: 48.85 CF%
While the Flyers barely edge the Coyotes in CF%, one of the main reasons why Philadelphia has gotten off to so much of a better start is their expected goals for percentage.
- Coyotes: 44.41 xGF%
- Flyers: 52.00 xGF%
Obviously, the Flyers also have gotten a fair amount more luck this season because any team who goes 11 straight without a win experiences some kind of bad luck. This is shown by the PDO for each team.
- Coyotes: 95.65
Welcome back Sam Morin! (Update: or not?)
Update: The Flyers announced after today’s morning skate that Morin might not play tonight despite his recent call up. He’s dealing with a “nagging” injury issue.
Per GM Ron Hextall, Gostisbehere & Patrick are day-to-day. Samuel Morin is dealing with nagging issue. Status will be known this afternoon.— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) October 30, 2017
It’s possible that Morin checks into the lineup, but we’ll know more later in the afternoon. If he can’t go, the Flyers could be forced to play with just five defensemen due to the injury issues.
As for the Flyers we finally see the 2017-18 debut of defenseman Samuel Morin due to the Shayne Gostisbehere injury. Morin was sent down just a few games into the regular season after it became clear that Travis Sanheim and Robert Hagg had won the preseason battle between the three of them. In eight games with the Phantoms this year, Morin has four points (1 goal, 3 assists).
Wonderful human being Brad Keffer has been manually tracking the Phantoms games this season for their CF% and other fancy stats. Here is what he has found Morin’s CF% to be through the first 8 games.
In 8 AHL games Morin scored 1 goal, had 3 secondary assists, drew 2 minor penalties, and took 6 minor penalties. Also 50.43% 5v5 CF%.— Brad Keffer (@brad_keffer) October 29, 2017
Call up coming before game time?
If Morin can’t go tonight -- and again, we’ll find out more this afternoon -- the Flyers could call up another defenseman from Lehigh Valley.
Veteran AHL defenseman Mark Alt could be one option, and is probably the most-likely option. He has NHL experience, albeit just one game two years ago, but that’s more than any other healthy defenseman on the Phantoms roster can claim.
T.J. Brennan is likely out of the picture as he gets over an injury. He’s played just four games for the Phantoms so far this season. We’d imagine the Flyers would go with Alt before they’d go with Phillippe Myers this young into his first professional season.