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STINGY ROOKIES

Flyers rookies blank Caps rookies 1-0 in annual preseason game

Monday, 09.9.2013 / 8:14 PM ET / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
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STINGY ROOKIES
ARLINGTON, Va. \u2013 Samuel Morin said he felt nervous when he stepped onto the ice for warmups at the Kettler Ice Plaza.\r\n\r\nIf that\u2019s the case, then the Flyers should try to make him nervous before every game he plays.\r\n\r\nYes, it was only an exhibition game, and yes it was only against other potential prospects and not those of a NHL caliber, but Samuel Morin gave those watching in person a glimpse as to why the Flyers are so excited about him as a defenseman.

ARLINGTON, Va. – Samuel Morin said he felt nervous when he stepped onto the ice for warmups at the Kettler Ice Plaza.

If that’s the case, then the Flyers should try to make him nervous before every game he plays.

Yes, it was only an exhibition game, and yes it was only against other potential prospects and not those of a NHL caliber, but Samuel Morin gave those watching in person a glimpse as to why the Flyers are so excited about him as a defenseman.

Morin was physical, he made good decisions with the puck, he disrupted chances for the Capitals with his reach. He made a diving poke check from the rear to stop a breakaway. He made smart choices with his breakout passes.

In short, he stood out, and when you are playing in a rookie game, won by the Flyers 1-0 by the way, that’s all you can hope for – is that you are stand out.

“I thought he was real noticeable out there,” said Flyers coach Peter Laviolette, who along with assistants Craig Berube and Kevin McCarthy coached the rookie game. “He always has his head up. He’s got a good stick. He closes time and space on puck carriers – it was a good game for him. He was probably our most consistent player from start to finish.”

That he was.

Morin played the first half of the game as a defensive tandem with Mark Alt, and the second half of the game with Maxim Lamarche after Alt had to leave the game with a concussion.

On his first shift he was knocking players off the puck with his physical play – and it only blossomed from there.

Winning puck battles, stripping on-rushing puck carriers – and that play chasing down the breakaway from behind – it all seemed to be beyond his 18 years. It all seemed so effortless and yet if you ask Morin he’ll just smile before he politely disagrees.

“I think I made some mistakes,” he said. “There were definitely some rookie mistakes that I still have to learn how to fix. But, I worked hard, played my game, got a couple of good shots…. I was happy.”

Not as happy as the guys wearing the suits watching from the balcony above.

The next test for Morin will come next week – probably Monday night against some of the same Capitals players, but also against some NHLers as the Flyers play their preseason home opener at the Wells Fargo Center against the Caps.

They’ll probably be without Alt though, who suffered the concussion in the second period. Alt beat top Washington prospect Tom Wilson to a puck near the corner and rimmed it around to a teammate. Wilson shoved Alt in the shoulder as he was making this play and the Flyers defenseman lost his balance and fell awkwardly into the boards, hitting the back of his head in the process.

He was down on the ice for about a minute before being helped off the ice by a team trainer. Alt didn’t return.

It’s a shame too because Alt was playing a very strong game to that point. As a matter of fact, with the pairing of Alt and Morin on the ice together, the Caps really struggled to generate much in the way of scoring chances.

Overall the defense was strong, but when there was a breakdown, a mistake or a mental lapse, the goaltending was there to fill the void.

Top goaltending prospect Anthony Stolarz play the first period-and-a-half and Carsen Chubak completed the shutout. No official shot totals were tallied, but combined, the duo probably turned aside about 25 shots.

“As a goalie sitting there you’re watching the forwards and the defense fighting hard to make it easier on us,” Stolarz said. “So when there is a breakdown or a bad break, Chewy (Chubak) and I wanted to come up big and make the big save as if to say we had the team’s back because they had ours the whole game.”

The lone goal was scored in the second period by Taylor Leier. With the ink barely dry on his entry level contract, Leier was able to create some space for himself in the center of the offensive zone and snap a shot top shelf to put the lone tally mark on the board.

“That was pretty cool,” Leier said about scoring on the same day he signed his contract. “I was pretty confident in myself coming into the game and that made me feel very comfortable I ended up getting a chance and I was able to put it into the back of the net. It was good.”

The whole day was good for the Flyers, who dominated the first period, got a little loosey-goosey in the second – even though they scored – but were able to settle down and hold the fort in the end.

“I thought the first period was our best period,” Laviolette said. “Through the course of the game you could start to see the wear and tear of the three days of hard practice where we really pushed them. But other than that I’m happy with the way we played and that we’re able to walk out of here with a win.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 82 22 59 1 81
C. Giroux 81 25 48 -3 73
M. Streit 81 9 43 -8 52
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
B. Schenn 82 18 29 -5 47
S. Couturier 82 15 22 4 37
M. Del Zotto 64 10 22 -5 32
M. Read 80 8 22 -4 30
M. Raffl 67 21 7 6 28
V. Lecavalier 57 8 12 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 18 18 11 .928 2.25
R. Emery 10 11 7 .894 3.06
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