Analyzing Flyers Move Of Samuel Morin To Forward

Samuel Morin, Philadelphia Flyers (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Samuel Morin, Philadelphia Flyers (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Samuel Morin’s move to forward gives us an idea about how the Flyers feel.

Early in 2021 the Flyers answered the question that had been burning since their playoffs ended back in September.  Who will be their fourth line left wing?  The answer is defensemen Sam Morin.  Now if you were not paying attention and thought missed something, you didn’t.

If you thought you had been paying attention and were under the impression there were at least eight players ready to play wing on the fourth line, none of whom were named Sam Morin, you would be right.  But this is the Flyers.

The fourth line is a question mark, but not in a bad way. It is not a question like “Who do we pair with Provorov?” which this Morin move speaks volumes to me about the answer.  The Morin position change speaks loudly about the state of the defense in general.  Plainly put, moving Morin to the wing is an insurance policy for the suspect defense.

When considering partners for Provorov it appears that the front office may have finally looked at the game film on Erik Gustafsson. Perhaps they have decided that pairing Gustafsson with Provorov will not give the same “Batman and Robin” effect that Provorov’s union with Niskanen yielded.    Perhaps they thought it would be more like “Batman and Bizarro Superman”.

Pairing Gustafsson with Provorov is unwise in much the same way it was unwise to pair Provorov (puck moving defender) with Ghost (puck moving defensemen with defensive wobbles).  Provorov needs a defense first player who will allow the star defensemen to play on his strong side and impact the game on the offensive end.  Left winger Sam Morin maybe that defensemen.

Moving Morin to the wing is a hedge on the current NHL defense corps. The team has some concern that the defense may not be defensive enough.  Ghost’s struggles have been well documented.  For those unacquainted with Gustafsson, imagine a bigger stronger version of Ghost, but a version that makes bad decisions and seems completely disinterested in defending.

While Sanheim has blossomed, Phil Myers still has some zone coverage issues to iron out. Hagg and Braun were steady last year, for the most part, but are not shutdown players.  Morin’s position “switch” actually provides the coaches with an in-game hedge and way to bolster the defense.