There are reasons why a player can be benched. The coach could be looking to shake things up during a rough streak. The player could be underperforming and in need of a reset. Often, the reasoning will stay between the player and the coach. While there is nothing wrong with that, there comes a point where the reasoning behind the moves needs to be revealed, especially when it happens over and over again throughout a season.
Yes, we are talking about the Morgan Frost situation again. No, this isn't about trading him. However some believe that is where things are heading. This is about finding out if there is a way for John Tortorella and Frost to work together to figure things out.
Frost was scratched for the 11th time this season as the Flyers returned home to take on the Blue Jackets. He wasn't the only player benched, as Cam Atkinson sat for the first time this season. That move was a long time coming, as Atkinson admitted he needed to do more. Coming off a year without hockey is tough, and hopefully, this is just a moment for the veteran forward to take a breather.
But for the 24-year-old Frost, there are questions about him and his fit. The Flyers have emphasized youth recently and, especially in a rebuild, should be finding out what they have. There is a difference between sitting a struggling player and sitting one because it's the easiest move. Frost has by far been the player that Tortorella looks at when he wants to make a change.
Whose to say that when Noah Cates returns, Frost won't be the one who sits again? That question could be answered soon as Cates' six-week timeline quickly approaches. Is there a way that coach and player can find a solution sooner rather than later? It seems that Frost is looking for a way to make things work.
""That's a huge step for me with Frosty, is him coming in and saying, "You know what, this is what I think.' It's so important that players do that. it creates a little bit of a path for him and I as we try to go through this.""- John Tortorella
Tortorella added that he and Frost had multiple conversations before his healthy scratch and then after as well. It's a stark contrast from a season ago. Many players alluded to or stated they didn't have conversations with Tortorella. Whether or not they kept those conversations close or never did speak to their head coach, it is a good sign to hear Tortorella talk about Frost coming to him.
There has to be plenty of frustration on Frost's part at this point in the season. He's not lighting things on fire, but he's not the only player that isn't providing offense. He seems to be one of the only ones called out for it. Frost is actually among the top 10 on the team when it comes to driving play. The team is outshooting and outscoring opponents when he is on the ice. Numerous players below him continue to get chance after chance.
This isn't to say that Frost is innocent in this. Coming off a career season, there was hope it would open the door for him. There have been times this season that Frost has been unlucky. He can't put the puck in the net for his teammates when he has set them up. 11 points in 27 games a season after he had 46 points in 81 games isn't going to cut it. But neither is pulling him out of the lineup whenever you need to make a change.
Maybe this conversation will break down the door between Frost and Tortorella. At least, we can all hope so.