On Tuesday evening at the Prudential Center, Sam Morin made his NHL debut for the Philadelphia Flyers. It was one to remember, as the giant defenseman made an impact on the game from the get go. Morin played 24 shifts in the overtime loss to the Devils, recorded two shots on net, and had a team-high seven hits while gathering 17:41 minutes of ice time.
Morin was great all game long. Early on, he stood up multiple attempts at the blue line.
Then he made a nice play to knock the puck carrier off the puck and move it up ice in transition.
“Early in the game, I always want to get a good check and body presence,” Morin said of his start to his NHL career.
He made a few mistakes.
“The game is a lot faster in the NHL, that’s for sure,” he said. “Just little stuff, like the guys when they forecheck, they call for the puck and you have to be careful because you can give them the puck.”
But he quickly learned from them.
“Ghost was amazing with me,” Morin said. “He talked with me a lot on the ice. All the guys were good with me. I just fit in good here.”
He got caught flat-footed, but recovered nicely in the defensive zone.
One of his best plays came late in the third period on a near-breakaway chance.
He stayed with the speedy Taylor Hall and knocked him off the puck on what might have been the only regulation goal of the hockey game. It was an all-around great first outing for Morin.
But Morin knows there’s more to learn from his satisfying debut, especially when asked about the physicality of the game.
“Those guys are strong,” he said. “They’re older than me. I’m only 21 years old, I still need to get some strength. They’re more mature than me, physically, but I’m going to go there and try to alter their game. That’s for sure.”
He even acknowledged that fighting, despite being part of his game, is something that he may not always need to do.
“Simmer came up to me before the game and said ‘don’t feel like you need to fight here’,” Morin continued. “You know, fighting is part of my game for sure, but my coach [Scott] Gordon told me all the time that he’d rather have me on the ice killing penalties then in the penalty box. So I can fight, but sometimes I need to know when to pick my battles.”
As for things he needs to improve on to be more prepared for the NHL game, Morin kept it simple.
“I need to get more mature, physically, and get on their level.”
You can watch the full interview here thanks to Flyers TV.
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