No, this isn’t going to be your fanboy type of article. This won’t be an article clamoring for Frost to come into the lineup because he’s just going to blow everyone away with his immense amount of skill and talent. Don’t misunderstand though, the timing may be right for Morgan Frost to make his NHL playoff debut. The fact of the matter is, the Flyers play better with Frost in the lineup, whether he’s contributing or not.
Frost’s NHL Debut
Morgan Frost’s first NHL game came on November 19 of 2019 against the Florida Panthers. After months of hype down with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, Frost finally got the call and made the most of his opportunity. Down 4-1 late in the second period, Konecny got the puck to Frost behind the red line to the right of Sergei Bobrovsky. Frost walked the line and shelved it near side on a backhand, tallying his first NHL goal of his young career.
The goal itself was spectacular. The fact that it came against one of the best goalies in the game makes it that much more impressive. Even more impressive than that is the Flyers performance over the next ten games with Frost in the lineup.
Morgan Frost in his First 10 Games
Frost’s first 10 games in the NHL saw him accumulate two goals and one assist. His stat line wasn’t as gaudy as it was in the OHL, but the Flyers record made up for that. Six home games and four away games later, the Flyers stood at 7-2-1 over Frost’s first 10 games in the NHL. All three of his points came in the first two games, but the Flyers fed off of the energy that Frost’s insertion into the lineup brought.
While the powerplay wasn’t significantly impacted, the penalty kill saw a boost in their efficiency. Whether directly related to Frost or not, they went 24 of 28 in those 10 games, for an efficiency rating of 85.7%. Frost may not have seen any time on the penalty kill, but his insertion into the lineup may well have cause a jolt to some of the guys already in the lineup.
That jolt could be felt in the crease as well. Over the span of Frost’s first 10 NHL games, Carter Hart saved 141 of 153 shots, good for a .922 save percentage. His goals against average over that same span was 2.16. Stellar number that are on par with his home stats (.943sv%, 1.63GAA.) Elliott sustained the same level of success in those games as well. He saved 122 of 132 shots on net, good for a .924 save percentage and 2.25 goals against average.
The team as a whole even played better. In those 10 games, the Flyers scored 37 goals, good for 3.7 goals per game. They gave up only 25 goals, 2.5 goals per night on average.
Morgan Frost’s First Stint Total
All in all, Morgan Frost played 18 games in his first stint as a Flyer. All seven of his NHL points (2g, 5a) came during that stint. What stands out is the play of the rest of the team. The Flyers went 11-6-1 during those 18 games, one of the best records of all NHL teams during that stint. Their powerplay went 10 of 54, converting on 18.5% of their chances. Not ideal, but also not putrid like in years past. Their penalty kill was pretty solid as well, killing 46 of 56 (82.1%) opportunities.
Carter Hart continued to impress during Frost’s time with the Flyers. Altogether, he stopped 308 of 336 shots for a .917 save percentage and a 2.37 goals against average. While it’s hard to directly attribute the teams success to Frost’s presence in the lineup, there’s no doubt that the Flyers seemed to play a little better during that span of time.
The Flyers scored 62 goals during the 18 games Frost spent with them from November 19 to December 28. On average, that’s 3.44 goals per game. Their defense gave up 46 goals in that span, averaging 2.56 goals allowed per game.
Morgan Frost & His Second Stint
Frost was sent back down after the December 28 contest against the San Jose Sharks. He spent the next month with Lehigh Valley before being re-called for two games against the Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers. The Flyers won those two games 7-2 and 4-1. Basic math will tell you the Flyers averaged 5.5 goals per game and allowed 1.5 goals per game in those two games. The penalty kill nullified eight of nine attempts by both teams after going six of ten in the three games prior. The powerplay went two of ten, which isn’t fantastic, but absolutely better than nothing.
Elliott saved 25 of 27 shots against Washington, posting a .926 save percentage. Hart stopped 30 of 31 shots, good for a .968 save percentage. Both goaltenders were on their game when Morgan Frost was in the lineup during his second stint especially.
With Morgan Frost in the lineup, the Flyers are 13-6-1 on the season. Even better than that, they’re averaging 4.06 goals per game while allowing 2.72 goals per game with Frost dressing. Hart is playing better, the team seems to be playing better, maybe this is the jolt in the arm the Flyers need to start playing up to expectations in the playoffs.
While Frost isn’t going to be the world beater that he was in the Ontario Hockey League, his teammates seem to rally around his presence in the lineup and that’s something this team needs right now. After the 4-0 loss in game one against the Islanders, the Flyers need to jumpstart their offense, and quick. We saw it when Frost beat Bobrovsky in his first game and Mrazek off the faceoff in his second NHL game.
Frost may be able to bring enough energy to jumpstart a few of the top guns in the Flyers lineup. Whether it be Couturier, Giroux, or Konecny, the Flyers won’t last much longer unless they start getting hot. In order to get hot, things may need to get a little Frosty.
Mandatory Credit – Alex McIntyre/PSN