WINNIPEG, Manitoba — On March 22, the day after the Flyers kept Morgan Frost on the NHL roster at the trade deadline, thus eliminating his chances of returning to the AHL, Frost stated that the opportunity meant nothing if he didn’t do anything with it. Five weeks later, interim coach Mike Yeo called Frost’s recent play “one of the real positives” in a bad, bad season.
Ahead of the deadline, it was clear to Yeo that Frost’s confidence wasn’t high.
“He probably doubted himself at certain times,” Yeo said. “But he was forced to play through it.”
Between injuries and the players who were shipped out at the trade deadline, the Flyers relied on Frost every night to play an important role at center. They preached that he needed to play a “200-foot game,” and Yeo saw Frost start to embrace that.
“He wants to be on the ice in all situations where I don’t think we saw that quite before,” Yeo said. “It felt like at certain times, he was trying not to make a mistake. Whereas now he wants to go out there and make a difference.”
Frost said the defensive part of his game is probably what has improved the most since then. He got thrown in against top lines and had to take important faceoffs. While it was nerve-wracking in the moment, it’s paid off in the long run by increasing his confidence, Frost said.
“So [I’m] not as nervous going in for D zone draws as I used to be,” Frost said with a grin.
One of the biggest confidence boosters has been the increase in Frost’s production. In the last three games, he’s scored three points. Before that, he hadn’t scored in six games.
“I think just being able to produce, even if it’s just a little bit, can kind of grow that [confidence],” Frost said.
As much as the season has dragged on, Frost isn’t ready for it to finish.
“It’s kind of unfortunate that the season’s ending so soon, because I think I’ve been getting better every game and trying to improve,” Frost said.
Farabee experiment comes to an end
After sitting down and talking with Joel Farabee, Yeo decided it was time for him to return to his natural position on the wing. While Farabee wanted to expand his game by adding center responsibilities and Yeo thought he did well, it felt like time for a reset.
“I think he’s not producing offensively; it’s affected his confidence a little bit,” Yeo said. ”So get him on the wing and maybe see if we can get him feeling good about his game again.”
Farabee is the type of player who puts “immense pressure” on himself, so when things aren’t going well, he takes it hard. That hit to his confidence can then spiral into worse performances as he tries harder and harder to make a difference.
“One play is not going to kind of erase the last couple of weeks,” Yeo said. “You’ve got to kind of build it back and get feeling good about yourself.”
Felix Sandström gets his second start in two games, the first time he’s started back-to-back games, against the Winnipeg Jets with puck drop at 7:30 p.m. ET. Yeo said he’s liked Sandström’s play, but the obvious thing missing in his stats is a win. ... Scott Laughton returns to center with Farabee shifting to the wing. Yeo said that’s someone they know they can trust there. ... The bottom two lines and the defensive pairings remained the same as the previous game.