Flyers Coach Tortorella Speaks Out on 2 Notable Healthy Scratches

After making Cam Atkinson and Morgan Frost healthy scratches for Thursday night's game, Philadelphia Flyers head coach John Tortorella wasn’t offering up any explanations, saying only that “they know why”. 

Torts was a little bit more forthcoming (but not much) on Friday, when he stated that, in the case of Atkinson, he just wanted “to see if he responds”, and was inserting him, along with Frost, back into the lineup for Saturday’s game. 

This isn’t a ‘I hate you, you’re never playing again’ type of thing. We just need to get some sort of reaction because (Atkinson's play has been) unacceptable. I’m not gonna go into why and all this, and it’s not just stats. It’s easy to look and see that he hasn’t scored, but there’s so many other things that come into play. 

Atkinson hasn't found the net in the past 22 games. 

To “see if he responds” applies to Frost, as well, said the feisty Flyers bench boss.

When told by the media that Atkinson said he wants to put on a good ‘front’ for the younger guys despite the benching, Tortorella responded in typical Tortorella fashion:

“I don’t care what 'front' it is—I really don’t care. I want them to play the proper way.” He then offered up one more tidbit about Atkinson that shows how much the coach thinks of the 12-year veteran:

“I have too much respect for him to let him continue to go down the road he was going. and it’s not one thing. Coaches don’t bench players for one particular thing. I have too much respect for him and I’m very close with him…I cannot let him go down the road any further, and we’ll see if he can kind of do a U-turn a little bit here and get back on the right road.”

And as for Frost, Torts said he was pleased that he came and asked him for a meeting the morning after to discuss his latest benching. 

Frost, 24, has been considered a trade candidate at points this season, and has 11 points in 27 games while playing just over 15 minutes a night.

After a 23-goal season last year, Atkinson has recorded just eight thus far in 2023-24. He has 18 points in 37 contests.