If you’ve been paying attention to the Flyers at all, you know that right now they’re not looking so good. You also know that this disappointing start
could cost correction DID cost coach Peter Laviolette his job. Even with some big offseason additions, the Flyers still haven’t pulled themselves out of LAST season’s slump which could mean a painful season for the team, Lavy and the fans.
With only 1 goal per game, the Flyers offense looks a lot better on paper than it does on the ice. Players like Matt Read, Wayne Simmonds and even Captain Claude Giroux are struggling to be the offensive threat we know they could be; and that they need to be if this season is going to be any less painful than the last one. In the shortened season the Flyers got off to a bad start and never really recovered, by the way they’ve played their first games this season it doesn’t seem like time off helped. What we’ve seen from the Flyers so far looks like a constant panic, passes are rushed and are almost always sent right to an opposing player. A strange inability to clear the puck from their defensive zone, and very small chance that they’ll stay out for long.
This might just be my own interpretation, but a lot of the Flyers problems seem to be from a lack of puck movement, or the lack of ability to move it. Passes are bad, not on target and so weak they don’t get to the blue line from a face off circle. Why this particular problem is even one the Flyers lineup is having is beyond anything we could guess. It could be anything from lack of chemistry to long shift fatigue. Whatever the reason, it isn’t working.
There is a thin silver lining to this cloud, however thin it is. The first string of that lining is the 2nd line of Lecavalier, Read and Simmonds who have become the Flyers most effective line both at cycling/moving the puck and in scoring (Lecavalier has 1 of the 3 goals this season). Another bit of hope is that on the rare chance that the Flyers actually get into the offensive zone and have control, they manage to do a pretty good job cycling the puck and getting chances. Besides that they’re aggressive when the score is tied at 0, they just can’t seem to capitalize on shots or get in front of rebounds. But for all that puck chasing and aggression, the Flyers just cannot make passes or move up the ice and it’s a huge issue.
Because of the teams overall terrible performance through 2 seasons, Paul Holmgren decided on a “gut feeling” to fire coach Peter Laviolette. The firing was announced via press conference at 11am Monday. Craig Berube was named the new head coach with assistants John Paddock & Ian Laperriere.