It’s a bad time for Flyers fans. After last season we all hoped that, after some good pickups in the offseason and a stunning lack of dumb moves, this season would be a lot more up tempo than last year.
Kind of just the opposite has happened with the season starting with a 1-6 record forcing the firing of (now ex) coach Peter Laviolette. Most of the games have been painful to watch with an overall lack of energy from the team, passes that either overshoot their target or are sent straight to an opposing player, and the inability to keep possession of the puck for more than 10 seconds. The question now is, with the coach already fired, who becomes the Flyers scapegoat? We’re always looking for someone to blame and recently it’s been the offense in general or more accurately how they play together.
The Chemistry is awful! Fans shout as passes fly past their target and scoring doesn’t happen. While there’s no physical evidence we could point to to back this claim up there does seem to be an issue among the lines. All offseason we’ve heard about how well they’re getting along with each other and how well they worked together, but it doesn’t seem like they’re melding very well in any actual games. Then again we did just hear about how terrible the training camp was under Laviolette so should we even believe any of those reassurances?
With Hartnell and Lecavalier both injured, the Flyers called up Tye McGinn who, in 2 games, has scored 3 goals and become the Flyers lead scorer. That kind of makes a case against the Flyers offense. It could be possible that what the Flyers need is new offensive talent possibly in the way of Akeson and Cousins? Obviously some people want to look into that possibility as deeply as possible.
But maybe we just need a little patience. It’s true, the Flyers passing has been basically nonexistent there has been pretty much no offensive threat and they can’t control the puck to save their lives, but we may be overlooking a big new aspect of the Flyers bench.
That’s right we’ve been disregarding Flyers new coach Craig Berube mainly by attributing this team to him. Just because he inherited a mess doesn’t mean he’s continuing it. A new head coach definitely means new coaching style and new strategy, but it will take a lot more than just 3 games to get players to drop old habits.
Even with only 3 games to work with the team, Berube has got the Flyers steadily improving. Over the past few games the passing has improved little by little but not enough to last a whole game. Energy has been up a lot, at least in the 1st periods, and the defense has looked slightly better especially in the case of Erik Gustafsson who logged 23:03 of ice time against Vancouver Tuesday night.
The game against Vancouver was the strongest effort the Flyers have had this season and definitely could have ended in a win. The revelation there is that Berube is working his new system in. Thursday the Flyers go up against the Penguins and after that they have a 6 day break in which Berube will get a real chance to work the team out of their Laviolete fog. Hopefully there will be drastic changes after that break, but regardless, improvement takes time and while it’s not easy waiting for someone to start scoring, maybe what we really need is a little bit of patience.
- Tye McGinn Slowly Sparking the Flyers (thewoodercooler.com)
- Flyers Struggle Early, Fire Laviolette (eveningthescore.wordpress.com)
- Skating shape a priority for Flyers (sacbee.com)