Flyers Say “Later” To Laviolette

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

Image Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

It didn’t take long for the Philadelphia Flyers to shake things up after an 0-3 start to the 2013-14 NHL season. Head coach Peter Laviolette‘s nearly 4 year tenure in Philly is officially over. It’s highly speculated the man replacing Laviolette is former NHL enforcer, Craig Berube.

The Flyers missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, something that is not an option for the organization this year. Expect more drastic changes if things don’t improve quickly in Philadelphia.

Laviolette coached the Flyers to a Stanley Cup finals appearance in 2010. Since then, the club has struggled to find their way back to the dance, enduring two 2nd round defeats and a playoff no-show.

Much has gone wrong in Philadelphia since the 2010 Stanley Cup finals. The Chris Pronger injury hurt the club’s blue line. It’s amazing how effectively a guy like Pronger can mask deficiencies on a team. Without him, they are not the same.

Everyone knows about the debacle that was goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. The high priced net minder perfectly fit the stereotype enjoyed by almost all who put on the pads for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was bought out this offseason.

The day Bryzgalov was signed the Flyers traded away two of their main players and contributors throughout the 2010 Cup run. Captain Mike Richards and fourty goal scorer Jeff Carter were dealt to the Los Angeles Kings and Columbus Blue Jackets respectively. By season’s end, Carter found his way to the Kings, as well. The former Flyers won a Stanley Cup that year with LA.

The good news is, the Philadelphia Flyers have a very strong forward core, deep in young NHL talents. The bad news is, they play in a tough conference, where wins don’t come easy and one flaw can ruin a team’s chances to make the playoffs, let alone contend for a Stanley Cup. The Flyers are not without flaws.

Their defence is slow footed at times, and prone to mistakes. Plus, Claude Giroux has not regained the form he displayed in 2011-12 – his supporting cast is not doing enough to help him, either.

Goaltenders Steve Mason and Ray Emery combine to form the Flyers puck stopping partnership that to be fair, cannot be blamed for the three losses to open the season. However, for Steve and Ray, it may be a long season if they don’t get more scoring support.

The Flyers have a press conference schedule for 11:00 EST. They will make the announcement official.