Kukla's Korner Hockey
“I want players playing hard. I want them running out the door to play the game hard in a system that attacks the puck in all three zones. If you can get a team that works hard, if you can get a team that’s disciplined - not only from the penalty box but disciplined in their life, disciplined in the system that you put in on the ice - if you get a team that cares about each other, there’s nothing that you can’t do. I truly believe that.”
-Peter Laviolette, new Head Coach of the Philadelphia Flyers. More from Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphia Daily News.
via Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
The Flyers have fired John Stevens as head coach. A press conference is scheduled for tonight.
added 5:321pm, from TSN,
TSN has learned that the Carolina Hurricanes have granted the Flyers permission to speak to Peter Laviolette, who is believed to be Stevens’ successor.
Laviolette will make his debut behind the Philadelphia bench on Saturday when the Flyers host the Washington Capitals.
added 6:03pm, TSN has removed this line from their previous post- Laviolette will make his debut behind the Philadelphia bench on Saturday when the Flyers host the Washington Capitals.
added 8:17pm, from the Philadelphia Flyers,
The Philadelphia Flyers announced that they have named Peter Laviolette head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers and relieved John Stevens of his duties, according to club General Manager Paul Holmgren.
“I know this was a very difficult decision for Paul to make. And, I really feel bad for John because he’s been a terrific long-time member of our organization,” said Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider. “I was hoping that the team would play better and that this could have been avoided, but after last night’s game, I think Paul felt he had to make this change. I make it a policy never to overrule my general manager, because once I do, it means I’ve lost confidence in him. I really want to wish John the best.”
“We haven’t that swagger in this dressing room for couple weeks now and it’s showed in our play, in the wins column. We haven’t gotten it done.
“Me personally, I don’t think I had a hit [against Vancouver] and that’s what makes me effective. It frees up some room for Carts [Jeff Carter] and Danny B [Briere] and gets guys going on the bench.
“I got to get ready to go and excuse my language, be pissed early and ready to get out there and do something effective to get guys going.”
-Scott Hartnell of the Philadelphia Flyers. More on the team from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly.
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
The Flyers’ captain wouldn’t reveal what was said behind closed doors after a 10-minute team meeting held minutes after Vancouver handed them a 3-0 loss.
“I don’t think I called [the meeting],” Richards said. “It was just kind of something that happened. Everyone was in the room. It was a good time to get things off your chest. Not just myself, everyone in the locker room.”
With an Islanders win, the Flyers are now tied for 10th place in the Eastern Conference - the farthest they have fallen in the standings since November 2008.
Undoubtedly, part of the discussion in the bowels of the Wachovia Center focused on the team’s scoring woes. Once the league’s most potent offense, scoring at a 3.6 goals-per-game clip, the Flyers have gone eight consecutive periods without a goal.
“This is our team right now. I like our team. We just have to work through it. We have to play better.”
We’re in the third month of the NHL season. The grace period is over. This is too good a team to be sitting out of playoff spot.”
“Right now, we’re at the point where talk is cheap. You’ve got to do what you’ve go to do when the game is on.”
-Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. More on the Flyers from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
from Sarah Baicker of CSNPhilly,
Flyers coach John Stevens has received his share of criticism over the past weeks, as the Flyers have lost five of their last six games, slipping from fifth place in the Eastern Conference to ninth place.
Recently, team captain Mike Richards has been a target for blame, as well. Richards has been called out – especially in fan circles – for what has been interpreted as a passive, quiet style of leadership.
Chris Pronger even chipped in earlier this week, saying Richards needed to “show the rest of the players that (the Flyers are) his team.”
Stevens, however, defended the Flyers’ captain at practice Wednesday, and said that it is important to remember there is more than one way to successfully lead a team.
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN responds to an email question regarding the Flyers,
An NHL executive recently told me the heat is on in Philly, that owner Ed Snider not so subtly warned all his team staff before the season that he expected a big year. Gulp. I think John Stevens is a good coach and I would hate to see him pay the price for a collective disappointment, but methinks if the Flyers don’t soon put together a good run, he might possibly be the first casualty of the coaching fraternity this season. I hope I’m wrong. But this is a team that has Cup aspirations. Sitting ninth in the Eastern Conference on Dec. 1 wasn’t in the cards.
more Q & A from LeBrun…
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Briere has missed the last three games - two because of an NHL-mandated suspension and one because of the flu. He was back at practice yesterday and will return to the lineup Thursday against visiting Vancouver.
His return is welcomed. Without him, the Flyers had a total of four goals in the three games. Briere is second on the team with 10 goals, even though he has played in only 17 of the 24 contests.
“You don’t change a team with one guy, but I hope I can help out in that department. That’s my game, the offensive side,” said Briere, who will try to ignite a power play that has failed in its last nine chances.
“Goals have been tougher to come lately, but there’s always stretches like that in a season,” he said. “You have to try to go back to the basics.
“We put a lot of pucks on net in Atlanta, but maybe [we should be] trying to get around the goalie a little more, trying to screen a little more - get our noses dirty in that area to find loose pucks instead of giving the goalie a chance to see everything.”
vis Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,
Stevens is a classy man who is one of the NHL’s most dedicated coaches, but if the Flyers (13-10-1) are around .500 a month from now, I don’t think he will still be here.
Asked to evaluate Stevens’ job this season, GM Paul Holmgren, who is a staunch supporter of his coach, didn’t exactly give a ringing endorsement Sunday.
“We’re ninth in the conference and I’d like to be in a better position,” he said, “but the coaches are working hard.”
“But it goes back to what I was saying about the players. The results need to be more positive.”
If they’re not, if this team doesn’t show marked improvement in the next month, you’ll probably see a new man behind the bench.
from Chuck Gormley of Flyer Files,
Sooner or later – and many believe it will be sooner – Flyers coach John Stevens will start feeling the heat of the Flyers’ inconsistent play.
After posting an 8-2-1 record in October, the Flyers finished off November with a 1-0 loss in Atlanta, giving them a 4-7-1 record in the month.
They have now lost five of their last six games and have been outsocred 20-12 in that span, falling from sixth in the conference to ninth.
“We’re playing well enough to keep it close, but we’re not getting it to the finish line,” Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger said. “(Saturday) we had too many passengers. We need everyone on the same page for 60 minutes for us to win. Right now, that is costing us games. I’m sure down the road, these points are going to be important.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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