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Craig Berube’s Future

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

So where do the Flyers go from here, and does coach Craig Berube have 15 games left in his tenure?

Barring a miracle, the Flyers will miss the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. They have regressed in their second year under Berube, who is not the most beloved figure in the locker room.

Respected, yes. Beloved, no.

Some of the defensemen are still perturbed at the Blue Line Carousel that has had players yanked in and out of the lineup. Vinny Lecavalier, a center primarily used as a fourth-line right winger when he wasn't a healthy scratch, is fuming at the way he has been handled, and it's fair to wonder why he wasn't given a shot at being the second-line center for a few weeks to try to get him on track.

After Berube replaced the fired Peter Laviolette early last season, the Flyers went 42-27-10 under the new coach's defense-first style, reached the playoffs, and took the eventual Stanley Cup finalist New York Rangers to seven games in the opening round.

This year, the Flyers are 28-26-13, and the biggest indictment of Berube is this: With a playoff spot in sight, the Flyers have lost their last five games against teams that are not in playoff positions: Columbus, Buffalo, Carolina, Toronto, and New Jersey.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Philadelphia Flyers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+berube

Comments

phillyd's avatar

The real issue with the team is that they had strong voices in the locker room from their veteran D of Pronger and Timmonen. As those players left the organization, they’ve lost that voice. I actually think Vinny was brought in to help with that but with him not playing, it’s hard to be that voice in the locker room. Also, while they may have similar styles, from this outsider, I think Babcock doesn’t just mix things up to mix things up. I mean, the Flyers had 3 or 4 different top line combinations Sunday against the Devils. The Flyers’ big issue this season has been inconsistency, but it’s hard to be consistent when the lines and D pairing are different from game to game.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 03/10/15 at 09:02 AM ET

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The Flyers made a bit of a mistake managing their roster. They turned the reigns over to the younger players too soon leaving them very few veteran guys, specifically on offense, to lean on when times/games were tough. They are notoriously inconsistent, something that screams a lack of leadership and/or a coach not capable of making adjustments.

They almost had the opposite approach on defense, leaning TOO much on aging/slow veterans. Timmonen’s lose hurt but there were problems before he was diagnosed.

Finally there is an organizational/development problem. The Flyers haven’t developed decent defensive talent in YEARS. I don’t know their organization well enough to know exactly where the problem lies but a team cannot survive in this day and age if it cannot develop its draft picks.

This mess isn’t all Snow’s or Berube’s fault. Snow will be judged on how he turns things around in coming years. Berube probably deserves the axe after how the team played the last week.

It’s going to take awhile or some good luck to turn this team around with some albatross contracts but they need to start by developing their own defensive talent.

Posted by evileye on 03/10/15 at 09:23 AM ET

phillyd's avatar

Posted by evileye on 03/10/15 at 10:23 AM ET

Flyers GM isn’t Snow, it’s Hextall and our D prospects are really top notch according to those who rate such things. I can’t disagree with the handing things over to young players, although really, some of these guys have 3 or 4 years in the league so is that really young? Hextall has a plan of patience and some of it is treading water until out of the salary cap situation Holmgren put them in.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 03/10/15 at 09:32 AM ET

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Its not Berubes fault if he’s not living up.

It might be at least partially his fault if he isn’t using Levacalier correctly.

Were they wrong in Tampa too?

Wrong regarding what?  In his last few seasons in Tampa he was consistently on a 60+ point pace (per 82 games).  Last year he was on a 43-point pace and this year he’s on a 30-point pace mostly playing on the fourth line.

Part of it could certainly be an older player slowing down, or just not playing well, but part of it could definitely be chalked up to usage.

Philly certainly didn’t give him a five-year, $22.5M contract to have him play fourth line wing.

Posted by Garth on 03/10/15 at 01:43 PM ET

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Flyers GM isn’t Snow, it’s Hextall and our D prospects are really top notch according to those who rate such things. I can’t disagree with the handing things over to young players, although really, some of these guys have 3 or 4 years in the league so is that really young? Hextall has a plan of patience and some of it is treading water until out of the salary cap situation Holmgren put them in.

My apologies. I knew that Hextall was the GM, somehow my brain got mixed up with all the multitasking today.

I agree that the Flyers have good D prospects. I speaking more about their history of failure when it comes to getting their defensive draft picks to perform at an NHL level. Hopefully they have turned a corner but if I remember correctly, they haven’t drafted and developed an All-Star defensemen in 40 years. That’s a lot of failure.

I see 3 to 4 year players as still pretty young. Yes, at that point they should start to take on more leadership roles but there still needs guidance from those who have been around even longer. Normally I think Stanley Cup experience is a bit overrated but it seems like this team could use some.

Vinny was supposed to fill that role. It’s why they tried to get Cleary to Philly. It’s why they shouldn’t have allowed Jagr to leave.

It’ll be interesting to see how they try to remold the roster over the summer. The moves they don’t make will be just as important as the ones they do.

Posted by evileye on 03/10/15 at 06:03 PM ET

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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.

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