Sunday, December 06, 2009

Meet the new boss, same results as the old boss

The Peter Laviolette era in Philadelphia began, much the same way as the John Stevens one did, with a Flyers loss, this time a rather embarrassing little affair by a score of 8-2 at the hands of the Washington Capitals.

The loss was the seventh defeat in eight games and served to highlight just how troubled the Flyers are these days, dropping from those lofty projections of a potential run at the Stanley Cup to the point where just surviving the season to make the playoffs may have to suffice.

The move to dismiss Stevens was the first coaching change of the season in the NHL, but one that wasn't unexpected in Philadelphia, though many followers of the team suggest that it's a case more of team dysfunction than in coaching styles that lay at the root of the Flyers woes.

As has been the case for much of the season, on ice brain cramps again brought down the Flyers, an ongoing theme of this year, where untimely penalties have served to provide the opposition with no shortage of scoring chances, something that was highlighted by Dan Carcillo's first period fight with the Capitals Matt Bradley, Carcillo pretty well levelled Bradley with one punch, before Bradley could drop his gloves, for his rather quick draw he received some 19 minutes in penalties, helping the Capitals begin the scoring onslaught.

It's that kind of lack of discipline that Laviolette hopes to bring to an end, and he'll have his work cut out for him, the Flyers seemingly seeking a return to the Broad Street Bully days lead the league in penalty minutes at 18 minutes per game.

The Flyers made some high profile acquisitions in the off season, with Chris Pronger and Ray Emery joining the squad, yet, despite a pretty good start things have gone downhill pretty fast as the second quarter of the season moved forward.

If they were hoping to impress their new coach with their work ethic they probably didn't reach the objective on Saturday night, if they instead are looking forward to some lengthy bag skates at practice however, Saturday night was probably a text book case of laying the groundwork for some rather tiring practices to come.

Philadelphia Inquirer-- Flyers' organization drifts nowhere
Philadelphia Inquirer-- Laviolette aims to fulfill expectations
Philadelphia Inquirer-- Inside the Flyers: Shame on the players for what happened to Stevens

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