Archive for Peter Laviolette

Carcillo Gets Four Game Suspension; Reaction to Coaching Change Worrisome

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on December 6, 2009 by flyersfan44

Flyers’ winger Dan Carcillo has been suspended by the NHL for four games as the result of an altercation he had with Capitals’ enforcer Matt Bradley during Saturday’s 8-2 debacle. With the score tied at one, Bradley took a run at Carcillo along the boards and appeared to get his stick up. Carcillo, who has a fuse about as long as a candle wick, cross-checked Bradley and then decked him with one punch. Bradley was in the motion of dropping his gloves when Carcillo clocked him, leaving Bradley dazed. Carcillo was hit with a totally unreasonable nine minutes in penalties plus a game misconduct for being quicker to the punch while Bradley got nothing for the high stick or for droppping his gloves. Of course, the Caps blew the game open with three goals on the power play and never looked back.

Carcillo should have had the discipline to skate away after the hit rather than instigating the fight at that moment. He could have picked his spot later in the game. Acquiring players like Carcillo is part of the Flyers problem and part of the reason the players are upset with management. Popular Scotty Upshall was dealt for Carcillo, who really hasn’t shown that he can play. The game has changed – like it or not – and a player like Carcillo comes under the refs’ microscope very quickly. It’s not the 70s anymore and the Flyers’ management needs to recognize that. The team is carrying three fighters – Asham, Cote, and Carcillo. At least Asham can play and they’ve figured out that Cote can’t – he’s been a healthy scratch for most of the season despite injuries to several other forwards. It’s time to dump Carcillo.

The game against the Caps was a total debacle. Little effort, especially from the top guns. The team has not reacted well to the coaching change. This is worrisome. When the Penguins fired Michel Therrien last year, the team turned it around and won the Cup. The difference here – and this is critical – is that unlike the Penguins, the Flyers liked their coach and had not “turned him off” as the Penguins did with Therrien. If this team refuses to play for Laviolette, it will turn into a real mess. Trades will be the only option at that point. It’s still early and it’s only been one game, so let’s see if the team acts like professionals and decides to learn his system and play for him. Give it ten games and we should have an idea.

Players Stunned by News of Stevens’ Firing

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on December 5, 2009 by flyersfan44

According to reports, Flyers players were stunned when informed of John Stevens’ firing. I’m guessing that this is especially true of the younger players like Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, who were coached by Stevens while they were in the AHL with the Phantoms. I’m not sure why they were stunned – they had to realize that the unacceptable effort and lack of urgency with which they were playing wasn’t going to be tolerated for much longer. Losing six of seven, being shut out two games in a row (once by the defense-pitiful Thrashers), and currently being in the middle of the conference and out of the playoffs just begged for a coaching change to be made. More likely, the players are feeling like the party’s over. Time for the young players to get their minds away from the next party and refocus on the game. Laviolette, who has a reputation of being tough on players and not being too tolerant of mistakes and lack of effort, should get the players’ priorities straightened out.

A couple of reports (ESPN and Howard Eskin) have said that captain Mike Richards has relinquished the captaincy to Chris Pronger. This was not indicated at last night’s news conference when GM Paul Holmgren claerly stated that Richards was the captain. However, after Laviolette takes over it is possible that a change in captaincy could occur. I think it should happen. Richards, like Stevens, is a quiet sort who does not (or cannot) get in his teammates’ faces and it is believed that Richards never really wanted the captaincy anyway. Pronger, who has captained several teams and won the Cup, can definitely call people out when necessary. He has stayed out of Richards’ way with regard to the captain’s role, but they might as well make the change in leadership across the board. These players need to be held accountable; it would be best to have both the coach and captain with the same approach.

Flyers host the Capitals tonight at the Wachovia Center – should be an interesting evening.

Flyers Fire John Stevens; Peter Laviolette to Take Over

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on December 4, 2009 by flyersfan44

New Flyers' coach Peter Laviolette

The Flyers announced this afternoon that they have dismissed head coach John Stevens. It appears that his replacement will be Peter Laviolette, to be announced at an 8:00 PM news conference.

As suggested here, the Flyers’ inconsistency and lackadaisical play called for a change in coaches. I like Stevens and think he is a good coach, but he was no longer the right coach for this team. Players appeared to be too comfortable with his calm demeanor and the totally mediocre record with the talent they have became unacceptable.

It is expected that Peter Laviolette, who coached the Carolina Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup championship in 2005-06, will take over. The U.S. born Laviolette coached the New York Islanders for two seasons (2001-02, 2002-03) before being fired and hired by the Hurricanes for the 2003-04 season. After winning the Cup the following season, Laviolette coached the ‘Canes for two more full seasons before being fired in December of 2008.

Laviolette has a reputation as a no-nonsense coach and led the ‘Canes to the Cup with a free-flowing offensive style – two things this Flyers team needs. It was a good move to go outside the organization for someone with whom the players will not be too comfortable.

More to come later.