Anyone out there besides me fed up with Coach Laviolette?
This guy was a genius last year when he took over and again in the playoffs. I cannot thank him enough for all he did last year. But last year is over and this year brought nothing but frustration, starting and ending with the man behind the bench.
He started off fine, making the right calls like last year, but now I have no idea what has happened to him. Was he perhaps involved in an accident that stripped him of his ability to think critically and read the game? His most obvious blunder was his handling of Nikolai Zherdev, a player who has recently been reinserted into the lineup only to be perhaps the best and hardest working player out on the ice, begging the question why did he miss 30+ games with no injury or reason whatsoever.
As if that weren't bad enough he chose to play, in my opinion, the worst player in the league in Dan Carcillo.
Carcillo offers no positives to a team unless they are looking to get penalties. For those of you who weren't watching the atrocity that was the Flyers/Senators game on April 5, Carcillo sees the ice for the first time in about a period, only to take a hooking penalty, allowing Spezza to score and make the score 4-2. All but assuring the victory for the Sens, the second time the worst team in the league beat the Flyers this year.
Another obvious mistake Laviolette made this year was telling his players he did not care if they won the President's Trophy for most points in the league. Since that time, this team has played with no heart whatsoever, causing them to lose hold on their first place position they've held for three months, and are now only one point away from losing the Atlantic Division to the hated Penguins. A coach should never tell his players he does not care if they win or lose and as such is solely responsible for the lackluster efforts the Flyers have put out on the ice in the recent weeks. If that weren't bad enough, he hasn't gotten the team up and ready to play the important games, like tonight.
His line changes have also been questionable throughout the year. He seemingly has the inability to put anyone but the fourth line out after a goal for either team, which usually leads to a quick goal by the opponents. He looks as if he lost the ability to read games and situations and make decisions accordingly. He went from the best coach in the NHL to one of the worst. And has taken the Flyers play with him. If he can't figure things out in the next week, don't expect the Flyers to make any noise in the postseason, they'll be swept in the first round and be hitting the links in no time.
So, is it just me, or should the Flyers seriously consider making a coaching change after this season?
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