I am not a alarmist on most items. However I think plenty of time has been giving to John Stevens as the coach of the Flyers. I know that there are lots of injuries, but every team has injuries. Perhaps the injuries are the results of the practice schedule, practice drills, or maybe the training regiment. To me all of these items fall under the perview of the head coach. But the biggest factor in this change would be too many periods were the team is flat and seems to lack effort. It is his job to make sure that the team is ready to play.
Another big issue is the rotation of the lines. I am totally baffled as to why he broke up the pairing of Carter and Hartnell after the season both players had last year together. He seems to go with the idea of loading up 2 lines, instead of spreading the talent across 3 lines. To me Jeff Carter is a guy that needs the puck on his stick and adding Danny Briere to his wing (who wants the puck too is a bad combination). Mike Richards is a guy that needs shooters on his wings and Stevens had Gagne before the injury.
On the defensive side I think that Stevens has gone to loading up 2 pair and forsaking the 3rd pair. The Flyers have 5 quality defensemen and these guys need to be split differently. Coburn and Timonen as a pair does not work well. The defense pairs should be Pronger and Carle, Coburn and Parent, Timonen and Bartulis. This give Coburn a very offensive minded player a steady stay at home partner in Parent. It also lets Timonen play against 3rd and 4th line players to save him physically. This would split the minutes on defense better and not create a bad matchup with Parent and Bartulis out against a top line.
Last year Stevens produced basically a .500 team and with all the talent this year is 13-10. That is not good enough with this roster. I am not reacting to the current standings since the number of games played is still an issue, but the Flyers are approaching gaining only 1 point per game played. They need to be closer to 1.75 points per game played to challenge for home ice in the playoffs. I also point to the end of the season last year and the lackluster efforts that cost the Flyers home ice versus the Penguins.
Homer, make the change!