It’s about time! I agree on the decision to remove Stevens as the head coach. He was virtually mute in the dressing room and locker room. He said the same thing daily after a win and a loss. I am not inside the locker room, but I am positive by the reaction of the team on the ice, that the players felt the same way.
I am not a huge fan of Laviolette, but he does come with a ring. He is also a guy with a reputation for motivating players and that definitely needed with this team. He rips players for taking bad penalties, he adjusts the ice time of players that don’t play with the team’s benefit in mind, and he also expects players to take the body consistently. All of these things sound like items the Flyers fans will love.
I disagree with the timing of the move. During this season the Flyers have had numerous long breaks that would have been perfect to change coaches and give the new coach a few days to implement a new system. Now the team should play very inspired tonight in front of a rabid fan base and the Caps are showing up without the best player in the NHL, since Ovechkin is serving the 2nd game of his suspension. However, with no practices before Laviolette’s debut, players will make mistakes and become judged by the mistakes they make. Not a great way to start.
This might be the first move that Holmgren has made that I have not agreed with 100%. I will hold my judgment for a few games and I really hope that the super-talented team that Holmgren has assembled starts to play like the deep team they are. I know that there have been injuries to the Flyers up front, but they are still as deep as most teams up front and much deeper on defense than any team in the league. Steven’s had created a basically .500 team over the last season and a half. His system spread the forwards and defense too far apart. They were always looking for the homerun pass and this created turnovers. Stevens also had a penchant for creating lines in a pattern that loads up and creates weak 3rd and 4th lines and 3rd defense pairs.