• May 27, 2022

Flyers Have Found The Right Coach In Peter Laviolette

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette has accomplished some impressive feats since taking over for John Stevens early in the season.

When Laviolette replaced Stevens, the Flyers looked like they wouldn’t even sniff the playoffs. They were struggling to generate any offense, taking too many bad penalties, and not playing with much pride.

It took some time, but as the season has progressed, Laviolette found ways to get through to this team, and bring out the best in them.

Dan Carcillo is a great example. When Carcillo was traded to the Flyers a year ago, all he brought to the table was some bad penalties and undisciplined play.  However, under Laviolette, Carcillo has become a much more disciplined player and has found ways to contribute on offense. Not that Stevens didn’t see the same faults with Carcillo, but Laviolette was able to get that improvement out of him.

Villie Leino, a cast-off from the Red Wings when the Flyers acquired him, has become a valuable contributor under Laviolette. Leino has found a home in the Flyers regular rotation and on the power play. He controls the puck well and has helped to create scoring chances.

Goalies Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton are both off the scrap heap, yet somehow have performed up to very high standards under Laviolette. Again the credit goes to Laviolette for getting the most from seemingly low level player transactions.

Then there is team management. There isn’t enough that can be said about Laviolette’s ability to keep the team together after being down 0-3 in the series. I give him all the credit in the world for helping to keep his players’  heads up, and never letting them quit, even when faced with 3-0 hole in the first period of Game 7.

Also, consider the amount of adjustments Laviolette has been forced to make with the amount of injuries sustained by the Flyers. There seems to be more casualties after every game, yet Laviolette has been able to plug in his reserves and get good shifts out of them.

Then there is game management. The time out that Laviolette called after falling behind 3-0 will live in sports history as one of the most brilliant ever called. The words of Laviolette will be forever burned in sports history: “Just one goal, just one goal!”.

That timeout led to one of the greatest comebacks in all of sports history. To have the presence of mind, the calmness in the heat of the moment, and the convincing tone to get the team back on track is truly worthy of the highest praise.

I don’t think that this would have been possible under Stevens, or most of the other Flyers coaches from previous years. The Flyers have never shown this level of character and resolve under Stevens or the other coaches. Laviolette is a great fit for this team.

He understands players, game situations, playoff situations, and most of all, he understands remaining calm in the heat of the moment. He has accomplished a great deal in his brief time here and the future is bright for the Flyers with him in charge.

Denny Basens

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8 Comments

  • What’s going on around here? What is with this article? This piece wasn’t written in the first person! There weren‚Äôt any absolutes declared! No absurd analogies! For crying out loud I can’t find a typo!

    Seriously, nicely written article Denny. Looking forward to more from you.

  • If you haven’t noticed, G’s articles’ grammar/typos have improved immensely since the new look began. I give him credit, even if he’s had a proofreader/editor to help out. All of us need somebody in the background to help make us “look good.”

  • Could Laviolette meet with Andy Reid to discuss effective management style? Would love to be a fly on the wall for that interaction!

  • footballfreak – you mean that he could teach Reid how to get one of the last seeds into the playoffs and eek out a few nice playoff wins? Yeah, if Reid could learn how to do that, it would be a big change for the Eagles of recent. Wow, I love the Flyers recent success, but it’s amazing how perception is everything.

  • schiller- apparently you have not tired of Andy Reid’s deer in the headlights facial expressions during critical plays, which reveal his inner panic. As Denny mentions in this article, one of Laviolette’s strengths is “remaining calm in the heat of the moment”. If Reid could manage to emulate only that skill, imagine how many incomprehensible plays would be eliminated.

  • Freak – You are 100% correct that I haven’t tired (in fact I haven’t even seen) Reid’s faces during plays. I don’t have the vision to see his face during plays at the game, and the TV shows the play during the plays, not the coach’s face. So my question is, how do you see Andy’s face during plays!? And why are you watching his face during critical plays, as opposed to the ball? It’s funny, there’s PLENTY of valid criticism for Reid’s coaching, and he’d admit it (he often has), but his demeanor was never one of them. And most Reid haters are calling for Cowher – not exactly ‘remaining calm in the heat of the moment’. And are you suggesting that bad plays on the field for the Eagles happen because of Reid’s facial expressions!? I’m quite confused.

  • His intelligence and awareness of every situation and players mentallity is second to none. But what really brings it all together is his fire/passion and his balls. If wants to say it, he’s going to say it. So happy we got him. Good job Holmgren (love our GM)!

  • Schiller-You’re a little on the hostile side! You are correct that I cannot watch his face during the exact moment of the play, but immediately following. Anyone who can accurately gauge body language can read the distress on his face. Perhaps you should broaden your horizons and realize that people telegraph what they are feeling with expressions as well as words!

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