Phil Sheridan credits Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock with the Flyers huge 6-2 win last night.
Specifically, he credits Hitchcock’s insulating John LeClair from the media’s criticism and putting Sami Kapanen, my favorite Flyer, back on the blue line, where he’s spent some time on and off during the playoffs.
Hitchcock certainly did a fine job keeping his team focused, but the Flyers win seemed to have a lot more to do with what was (or wasn’t) going on in goalie Nikolai Khabibulin’s head. The Flyers didn’t have an innovative look — Khabibulin just didn’t bring his best game. Last season when that happened, John Grahame ended up starting for the Bolts. I’m curious if coach John Tortorella will bring Grahame out a little sooner this time, either hoping to heat Grahame up or piss off Khabibulin enough to get his edge back.