Peter Laviolette is settling into his new job as head coach of the Flyers and he already seems to be feeling the pressure of coaching a team that on paper should be very successful, but in reality is having some problems.
Witness Sunday’s practice, as reported by Tim Panaccio:
The Flyers did so many drills that Danny Briere admitted he couldn’t remember some of them to differentiate between them for a reporter.
It was a crash course in “Lavvy Hockey,” as the Flyers prep for the Canadiens on Monday night in Montreal.
He’s throwing a lot of information at a team that might be better served focusing less on system issues and more on effort and decision-making.
The funny thing is, Laviolette seems to realize he shouldn’t overload an unsteady team with too much information. Again from Panaccio:
Laviolette said he didn’t want to snowball the team with too much at this first practice and then have them freeze.”
“There’s a lot of things that will remain the same,” he said. We tried to change a little bit today, and we’ll change a little bit [Sunday] and just try to create the identity I want to create.”
Obviously, Laviolette’s coaching didn’t help much in a brutal loss to the Caps this weekend. We’ll see if the coach settles down and focuses on correcting the correctable, rather than trying to re-imagine the team in the middle of the season. It’s normal for a new coach to want to help his team right away, but Laviolette might want to think in term of baby steps. If he can just get the Flyers penalties under control, something previous coach John Stevens really seemed to have no interest in, things will improve for Philadelphia.