The Canucks were not the only team making coaching changes this morning. The Flyers, coming off a tough 7-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, fired their head coach Alain Vigneault and his assistant Michel Therrien earlier this morning. There were rumblings that this was going to go down. I mean after that loss, the Flyers had lost their last 8 games (0-6-2) and they couldn’t score goals for the life of them. In those 8 they had just 13 goals for and a whopping 37 against. The power play was an absolute disaster, they looked lifeless and messy more often than not, it came to that point of “well something has to be done”. And something was done.
So they ax AV and Therrien then bring in Mike Yeo as interim head coach. Before we all even have time to process that information, a K-9 Unit pup took a shit right on center ice, and for some reason, that just tied this all together in a neat little bow and it had to be mentioned here.
I saw that video and was like “yeah, that tracks”.
Flash forward a couple hours later and in their first game under a new coach, the Flyers lose 7-5 against the Colorado Avalanche. Makes complete sense in my mind, nothing was going to change in the span of like 8 hours, not to mention they were up against the Avalanche who are good. From the JUMP though, this game was a whirlwind.
First, Claude Giroux was playing like a man possessed. I mean look at all the shit he’s had to put up with through the years. From almost winning the Cup to being bottom of the barrel, Claude has been witness to it all with the Flyers. Then flash forward to today; new coach, new chances, all that jazz, he’s sure as hell seen this song and dance before. He goes out there and gets the Flyers up 0-1 just 6:02 into the first.
Sadly, that lead did not last. Colorado came back and scored 4 goals in 6 minutes, from 9:56 to 15:42. Luckily, Oskar Lindblom came in and got his first of the season to make it 4-2. Then Captain Claude swooped in once more with a laser to get the game 4-3 before the end of the first. The look on his face just screamed “we’re not going to go through this shit again, not if I have something to do with it. I’m not doing this again.” He looked like he was gearing up for war and frankly, I’m always here for it.
Despite Giroux’s best efforts, things did not get better after that. The Flyers kept Colorado mostly at bay in the second period, Val Nichushkin did score to get the game 5-3 in favor of Colorado. The Flyers started to get more shots off in this period but they couldn’t get anything tangible on the board.
The third period was goal city again. The Flyers got within one with a goal from Cam Atkinson. Atkinson started this season with turbojets from the gate but since then he’s really slowed down and run out of gas. No matter what hope Atkinson had inspired in us, Nazem Kadri, who has been red hot, scored his 10th goal of the season on the power play just 3 minutes later. Then Tyson Jost piled on and all of a sudden it’s another 7 goals-against game for Philly. Sweet ray of Sunshine Scott Laughton did get a shorthanded goal in the dying minutes to close this game 7-5.
I’m not surprised the Flyers lost but I also do not want to sweep this under the rug of “well it’s a new coach, give them time”. They still looked lost out there at times, Claude seemed to be literally dragging them towards the finish line. They have to find that groove or spark again, that identity that they are so sorely lacking. Who knows, maybe Yeo walks in tomorrow and starts snapping this room into shape. Maybe Flecther will have to step in and make moves to the roster, who knows. All I know is a 9-game losing streak is straight-up embarrassing and change was coming whether anyone liked it or not. All they can do now is focus on regaining control of this season.
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Featured Image: Philadelphia Flyers Twitter