After weeks of speculation, Flyers fans have received possibly the most uplifting news of the season. Craig Berube has been fired as coach of the Flyers.
The 49-year-old ex Flyers enforcer took over Peter Laviolette in the fourth game of last season and took the Flyers to top three finish in the Metropolitan Division with a 42-27-10 record (94 points). However after losing out to the Rangers early on, the positivity was short lived.
This season, however was a different story entirely. It was one step forward three steps back for the Flyers as they missed out on the playoffs for the second year running and finished sixth in their division (12th overall). The ending record was 33-31-18, 8 points less than the season prior. His two year record stands at 75-58-28.
In the final weeks of the season, the coach seemed very distant in interviews. His replies shorter, his body language showing a lack of passion and his tone sounding bored. It was evident that he was under huge pressure and simply wasn’t delivering, scrapping at ways to improve.
Whilst no one game or action was responsible for Berube’s firing, two words sum it up perfectly. Disappointing and inconsistent.
Don’t believe us? Let this sum it up..
• 10 road wins, the fewest since 1972
• A team average of 2.56 goals a game, worst since 1969-70
• A 3-11 shootout record
• A 27th overall ranking on the penalty kill
• A 29th overall ranking in road penalty killing
• Just three wins among 34 games when trailing after two periods
Not all blame can be placed on Berube’s shoulders though as the team struggled for the second year running with salary cap troubles, leaving them unable to improve on defense and acquire a much needed a scoring winger. The entire back office needs a spring clean perhaps with the exception of Mullen and his Top Five power play units.
Steve mason finished the season third in save percentage (.928) and seventh in goals-against average (2.25) despite winning just two games on the road this season! The proof is in the pudding, there was no goal support for the star goalie and tensions between the two rose naturally as the season endured.
So the main question now is, who’s going to replace him. Detroit’s Mike Babcock is favourite to take over as his contract with the Red wings Expires this season. His unique European coaching style could provide the fuel the Flyers Fire needs!
There’s a revolt and a revolution happening in Broadstreet right now, and it started with the firing of Craig Berube.