Flyers Weekly Mailbag: Who’s on the hot seat if things don’t improve?

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Geez Louise what’s going on? This young Flyers season has not gone according to plan, at all by any means. I mean injury after injury to key players in different roles. Are you starting to get the vibe that this season wasn’t meant to be? Well, the puck stops there. It’s only ten games into the season, and the time is now for the Flyers to fight back and show the rest of the NHL what their made of.

On paper before the season started, the Flyers were a better team than last year. They were supposed to take the next step in the rebuild. Yea, I know it feels like the rebuild has been going on for decades!!! However, playing .500 hockey won’t work in this town this year. Not after an off-season where the orange and black obtained a Savy sniper in James Van Riemsdyk. This one signing was an indication that the Flyers were all in on the upcoming season. It was an indication to the fans of make it out of the first round of the Playoffs, or the season is a bust. The time is now, the time is now for the real Flyers to start playing some consistent hockey, injuries or not. Without further delay, here are our answers to your questions.

If Dave Hakstol was given the boot today. Head Coach of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms Scott Gordon could be named the interim Head Coach of the orange and black, until the off-season begins. Gordon is really good at developing these prospects. For instance, German Rubtsov was written off by some, but Ruby has 4 goals, and 2 assists in 7 games played.

Possible Coaching Replacements:

Scott Gordon (Interim)

Darryl Sutter

Alain Vigneault

Kris Knoblauch (Interim)

Some Assistants that may fit the bill at year’s end:

Lindy Ruff (Rangers)

Dan Bylsma (Red Wings)

Diesel thanks very much for your support. Without you this site doesn’t exist. God bless you and your family.

Well, that’s what Kris Knoblauch was hired for. He of course is an Assistant Coach, but his primary responsibility is the Power Play Unit. Unfortunately, the Power Play has been stagnant here as of late. Before play began Thursday they had the 20th best PP, with a success rate of 17.6%. This just isn’t good enough as you well know.

Following Thursday’s contest against the Boston Bruins. The orange and black currently own the 23rd best Power Play, with a success rate of 16.2%.  The Flyers have too much talent to be bottom feeders on the Power Play. They must improve fast, or the wheels on the bus will continue to fall.

If Knoblauch can’t manage the ice time effectively, then the ultimate responsibility then lies with Head Coach Dave Hakstol. Let’s be honest this is Hakstol’s team, and he should have the final say of spreading ice time. These units are suffering, so the end all ends with Hakstol.

Nelson thanks a lot for your support. God bless you and your family.

Kris Knoblauch is absolutely a possibility to replace Hakstol in the event he is indeed terminated. At this point all cards should be on the table. I pray that the Flyers right the ship, and Hakstol is able to finish the year. However, in the event things don’t improve, Scott Gordon would be an excellent interim coach. I mean he is grooming the once forgotten German Rubtsov and David Kase into NHL mainstays it appears. Both of these players, along with many other young prospects on the farm are developing quite nicely. Gordon would definitely be of consideration for good reason.

With that being said, I do believe Ron Hextall would leave Gordon on the farm. I think it would be a little much having two new coaches on both teams. Taking Gordon off a successful Lehigh Valley Phantoms squad in the midst of their season could hinder the “future,” with the prospects this season. To me it’s too much of a risk to take during their season. Now at year’s end he deserves more of a look.

Flyers thanks a lot for your support. God bless you and your family my friend. Without you this site doesn’t exist.

It’s mind-boggling, but this is so true, especially for the Penalty Kill. I specifically asked Hakstol this past Monday night following the loss to the Colorado Avalanche, if they would switch to the Attack Style Defense while on the Penalty Kill. Here’s Hakstol’s response:

“You’re not going to pressure the PK in the zone. We made a mistake on the broken play, it’s the third puck coming to the slot and instead of collapsing to the net, our top PK’er stayed out five to eight feet too high, and that’s the difference and that [the puck]  goes in the back of the net.”

Honestly, the attack style Defense for the Penalty Kill should be implemented immediately. It should actually be implemented 5-on-5, as well, but let’s start it with the PK. If the PK continues to suffer, then why not make a change? The sit back style has been going on for years, even well before Hakstol. I just don’t understand it.

The special teams needs to improve asap. Whether that’s moving Patrick up to the TOP PP Unit, or changing the PK up a bit. Something has to be done. There’s no hiding when the numbers are this bad. I did like Hextall’s response on Tuesday during a press conference with the media, “I hope the players are frustrated because if they’re not, we’ve got a problem. We’ve got a problem if they don’t care, and they do care so we know that. They are frustrated. We’re frustrated. We need to handle it the right way and channel it the right way and get back to playing the way we’re capable of playing. You look at our team on paper and we’ve got a pretty good team, but paper doesn’t mean a whole lot. We need to play better.”

At least Hextall acknowledges a problem, now that’s a start. However, it’s ashame when you see solid Goaltending like Thursday night go to waste. Hopefully, the team is able to build off Thursday night’s loss to the Bruins.

Marc thank you so much for your support. God bless you and your family. Without you this site doesn’t exist.

If you would like to see your questions submitted in our weekly mailbag. Just submit your question on our Facebook page or on Twitter using #Flyersmail. Thanks to all the fans for another great mailbag, and Let’s go Flyers. Without your support we wouldn’t be here today.

 

Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

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