After saving the Flyers season, will Scott Gordon be given the full-time Head Coaching role?

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After Dave Hakstol’s firing about two months ago, the Flyers were in influx, just disarray, disorganized, and chaos. Fast forward 24 games later, and the orange and black now look the team most of us thought they would be before the season started.

How did the Flyers right the ship? Well, it’s a combination of things. Oskar Lindblom, Nolan Patrick, JVR and Ivan Provorov have vastly improved. Moreover, the Flyers finally have some Goaltending with the likes of Carter Hart and Anthony Stolarz. Let’s not forget the great coaching that Scott Gordon has done. If the Flyers make a miracle happen and make the playoffs does Scott Gordon deserve to be the next coach of the Flyers?

Gordon came as the Head honcho of the Flyers with his cards stacked against him. Of course, their record was 12-16-4 the day Gordon took over as Head Coach. As of right now, the Flyers are one game above .500 with a record of 25-24-7. Moreover, Gordon has a coaching record of 13-8-3 with a .604 winning percentage. How has he been this successful as a Flyers Head Coach?

 

Special Teams

When Gordon took over as Head Coach of the Flyers. The orange and black’s special teams were dismal. For instance, the Power Play/Power outage was ranked 29th in the League, and the Penalty Kill or lack thereof was ranked 31st in the League. Fast forward two months and the special teams are much better under a Gordon system. The Power Play is ranked 23rd in the League with a success rate of 16.5%, and the Penalty Kill remains a work in progress (But is much better) with a ranking of 28th in the League with a success rate of 76.2%.

To put all this into perspective under Gordon the PP is 16-76 with a rate of 21.1%, and the PK is 54-67 with a rate of 80.5%. Not too shabby if you ask me. Moreover, Gordon had the best-ranked PK in the AHL when he was the Head Coach of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, so the success of the Flyers while being a man down is not too surprising. The Flyers are an aggressive bunch on the PK, finally.

 

Goaltending

It’s no secret that Carter Hart is the real deal. Since his call-up on December 18, 2018, he has nothing short of phenomenal. The kid looks calm, cool, and composed. Hart has solidified the Goaltending demons that have haunted this franchise since President Reagan was in office. He exudes much confidence, and Hart makes his team better, “I mean, he’s been really good,” Couturier says.He’s made some big saves. Like I said, he’s been keeping us in games. Make us believe even if we’re not playing our best. We try to make it as easy as we can on him.”

(He’s like a bolt of Lightning as he flashes across to make the save)

Hart currently owns an 11-6-1 record, a 2.48 GAA, and a .924 Save Percentage. What more could anyone have hoped in his first stint with the orange and black?. However, it’s not all just about Hart. Anthony Stolarz has looked sharp, as well. Stolarz has a shutout, and a .974 Save Percentage in two games after returning from injury.

Yes, we can credit the athleticism of both Stolarz and Hart, as keys for the Flyers recent success at the Goaltending position. However, Gordon has trust in both Goaltenders, and that makes them confident. Confident to perform well, and boy have they ever done that. Credit Gordon for trusting both netminders.

Flyers fans haven’t seen this type of Goaltending since Ron Hextall donned a Flyers Jersey. It’s great, and both Stolie and Hart have been nothing short of phenomenal. Hart and Stolarz compliment each other very well, and they both that make that save. It gives the team in front of them confidence when they might not be at their best. Stolie is 1-0-1, with a .974 Save Percentage under Coach Gordon.

 

Gives The Youth Confidence

Gordon has done a phenomenal job with letting the youth play. Whether it be Oskar Lindblom, Travis Konecny, Mikhail Vorobyev, Carter Hart, Travis Sanheim, Nolan Patrick, and Robert Hagg. Gordon has given confidence to the younger players, and in turn, the youth have given confidence back to the Vets on the team.

Konecny has 5 points in the last 6 games (2g,3a), Lindblom has 7 points in his last 10 games (4g,3a), Sanheim is now paired with Ivan Provorov while playing over 20 minutes a night under Gordon. Moreover, Patrick has 3 points in his last 5 games played (2g, 1a), and Hagg has played positionally sound Defense since Gordon took over the helm.

 

Gives Shoutouts

Gordon is a good coach that knows his team well. He says the right things about his players in his coaches press conference, and it gives them the confidence to succeed at a high level, “Obviously Coots is a 200 foot player and to be a big body, win faceoffs, his reach, his strength, he’s a hard guy to play against down low,” Gordon said following the Flyers 6-2 victory this past Saturday. “Then with Oscar a real good puck management guy, especially down low behind the net, you saw the play he made tonight to I think it was Jake.  Those are the types of plays I’ve seen him make hundreds of times at Lehigh. He’s good defensively, he’s responsible with the puck, positionally he’s always in the right spot. Then you put a guy like Jake in there that with his speed and his creativity, I think they just compliment each other.”

This passionate Coach in Gordon has definitely earned a shot to stick with this organization as a Head Coach for next season. If Gordon rights the ship for the Flyers, and they somehow make it out of the first round of the Playoffs. By all means, Gordon shall remain with the Flyers. Unfortunately, the Flyers have been down this route with Craig Berube when he was tabbed as the Interim Head Coach, and let’s remember how that ended up. I know Gordon and Berube have different coaching styles, but I’m just giving an example.

The problem herein lies a highly touted, well decorated Former Head Coach of Chicago Blackhawks in Joel Quenneville is on the market. If Quenneville indeed agrees to coach the Flyers next season, then I think they should pursue him as the next Head Coach. Coaches like Quenneville come once in a lifetime. This may just be bad timing for a proud, passionate, hockey man that Gordon is, but I’m confident he will end up behind an NHL’s team bench next season as a Head Coach somewhere. Just maybe not with the orange and black.

 

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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