Generally speaking in Philadelphia, hockey seems to be the least likely topic when discussing your “Philly 4 For 4” teams. In 2017, it was all Doug Pederson and the Philadelphia Eagles reuniting with Nick Foles upon a Superbowl season. Last year, it was the Philadelphia 76ers in a heated series against the Toronto Raptors and the signing of Jimmy Butler. Included last year would be Bryce Harper coming to the Philadelphia Phillies and Gabe Kapler’s carnival. A lot of these topics should take importance, deservingly so.
Right now, the Philadelphia 76ers have yet to win ten games on the road but are elite at home. In football, the Philadelphia Eagles are being forced to make the right offseason moves to be younger and talented at key positions. On the baseball diamond, the Philadelphia Phillies are welcoming a new manager, Joe Girardi. When that identity is painted on a canvas, there are striking similarities between these teams and the topic of Philadelphia Flyers hockey. Alain Vigneault has had to provide a solution for all of these obstacles, undetected to the untrained eye.
Alain Vigneault has arguably become the best coach in the city of Philadelphia. He is a master of making adjustments team to team, game to game, unlike Brett Brown. The Philadelphia Flyers were not a playoff team last season, but are three points out of first place in their division and top five in the NHL. If Joe Girardi can get the Philadelphia Phillies to dominate after the All-Star break into a post-season position, he can compete with Vigneault. Doug Pederson finds ways to win games with undiscovered depth, just like how Vigneault has used the Lehigh Valley Phantoms players to discover some AHL players who are NHL ready when called upon to win games.
Watch the product on the ice at the Wells Fargo Center! That is what the Philadelphia Flyers we have been thirsting for. After a sham of a season, running through eight goaltenders, Carter Hart has captured Philadelphia. Brian Elliott is the veteran goaltender that has won more away games than the Philadelphia 76ers. Do yourself a favor and make a topic of conversation about the Philadelphia team that doesn’t “stink on ice.”
Jokes aside, Brett Brown can learn from Alain Vigneault. When Travis Konecny was on the 97.5 The Fanatic Morning Show, he provided a glowing review of Vigneault. Adversely, the Philadelphia 76ers can’t identify a leader. If Brown wants to understand the psychology of developing leaders, maybe meet with Vigneault for a martini. Konecny’s quote from his appearance on the 97.5 The Fanatic Morning Show is an example of how Vigneault sets expectations for his team:
“We’ve been playing every game like it’s our last one since the beginning of January.” Travis Konecny; 97.5 The Fanatic Morning Show; 2/27/20
In January, the Philadelphia Flyers were fourth in the NHL Metropolitan Division, fighting for a wildcard spot. Who does that remind you of? Right, Doug Pederson and the Philadelphia Eagles as they fought past the Dallas Cowboys to win the NFC East Division in 2019. Now, the Flyers are definitely in a postseason position, greater than the wildcard. The Eagles desperately need an eye for drafting and free agency, which the Flyers are among the best in Philadelphia in that regard.
At the 2019 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles selected JJ Arcega-Whiteside but passed on DK Metcalf, Terry McLaurin, and Hunter Renfrow. All of those other receivers were more useful than Arcega-Whiteside. Orlando Scandrick was also signed in free agency and turned into a Twitter meme. Alain Vigneault was responsible for Kevin Hayes leaving the Winnipeg Jets for the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers scouts find can’t miss prospects and develop, like Travis Konecny, Ivan Provorov, and Carter Hart.
As Joe Girardi is set to debut as the manager for the Philadelphia Phillies this season, a wonderful meeting of two coaching minds could bounce points of success from Alain Vigneault. Girardi has a good track record with the MLB. The same could be said with Vigneault in the NHL with the teams he has coached. Both of these coaches came to Philadelphia well-received. They’re unlike Doug Pederson’s entrance to the Philadelphia Eagles as a coach and unlike Brett Brown’s current image.
During this MLB off-season, the Houston Astros were busted for cheating. Joe Girardi and Alain Vigneault both resemble a coaching brand that holds the players accountable for the failures or successes of the franchise. Girardi and Vigneault effortlessly transcend a “father-figure” energy as a leader. Under Gabe Kapler, the Philadelphia Phillies weren’t led properly. It’s not impossible to envision the Phillies as a playoff team in their first season under Girardi.
The Philadelphia Flyers should be the talk of this city. Excellence comes in Orange and Black this 2019-2020. Alain Vigneault is the secret sauce. Hold a round-table meeting with Brett Brown, Doug Pederson, and Joe Girardi. These four teams have the opportunity to bring a boom to the sporting world of Philadelphia in the next decade under the correct leadership.
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