In the last edition of Philly Sports Network’s “Flyers Check-In,” we caught up with Carter Hart. Yesterday, Philadelphia Flyers’ head coach Alain Vigneault was featured on a conference call during the pause of the 2019-2020 NHL season. Vigneault is one of the most successful coaches actively coaching in the NHL. He’s a mastermind at game planning and his connection with the organization makes him arguably the best coach in Philadelphia. Here’s what we took away from checking in with Vigneault:
Alain Vigneault was enjoying Florida when he had to return to Canada to quarantine. His friends and family are in Gatineau, Canada. At the beginning of April is when Vigneault drove back home. While there with his friends and family, Vigneault has remained busy throughout his quarantine.
“You talk to people. If you can help, you help in any shape possible. We’re all staying at home and trying to do the right things not to spread the virus. If we can help in any other way, that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”Alain Vigneault; 4/29/2020
His girlfriend is an emergency nurse in Gatineau at Ottawa Hospital and his sister works for Quebec Health. While people close to Alain Vigneault have been on the front lines to flatten the curve of COVID19, “AV” has been finding his lane to help. The “Flyers Phone Linemates” program is one of the ways Vigneault was able to give back to the community through the organization. It’s an open line of communication for anyone. It’s important to Vigneault because his parents, in their mid-eighties, have been in a senior residence since the beginning of the pandemic.
“I believe that if we get a good two weeks, we’ll be fine. Everybody will be in the same position. We’ll be out for the same amount of time. We’ll be like everybody else. My staff has a lot of experience. This is obviously something different, but we have a lot of experience.”Alain Vigneault; 4/29/2020
There have been lines of communication between Alain Vigneault and Chuck Fletcher weekly about the information they’re receiving from the NHL. Gary Bettman gave a timetable of three weeks, but the common answer between the Philadelphia Flyers players and Vigneault has been two weeks. Sports are a part of the process of gaining some kind of normality. When there is a confirmation that the NHL is ready to return, the Flyers will be ready.
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One of the things that makes Alain Vigneault an exemplary head coach is transparent communication. He’s monitoring the conditioning of the Philadelphia Flyers players through Chris Osmond and Dan Warnke (Flyers Strength and Conditioning.) Everything Vigneault has heard back from his Strength and Conditioning staff has been positive as far as following COVID19 guidelines and committing to the workout programs. “AV” also provided a comment about two hot-topics: Nolan Patrick and Oskar Lindblom.
“My understanding is that he is working out. Just like Oskar is working out. His treatments are going well. I’m texting him more on a regular basis in the beginning.”Alain Vigneault; 4/29/2020
Nolan Patrick is continuing to work out with Philadelphia Flyers training programs and Alain Vigneault is in routine contact with Oskar Lindblom, who is finishing his final Ewing’s Sarcoma treatments. It’s comforting to confirm this directly from Vigneault. Those two players have served as motivation for the Flyers to play their best hockey.
“With the world being put on pause and with what people are going through right now, we can help them by doing the best job that we can as far as playing on the ice.”Alain Vigneault; 4/29/2020
Excellence and constant improvement are what will be accepted by Alain Vigneault once the NHL season continues. The Philadelphia Flyers have played with pride all season long and that sense of awareness is heightened. During this pause, the Flyers have had the time to recollect just how well they were playing and how to continue that trend.
“Teams have to continue to improve during the season. You have to get better. I believe that’s what we were doing in all aspects of our game, our five-on-five play, our special teams play, our defensive play and offensive play. We were getting better individually and getting better as a group. That enables you to get a chance, to get into the playoffs and have a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup.”Alain Vigneault; 4/29/2020
It’s a simple philosophy to be successful. Alain Vigneault is every bit as confident that the Philadelphia Flyers can continue to push towards the mutual goal: raising the Stanley Cup.
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