Flyers Check-In: Kevin Hayes


If there is one player that possesses a direct correlation to the prowess of Alain Vigneault, it’s Kevin Hayes. His debut in Philadelphia alongside his former coach in New York is not a coincidence. Vigneault accepted the head coach role at the beginning of the 2019-2020 season and brought a star with him. By association, the Philadelphia Flyers stole a key pairing from the New York Rangers. Heading into the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs, we caught up with Kevin Hayes on a conference call.

Making a Championship Push

“I think we have two great goalies, Hartsy and Moose. In order for us to win and get our momentum back, we need them to be at the top of their games. So far they’re looking great.”

Kevin Hayes; 7/16/2020

Throughout the quarantine, numerous players were highlighted because of their conditioning. From Ivan Provorov to Jakub Voracek, some Philadelphia Flyers players were able to skate extensively. The questions arise when speaking about goaltenders. Kevin Hayes mentioned that they are looking great a week into training camp. That’s a huge step forward when answering any questions about the Flyers returning to mid-season form.

“I think a major key to winning series and winning games is to have the tightest team.”

Kevin Hayes; 7/16/20

Kevin Hayes has spearheaded the identity of the Philadelphia Flyers locker room being “tight.” The players that have the best chemistry will win. From the 2018-2019 season to the 2019-2020 season, the Flyers have improved drastically. That has everything to do with the synergy from Alain Vigneault through the two-way players like Joel Farabee. Everyone holds each other accountable, specifically in how they approach the playoffs.

“You want to be at your best come that first round. I think those three games that you are going to be playing can only help us get to that point. They’re going to be serious games, but I think it’s going to make sure our systems are in the right spot and everyone knows what they’re doing.”

Kevin Hayes; 7/16/20

Oskar Strong

One event that brought the 2019-2020 Philadelphia Flyers closer together was the response to Oskar Lindblom’s diagnosis. Alain Vigneault went on record to say how proud he is of this team in response to Lindblom’s Ewing’s Sarcoma diagnosis. Kevin Hayes noted how professional Lindblom was after he received his diagnosis. Knowing he was facing his cancer head-on made the rest of his team tougher.

“If anyone on our team was having problems throughout the year, all you had to do was think of what Oskar was going through and your problems became very minuscule compared to his. He’s one of the toughest guys I know.”

Kevin Hayes; 7/16/20

Everybody can learn from the way the Philadelphia Flyers responded to Oskar Lindblom. There is always someone out there who has it worse than you. What defines you is how you overcome obstacles. In Lindblom’s courage and positive attitude, Kevin Hayes notes that he strengthened the locker room.

Relationship with AV

“He clearly knows what he’s doing. I think for him, he needs players that buy into his system, older players that really trust what he’s doing, and he really has to trust those older players to let the younger guys know how things work around here come playoff time.”

Kevin Hayes; 7/16/20

Rightfully so, Kevin Hayes has the utmost faith in Alain Vigneault. He spent time in his system while with the New York Rangers. Hayes already bought into Vigneault’s system, which is a confirmation as to why he followed him to the Philadelphia Flyers. With Hayes’ help, the younger Flyers in the locker room found their groove under Vigneault.

“I think that’s what we have in this locker room between Justin, Nisky, G, Jake, Coots, James, and Moose. AV’s really going to trust us to make sure everybody’s doing the right things on and off the ice in order to give ourselves the best chance to win every time we go on the ice.”

Kevin Hayes; 7/16/20

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