Flyers Faithful asked Sarah Baicker from CSN Philly, Anthony SanFilippo from the DelCo Daily Times, Geoff Detweiler from Broad Street Hockey, and our very own Nina G five questions about the ’11 Flyers’ season. We are very grateful that they took the time to share their opinions and predictions with us. Each day of this week, we will run the answers to one of those questions. Today’s question is:
What will be the effect of a full season under Laviolette?
Sarah Baicker: The Flyers were playing a game of catch-up for much of last year, after Peter Laviolette took over the team’s reigns. That won’t be the case this year. Laviolette has the chance to sculpt his players from start to finish this season, which can only help the Flyers further grasp his systems and become more comfortable with him, with each other and with the brand of hockey that will define this club in 2010-11.
Anthony SanFilippo: Quite simply, the Flyers will be well conditioned. If there’s a staple of a Laviolette coached team is that they are fit, in shape and relentless in their style on the ice. Consider the team that won the Cup in Carolina. There wasn’t a lot of star power there after Eric Staal, and yet they won because they outworked everyone they played.
Now, Laviolette has a more well-balanced team with a fine mixture of skill and grind that, if it gels as it did in last season’s playoffs, will be harder to play against than most any other team in the league.
Also, the Flyers will not grow complacent under Laviolette. If they have a bad game, he’ll make them pay with harder practices and workouts. If they are undisciplined, he will hold them accountable. Gone are the days of coaches coddling the Flyers.
Paul Holmgren wanted a new voice to be heard and he sure as hell got one.
Geoff Detweiler: The biggest effect will probably be that the team plays a more up-tempo style, with an aggressive forecheck for a full season. Last year, the team tried to employ this but wasn’t able to get everyone on the same page until Laviolette changed the game plan in the playoffs. With a full season, the team should be better equipped to employ Laviolette’s system right from the beginning. In addition, the maturation of Dan Carcillo should continue. Hopefully that also leads to a more disciplined team in general, with fewer penalties.
Nina G: I think we’ll see some more consistency. Last season he came in when this team was extremely fragile and had to instill a whole new system with little time to practice. The team now knows what is expected of them and is better conditioned for his system. It should be second nature to them by now. I also think we’ll see him effect the individual development of some players since he has gotten a chance to know them and has more time to work with them. Hopefully we’ll see an impact on discipline as well.