x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Flyers becoming as known for impatience with coaches as rough-and-tumble play.

Peter Laviolette was fired as Philadelphia Flyers coach just three games into the season, but the sudden move has not improved the team's fortunes.   Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images
Peter Laviolette was fired as Philadelphia Flyers coach just three games into the season, but the sudden move has not improved the team's fortunes. Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers do not fool around. The venerable organisation made the first coaching change of the season just three games in, dismissing Peter Laviolette after three defeats.

How is that working out?

His successor, the former assistant coach and Flyers enforcer Craig Berube, won his debut, then lost his next four games.

The Flyers are known for a couple of characteristics that rarely change. They are generally successful, having reached the playoffs 39 times in 47 seasons.They still revel in their “Broad Street Bullies” legacy of rough-and-tumble play.

Philadelphia are annually among the league leaders in penalty minutes, and even after their rough start they still are third in total “box” time so far this season.

The team has not won a Stanley Cup since 1975, which makes the temperamental owner, Ed Snider, impatient. Laviolette took the Flyers to the Cup finals his first year, in 2010, and into the second round of the play-offs in 2011 and 2012.

But his team missed the post-season last spring. One more losing week this fall was enough to earn him Snider’s autograph on a pink slip. Thus, Berube becomes the 11th coach in 22 seasons for the franchise, which is earning a reputation for one more thing – panicky coaching changes.

Berube is a long-time Flyers company man, as have been most of the team’s coaches. But all that means is that he should know where he stands. Nothing says he can’t be the second coach fired.

sports@thenational.ae