April 4, 2014 |
ST. LOUIS - Ken Hitchcock can still remember the first time he got a glimpse of Craig Berube. It was the summer of 1984. Berube arrived in Kamloops, British Columbia, for a camp before the start of the Western Hockey League season - Hitchcock's first year as a big-time junior coach. Berube, then 18, had just wrapped up a 104-penalty-minute campaign with the New Westminster Bruins of the same league. Some 30 years gone, the sight still haunts Hitchcock. "He got off this bus from Williams Lake with the toughest group of guys I've ever seen," Hitchcock said.
March 23, 2014 |
Ken Hitchcock coaches the NHL's best team, the St. Louis Blues, but he is leery of his surging opponent in Saturday's matinee at the Wells Fargo Center. To Hitchcock, the Flyers are going to be an ultra-dangerous team when the playoffs roll around. "If I was in the East, I'd be really nervous to play them," Hitchcock, who coached the Flyers for three-plus seasons before being fired early in 2006-07, said in a phone interview from St. Louis on Friday. "They look like a team right now that not only has a lot of resolve, but they are fully committed to checking - and that's the coach who has gotten that out of them.
November 22, 2013 |
Funny thing about hockey. The right coach for today's team is not necessarily the right coach for tomorrow's team. Or yesterday's team. Not so long ago, Ken Hitchcock led the Flyers on a long playoff run, reaching the seventh game of the conference finals. He did so by molding an offense-oriented team into one more defensively responsible, but just a couple seasons later, that system collapsed amid an early playoff exit and some lopsided early season losses, the ugliest a 9-1 demolition to last night's opponent, the Buffalo Sabres.
October 9, 2013 |
ED SNIDER has seen a lot since founding the Flyers 47 years ago, but he said he never saw a training camp as bad as the most recent one. And it's a big reason why Peter Laviolette is now the team's ex-coach after just three regular-season games. As the news outlets gathered to chronicle Laviolette's firing and the promotion of Craig Berube to head coach, Snider wanted to make one thing very, very certain: This decision was made exclusively by his general manager. "Paul Holmgren did it. Paul Holmgren is the general manager," the Flyers chairman said emphatically.
May 8, 2013 |
'OUR FANS love the game and know we're trying hard every year to get better. Fans aren't stupid. They know when an organization is doing everything possible and when it's not. They probably wouldn't support us if we weren't working our butts off. " These are the words of 80-year-old Ed Snider to the Inquirer and Philly.com last week, spoken from the heart as always. Whether it's the fat deal he gave Chris Pronger or the one he gave Ilya Bryzgalov 2 summers ago, Ed always has backed that heart with his checkbook, and for that he escapes much of the vitriol that fans express toward ownership of our more recent champions, such as the current Phillies.
March 28, 2013 |
IN SUNDAY'S overtime loss to Pittsburgh, coach Peter Laviolette liked what he saw in the Flyers' defensive zone, but said "it could be better. " On Tuesday night, it got worse. Perhaps the only way to cure what ails the Flyers - the same thing that has been their downfall all season: downright bad defense - is by beefing up the blue line. Last week, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren and director of hockey ops Chris Pryor created buzz in their native Minnesota by scouting both the WCHA's Final Five tournament and the Wild's home game against San Jose.
February 28, 2013 |
THE FLYERS have never been confused as a patient, let's play-our-way-out-of-it franchise. Paul Holmgren's hands were tied Tuesday. Matt Read is on the shelf for another 5 weeks with torn rib muscles. Tye McGinn will miss at least the next 2 weeks with a fractured orbital bone, suffered on Monday. Simon Gagne, obtained Tuesday in a trade with Los Angeles, is not a permanent fix. He is a player who, when healthy, may be better than even the Flyers are expecting. He will provide a temporary stopgap in Peter Laviolette's lineup.
April 25, 2012 |
SIFTING THROUGH the charred remains of his team's season on Tuesday afternoon, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero - the son of the only man to ever coach the Flyers to a Stanley Cup - was asked about his cross-state rival and the battles that loom in coming years. "They're not going anywhere," Shero said of the Flyers. For Shero, it was an outward tip of the cap to Paul Holmgren, who was somehow left off the list of finalists for General Manager of the Year, as announced by the league on Tuesday.
March 18, 2012 |
BOSTON - After struggling at home for most of the season, the Flyers have finally discovered how to win at the Wells Fargo Center. "It's tough to lose a game," veteran winger Jaromir Jagr cracked, "if you don't give up any goals. " Entering Sunday afternoon's highly anticipated matchup against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins, the Flyers have won four straight at home for the first time this season. They have allowed a total of five goals in those four wins, and Ilya Bryzgalov has shutouts in the last two home victories.
November 8, 2011 |
It happened quickly. The St. Louis Blues changed coaches after only 13 games. Now Ken Hitchcock is in charge, an experienced hand who says he knows how to get the most out of players. Yesterday, hours after his introductory news conference as the successor to Davis Payne, Hitchcock was on the bench for his first practice with a team that's off to a stumbling 6-7-0 start. His first game is tonight, at home against Chicago. Hitchcock said he plans no major changes, inheriting a staff and style of play, but will expect more consistency.