Peter Laviolette revitalizes career with Flyers

laviolette.jpgLast year, the Pittsburgh Penguins were floundering to the point that it looked like the eventual Stanley Cup champions wouldn’t even make the playoffs. Finally, out of desperation, the team decided to fire coach Michel Therrien in favor of minor league success Dan Bylsma. The rest is now a part of burrito-powered history. Could it be that the Penguins’ cross-state rivals in Philadelphia might be pulling off a similar feat after switching from John Stevens to former Carolina Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette?

Cup or not, it’s clear that the team – and the coach – are going through a serious renaissance. Mike Chen of From the Rink details the bold-thinking coach’s success in the City of Brotherly Love.

But just a year after his demise in Carolina, the coach – who has been a winner at every level – was in Philadelphia building another winner. That’s not to say that everything has been smooth sailing in the City of Brotherly Love, it’s been difficult. Goalie after goalie has been injured. Other players have had a tough time staying in the lineup.

Yet Laviolette is back where he usually is, in the thick of things in the playoffs.

Either the coach has learned to change things up and make adjustments, or the league forgot how to defense his “helter skelter” style of hockey.

… And after one game in the Eastern Conference Finals, his team has been able to do something Washington and Pittsburgh could not do, obliterate Montreal’s trap.

Oddly enough, Laviolette seems to be an argument both for and against the nearly league-wide tendency to fire coaches with reckless abandon. He’s been the victim of itchy trigger fingers and, yet, also a clear beneficiary. Aside from Lindy Ruff in Buffalo and Barry Trotz in Nashville, few coaches have anything resembling job security.

From the looks of things, though, even if Laviolette isn’t the Flyers coach for that long, someone will eventually snap him up and start the strange cycle of success all over again.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
Leave a comment

You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?