The Philadelphia Flyers are 12-15-1 and sit three points out of the No. 8 seed. They’re in a swoon, losing four of five games, and their underachievement has put everyone on the bench and behind the bench on notice.
Which usually means Coach Peter Laviolette should be updating his résumé.
But Flyers GM Paul Holmgren gave his beleaguered coach a vote of confidence on Thursday, as the Flyers prepare for the back end of their home-and-home with the New Jersey Devils.
Which really means Coach Peter Laviolette should be updating his résumé.
From Randy Miller of Flyer Files, Holmgren said of Laviolette:
"I don't like the way we're playing right now, but I don't necessarily blame that on the coach."
(On a coaching change) "I haven't even thought about it. You guys keep asking these questions about the coach and it hasn't even entered my mind"
(On Laviolette being on the hot seat) "I don't think so. I think the coaches ... I think they've done a good job."
Laviolette is signed through 2014-15, and has a 134-88-27 record as Flyers coach. But the fact is that his players aren’t performing -- looking listless and ill-prepared at times -- and rather than blow up the roster (again) it’s easier to just fire the coach.
Not that the players want to see that, mind you.
The Flyers themselves told the media today that the team’s failings aren’t on the coach. From CSN Philly:
“It's not something that we sit here and talk about,” Danny Briere said on Wednesday. “Everybody is aware that we're not where we should be or we haven't played as well as should have in the early part of the season. We're aware of that, but, look, it's a business. I think most teams in our situation, when you're expected to win, are not going to be happy and looking to make change if they can improve.
“It's not any different, but we're not sitting here waiting for something to happen. We're trying to do it ourselves.”
Scott Hartnell says that Laviolette has left no stone unturned in trying to find answers as to why this team plays below expectations.
“Lavy's emotional,” Hartnell said. “He's intense. He thinks the game really well. His bench awareness is great. It's definitely not his fault. I think a lot of guys have a lot of respect for him.”
“A lot of the guys.” And the rest of them?