The hot seat has not cooled much for Philadelphia Flyers coach Craig Berube during the team’s West Coast trip.
Already on probable thin ice before heading to California for three games, the players have not made life easier for him after surrendering a goal in the last minute in a 2-1 loss to San Jose on Tuesday and then squandering a 3-1 lead in a 5-4 shootout loss the next night in Anaheim.
Heading into the final game of the road swing in L.A. on Saturday, the Flyers are 1-8-2, including 0-4-2 in their last six games. It’s enough to wonder if GM Ron Hextall is mulling a change behind the bench.
With that in mind, we’ve come up with three reasons Berube should stay, and three he should go.
Fire Craig Berube
1. Same roster, different results
Aside from a few alterations, this is basically the same team Berube had last season. It’s the same one that recovered from a franchise-worst 1-7 start to finish an impressive 42-30-10 with 94 points and in third place in the Metropolitan Division. Berube has failed to get at least the same output from the same players.
2.He’s been prettyimpatient
Quick to pull the trigger on changing lines this season, Berube’s impatience has not allowed players to develop any chemistry with one another on the top three lines. It has led to a stagnant and sometimes invisible offense.
3.Change for the sakeof change
Even if it’s not the coach’s fault, sometimes change is needed. It harkens back to the old sports cliché of you can’t fire 20 players but you can fire the coach. That mantra could apply here.
cliché of you can’t fire 20 players but you can fire the coach. That mantra could apply here.
Don’t fire Craig Berube
1.It’s not his fault
It’s the players who are not executing. Berube isn’t the one turning the puck over on defense or failing to score. A vote of confidence from Hextall would put more of the onus on the players.
2.The GM made themistakes, not thehead coach
This isn’t Berube’s mess. Former GM Paul Holmgrenn, who was promoted to President in the summer, provided Berube with a slow defense and overpaid forwards that have forgotten how to score (yeah, we’re looking at you R.J. Umberger, Matt Read and Vinny Lecavalier).
3.Berube deservesmore time
As stated above, Berube proved he can win with this flawed roster. Give him another couple of months to right the ship. If he can’t, then let him go, promote an assistant to interim coach and hire a new head coach when the summer arrives.