The Florida Panthers suddenly find themselves innocent bystanders to the feeding frenzy that is the Philadelphia media. Yesterday the Flyers shocked the league when they announced the firing of head coach Peter Laviolette. Laviolette will be replaced by assistant coach Craig Berube who will be making his NHL head coaching debut against none other than the Florida Panthers. The big question is, how will the Flyers players respond to the coaching move? Will they be fired up and angry or will we see the beginnings of a season long implosion?
We will have more on tonight’s game later but for now, let’s start the morning off with a look around the league:
- Here is George Richards of the Miami Herald on the Flyers current coaching situation.
- Some of the strongest reactions to the George Parros incident of last week have come from NHL GM’s. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman thinks its time for the league to look towards eliminating fighting. Yzerman points to the leagues seemingly hypocritical efforts to protect players, “We penalize and suspend players for making contact with the head while checking, in an effort to reduce head injuries, yet we still allow fighting.” Yzerman is not alone in his beliefs as he was backed up by fellow GM’s Ray Shero and Jim Rutherford as well as legendary head coach Scotty Bowman.
- Panther fans have a long standing relationship with misery and defeat so we can sympathize with a team like the Sabres who have had it rough recently.
- Last night I was on The Old Time Hockey Show talking with host Frank Wolf about the Panthers. You can check it out here. The Panthers stuff starts at around 18 minutes but I would recommend checking out the rest of the show as well, its quality stuff.
- Did anyone else catch that Oilers-Devils game last night? What a game! Edmonton was down 3-0 in the third, scored four unanswered to go up 4-3, and then Patrik Elias ties the game up with under a minute to play. The Oilers eventually got the two points and I must say Jordan Eberle and David Perron made Martin Brodeur look silly executing near identical dekes in the shootout.
What do you think about the Flyers? Do you still support fighting in the NHL? Did you stay up to watch that Oilers game? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and follow The Rat Trick on Twitter and like us on Facebook.