Better With Popcorn

The Flyers Turn-Around Should Put Berube Into Jack Adams Talks

The end of the regular season brings talk of NHL awards. It is easy to know the obvious candidates, but there is always a good case that can be made for a not so obvious potential nominee. 

When it comes to the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year, Craig Berube is that guy who will spark a great conversation of his unexpected worthiness of a nomination or even a win.

Craig Berube took over the head coaching position in Philadelphia on Oct. 7 after the Flyers started the season off 0-3-0 under Peter Laviolette. 

Berube had a slow start in October which led into a mix of good and bad play in November and a great end to December. Unfortunately, January, on the other hand, was a bad month for the Flyers as the team went 6-7-1.

But since the month of February, the Flyers have been a different team. They have become a team with an identity. The Flyers are 12-3-1 going back to Feb. 1. A team that was once looking like it lacked potential and character is looking like a serious threat for any other team to face. 

It is expected that a new coach with a different system of play won’t see results right away. And even the best of teams have down points in the season. Berube had a solid start, and with only January to count as a true downside, he has really turned this team around. 

What Berube has brought to this team is accountability and urgency. The Flyers are now a team that can shake off a bad start, which has resulted in an uncanny ability to come back to win games in the third period. 

There is no giving up. The Flyers were a boring team to watch early on for lack of a better word. The passion and determination was not there. Not only was the team struggling, but it looked to lack heart. 

This goes back to last season as well. It is no coincidence that a team that did not make the playoffs last season started off this season 0-3-0. The same mistakes were there, and the accountability was lacking. 

These mistakes came back in January, which many believed would downplay the role of Berube. But he did something to turn the team around completely in February. It was as if a switch was simply turned on. The players finally bought into Berube’s system and have looked like a different group of players ever since then.  

The Flyers took a four game winning streak into the Olympic break. If that was all the Flyers could muster heading into the break, it could have been considered a fluke. But they have been providing more of the same magic in March with an 8-2-1 record heading into tonight's game against the Rangers. 

It may be that Berube is an intimidating presence who easily receives results. This would be why passion has visibly increased and the team has become more exciting to watch. 

It could also be that his system is less run and gun and more about smart defense and positioning. With no more constant run and gun play, the team has energy left for strong third periods. This would explain being able to come back in games rather than blow leads in the third. 

The passion, style of play, and energy of this group of players have all changed. Those changes can all be traced back to a characteristic of Berube’s coaching style. Berube has not only turned around this current season, but he has come in with a new system and new ways that have fixed issues that plagued the Flyers all of last season as well.

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Alicia Sprenkle
Staff Writer
Twitter: @Activestick_44@TCLFlyers