I liked Lavy when we hired him, but after watching this debacle I think the system needs to change. Most telling fact for me is that we're 0-13 in the last two playoff seasons when we score 3 goals or less.
I'm sick of Washington Capital pond hockey. Are you?
Lavi's system is not really pond hockey. When its working the team can be quite tight defensively. But when you are constantly turning it over and not getting to pucks on the forecheck it's going to come back the other way on you.
For as much as I thought lavi needed to adjust his game plan and failed, what I really saw a lot of in this series was players making an awful lot of poor individual choices. When you play an up tempo drive up the ice style like this team does, there is little room for delayed and poor decisions. The Flyers from top to bottom were slow to make outlet passes and quick to force plays instead of making safe plays like you need to against a bottling team like jersey
My questions about coaching are not about the system but about leadership and about adaptability. Lavy has a good system, and I think we should stick with it (and him) next year, but the FO needs to ask hard questions about his utter inability to change it when it stopped working.
The system (any system) is working if you have correct personnel that executes the system. Flyers did not have neither system, nore personnel, nor execution against Devils.
And I, also, think that Flyers had had some D system during the season- I consider effective forecheck as an effective defese, since you prevent aggressive attack by it, but the team needs a safety net if forecheck fails.
We need to focus on blocking more shots. If you watch a team like the Rangers you'll see they're constantly getting sticks or bodies on the puck. Barely anything makes it through to Lundqvist and when it does, he makes the save.
Our strategy seems to be let Bryz have a clear few of the shot instead of making every effort to block it. Which didn't work out too well.
The system itself isn't what cost us the series, it was the Flyers consistently playing the puck up the boards, especially from behind the net. Jersey utilized quick short passes to get it out of their end or they just flipped it to center. The Devils had a good game plan to take away the Flyers on the boards and they never adjusted. Playing a more defensive system would not have changed that.
Nothing is the sole reason the series was lost. Clearly they missed Meszaros. Giroux's head shot is as dumb a play as you'll see. A number of key players played subpar hockey. The power play was dreadful.
But there's just no getting around the fact that the Devils were better prepared, better coordinated, better disciplined, and better motivated than the Flyers. And that falls on two men: the guy who got it done, and the guy who didn't.
There are 30 teams in the league. One system wins every year, and they're always somewhat different. It doesn't matter what kind of system you play, if you get good matchups, get some lucky breaks, and are healthy you should go far in the playoffs. Also, the Flyers do not play Capitals pond hockey by any stretch of the imagination. Lavy's system has won a cup, and has gotten to the Stanley Cup Finals a second time. There is nothing wrong with the system.
The players were not capable of countering the Devils forecheck. They consistently made the wrong decisions, and were unable to play the puck. Some of that is on the coach, but a lot of it is on the players. The coach should have seen that his players didn't have the ability to handle the forecheck, and done something to help them. However, he cannot think for them, and he cannot play for them.
What happens on the ice is ultimately up to the players. All the coach can do is put them in a position to succeed and help where he can. I don't think he helped them enough, but I'm also not sure it would have mattered with the roster we had.