Oct 10, 2013, 4:59 PM EDT
When Craig Berube took over as head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday, he vowed to focus first and foremost on “team defense.”
“We need to play better without the puck,” Berube said. “When you play good hockey without the puck, the team comes together and does the right things to get the puck back and to keep the puck out of your net.”
The next day, the Flyers beat the Panthers, 2-1, to earn their first win of the season.
Granted, it was hardly a picture-perfect defensive performance, as Florida still managed to get 34 shots on Steve Mason, who was rightly honored as the game’s first star.
But hey, these things take time.
Today, Mason offered his support for Berube’s commitment to an improved defense, even if others are focused more on the offensive woes of star forwards like Claude Giroux.
“That’s the ultimate goal,” Mason said, per Philly.com. “We’re trying to clean things up and make sure our in-zone plays are more calm and less scrambly than in the first few games and obviously in preseason. I think everybody felt that we were running around, and when you’re doing that, things become a lot more difficult.”
On that note, we wonder what Ilya Bryzgalov thinks of Berube’s strategy. You may remember back in June when Bryzgalov’s agent, Ritch Winter, went on the radio and ripped the Flyers’ defensive system under former head coach Peter Laviolette.
Wow. Winter ANNIHILATES system in Philly. Says it's brutal for goalies. No clear lanes, can't see the puck, goalie coach no authority etc.—
Dan Tencer (@dantencer) June 26, 2013
Apr 17, 2014, 8:49 PM EDT
Perhaps 23 goals in three games didn’t hurt, either.
Apr 17, 2014, 7:55 PM EDT
He calls it … The ‘Steeglemore.
Apr 17, 2014, 7:40 PM EDT
Somehow a first-round matchup.
Apr 17, 2014, 6:51 PM EDT
Their first playoff series since 1997.
Apr 17, 2014, 6:36 PM EDT
He didn’t skate on Thursday.
Apr 17, 2014, 5:48 PM EDT
After twice serving as an assistant.
Apr 17, 2014, 4:49 PM EDT
Head coach Todd McLellan took his time announcing this one, though.
Apr 17, 2014, 4:26 PM EDT
Meanwhile, no word on Torts.
Apr 17, 2014, 4:25 PM EDT
Oh, this should be good.
Apr 17, 2014, 3:19 PM EDT
Not great developments on the injury front.
Apr 17, 2014, 3:12 PM EDT
“The quicker you get the puck off your stick, the more net there is to shoot.”
Apr 17, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT
Two teams meeting for the third time in the playoffs.
Apr 17, 2014, 2:08 PM EDT
Just in case you don’t recognize them tonight.
Apr 17, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT
“You definitely want to be physical on him.”
Apr 17, 2014, 12:41 PM EDT
Game 1 gets underway at Scottrade at 8 p.m. ET (on NBCSN).
Apr 17, 2014, 11:57 AM EDT
Classic rivalry will get underway tonight at Scottrade.
Apr 17, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT
Even though they’re not really underdogs.
Apr 17, 2014, 11:44 AM EDT
Apr 17, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT
Both teams bounced back from bad starts to make the playoffs.
Apr 17, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT
Matt Duchene is already on the shelf.
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