Flyers head coach Craig Berube expressed that the Flyers need to bring more speed to their game after Tuesday's win, something that was lacking in Friday's loss to Phoenix. (Kevin Durso/Flyerdelphia)
When Craig Berube took the Flyers coaching job on Monday, picked up his first win on Tuesday and contined his preparation for Friday's game against the Coyotes, he preached one thing: speed.
"I just think we need to be a faster team and to be a faster team you’ve got to skate," Berube said. "It takes work. It takes practice. You’ve got to work at it.
"They can get faster. Everybody can get a little quicker."
They were the opposite on Friday in a 2-1 loss to the Coyotes.
I had said on Sunday while watching the Flyers sluggish play turn to the third straight loss to open the season that for a team with a good 12 or 13 players that had been together for the upwards of two or three seasons, they didn't have chemistry. That was even more evident on Friday.
Passes were to no one in particular. Three players would chase the puck instead of one while getting into position. No one followed up the shot. Defensemen were not aggressive to the puck carrier.
Overall, it is not the play that creates a turnaround.
Among the many observations, the Flyers still are not aggressive enough defensively. Mark Streit and Andrej Meszaros created the most problems in their own zone. And while Berube said the play was better in front of Steve Mason, it wasn't close to acceptable, especially when you consider that Phoenix failed to capitalize on many Flyer mistakes.
Offensively, the Flyers are straying from their game. Berube said there was not enough traffic in front of the Phoenix net, something that may have aided goalie Thomas Greiss. With Scott Hartnell absent for most of the night, the most notable player not creating havoc on Greiss was Wayne Simmonds, who seemed to shy away from battling in the slot.
As a team that is going to heavily rely on speed and aggression, the Flyers totally strayed from the physical aspect of the game on Friday. That lack of physicality will only hurt the Flyers moving forward.