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Peter Laviolette fired by Flyers; Craig Berube to take over

Peter Laviolette is no longer the head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers. Craig Berube will take his place.

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

It might seem crazy to fire a head coach after just three games, but when those three games are a mirror image of all the problems the playoff-less 2013 Flyers faced, it's clear that this isn't just about a three game stretch.

The Flyers fired Peter Laviolette today. It will be made official at 11 a.m. He will finish third all-time in games coached with the Flyers, only behind Mike Keenan and Fred Shero. He helped the Flyers to a Stanley Cup Final in his first season here, and he coached through perhaps the most dramatic roster overhaul in team history a year later.

There's only so much one coach can do, however, and over the last calendar year, the Flyers have failed to look cohesive. They've failed to play hockey that's up to their talent level, even if we can argue about where that talent level falls on the NHL scale. They have been a hockey team under pressure, and one age old method for releasing that pressure is to let the head coach go. Reset the clock, and do it before it's too late.

It's certainly not too late for the 2013-14 Flyers, who will take the ice Tuesday night against Florida with Craig Berube in charge. But will this change matter? Will it relieve the pressure and turn the Flyers into a looser bunch, or will it just make that pressure grow?

Or is the problem that the team just isn't very good, and it won't matter who stands behind the bench? We'll find out in the next 79 or so games. Might not be the first one of these press conferences we see this season.

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