With 41 games down in the 2015-16 Philadelphia Flyers season, it's a good time to sit down and assess the performance of the team as whole. To that end, the writers at Broad Street Hockey bring you a roundtable discussion, as we provide our opinions on the key topics from the season's first half.
Over the next two days, we will break down and answer four specific questions. Participating in the roundtable are myself, Travis Hughes, Kurt R., Al K., Brent G., Mary Clarke, Kelly Hinkle, Collin Mehalick, Ryan Gilbert, Allison J., Kevin Christmann, and Andrew D.
First, we analyze the performance of first-year NHL coach Dave Hakstol.
After 41 games, what letter grade (College!) would you give first-year NHL coach Dave Hakstol and why?
Travis Hughes: B
I think he's been solid, and a clear improvement over Craig Berube from a year ago. He hasn't been perfect, there's not a ton to work with here, and a lot has quietly gone wrong this year. But that they're in the playoff race is impressive.
Look at how poor this team is scoring so far, especially from the bottom-six, and look at the personnel on the blue line. Add that the special teams have been shit so far and it's not hard to imagine the Flyers as a bottom-five team. And yet somehow, they're playing pretty solid at even strength -- the goal differential is only negative-three and they're a positive possession team (barely but they are!). I think that has to be attributed in part to Hakstol.
Al K: B
To me, Hakstol has earned himself a solid B. We all knew going into this season that despite the coaching change, this team was going to be mediocre at best. I think Hakstol is delivering pretty much exactly what I expected. I maybe would be willing to give him a B+ if it weren’t for the Jake Voracek experiments and the seeming obsession with Nick Schultz, but what can you do?