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‘Has anybody else jumped to the Fire Hakstol camp?’ Let’s talk about the Flyers coach

The BSH staff got together to talk about Dave Hakstol.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Dallas Stars Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Here at BSH, we have an internal chat room where we talk about the site, fantasy football, happenings around the world, and sometimes hockey, specifically the Flyers. From time to time, we’ll share our chat transcript with you — assuming we actually talk about hockey for more than two minutes at a time without getting distracted.

Today, in the aftermath of Dave Hakstol’s decision to scratch both Shayne Gostisbehere and Travis Konecny for tonight’s game against Montreal, we talked about our opinions of the Flyers coach.

This transcript was lightly edited for clarity, and to remove several incredulous interjections about the current state of affairs in Our Nation’s Capital.


Steph Driver [1:16 PM]: has anyone else jumped to the fire hakstol camp?

Kelly Hinkle [1:17 PM]: I kind of want them to but I don't have any idea who would be better that is available

[1:17]: I didnt like Hitch the first time so no thanks

Steph Driver [1:18 PM]: yeah I agree

[1:18]: but this just isn't fucking working

Kelly Hinkle [1:19 PM]: nope

Brent Gold [1:23 PM]: I want Hax gone, esp if the team puts in another clunker or two

[1:24]: I think he earned a stay of execution before the break by winning three straight- had they lost those games he would have been let go over the break

[1:25]: Just my gut

Travis Hughes [1:25 PM]: i’m not done with hakstol per se, but given the amount of coaching talent currently on the market … idk, i’d think about it

Kurt R. [1:25 PM]: he was not going to get let go over the break

Charlie O'Connor [1:25 PM]: brent I really don't think that's the case, he was in no danger

Kelly Hinkle [1:26 PM]: Bill made a lot of really going points on twitter dot com today

[1:26]: I kind of can't wait for radio this week now

[1:26]: good points

[1:26]: wtf

Charlie O'Connor [1:26 PM]: if the flyers miss the playoffs this year i still wouldn't put the chances over 50% that he gets fired.

Kurt R. [1:26 PM]: firing him then would have been similar to giving him an extension after the winning streak, which would also have been silly

[1:26]: love too make going points

Kelly Hinkle [1:26 PM]: thx

Kurt R. [1:26 PM]: yw honx

Brent Gold [1:26 PM]: Eh.... I wasn't sold on him during the streak either

Charlie O'Connor [1:27 PM]: there's a lot of talk about "systems" when it comes to Hak, but i wonder how many people actually know what that means

Kelly Hinkle [1:27 PM]: i don't think anyone does honestly

Kurt R. [1:27 PM]: (very few)

Charlie O'Connor [1:27 PM]: hahahaha yea

Kurt R. [1:27 PM]: is the system good? --> is the team winning (y/n)

[1:28]: this was the big thing with laviolette

Brent Gold [1:28 PM]: I take systems to mean style of play

Kurt R. [1:28 PM]: everyone assumed his system got stale in 2012-13 when the team stunk

Jow Pergola [1:28 PM]: But what about play drivers

Charlie O'Connor [1:28 PM]: I mean, my thoughts regarding hak's systems are that I really, really like what he has the flyers do in the neutral zone. they generally win the entry battle because they are super aggressive in challenging opposing entries and cut off lots of passes. it's not a passive style

Kurt R. [1:28 PM]: idk, maybe the problem was that the team replaced jagr jvr and carle with fedotenko knuble and lschenn.

Charlie O'Connor [1:28 PM]: i'm far less convinced that their offensive and defensive zone structures are anything special

Jow Pergola [1:28 PM]: Knuble lmao

[1:29]: He was like 48 at that point

Kurt R. [1:29 PM]: and bruno gervais

[1:29]: (should of kept)

Charlie O'Connor [1:29 PM]: they mostly run an aggressive 2-1-2 forecheck, which is good because most of the really good NHL teams do that

Jow Pergola [1:29 PM]: KENT HUSKINS

Charlie O'Connor [1:29 PM]: but once they control the puck, there's way too much low-to-high play and not enough originating from behind the net

Kurt R. [1:29 PM]: bruno gervais, who they signed because he was max talbot's best friend

Brent Gold [1:29 PM]: That ‘13 blue line was an injured mess

[1:30]: I notice that too

Kurt R. [1:30 PM]: remember when oliver lauridsen had like 3 good games and people were all "i think he's a keeper!"

[1:30]: (narrator voice: "he wasn't.")

Jow Pergola [1:30 PM]: Kevin Marshall imo

Brent Gold [1:30 PM]: It's very apparent when watching other teams play

Jow Pergola [1:30 PM]: I saw a Kevin Marshall jersey at the AHL all star game

[1:30]: Like what are you doing with life

Kurt R. [1:30 PM]: severa people are typing

Kelly Hinkle [1:30 PM]: didn't we have a talk about Hakstol's system early on radio?

Charlie O'Connor [1:30 PM]: the defensive zone play is interesting because they actually do a decent job at suppressing shots from the slot. i haven't delved into d-zone coverages yet (summer project!) but it's odd to me that they give up fewer than average scoring chances yet allow so many goals.

Kelly Hinkle [1:31 PM]: I remember stuff about us liking that its an aggressive system that just doesn't yet have the talent to work

[1:31]: but will someday

[1:31]: and then it will be good

[1:31]: I dunno if I believe that anymore

Charlie O'Connor [1:31 PM]: is it just the goalies? or is it that on the relatively infrequent occasions when the team defense screws up, it screws up BAD

Jow Pergola [1:31 PM]: To quote a great philosopher "DAVE HAKSTOL WHAT ARE YOU DOIN"

[1:31]: (Hinkle)

Kurt R. [1:31 PM]: i saw something today that said steve mason has stopped something like 99% of low-danger shots this year

[1:31]: he must just be really shitting the bed on the high-danger ones

Charlie O'Connor [1:32 PM]: basically my underlying point is the neutral zone play is great. but that's not the whole system

Kelly Hinkle [1:32 PM]: Jow I am actually bad, thanks

Kurt R. [1:32 PM]: the point is that if you can't explain a system beyond "it's not working" or "they're playing poorly", you shouldn't try to

Jow Pergola [1:32 PM]: So once they fall back into the d zone they shit the beach, Charlie?

Charlie O'Connor [1:33 PM]: #shitthebeach

Steph Driver [1:33 PM]: @ me next time Kurt

Charlie O'Connor [1:34 PM]: i do think they leave the defensive zone too soon sometimes on exits. and that's partially because the d-men have the green light to jump into the rush more than the average team

Kurt R. [1:34 PM]: lol did i do that

[1:34]: my bad

Travis Hughes [1:34 PM]: lol steph

Kurt R. [1:34 PM]: also, steve mason has the second-worst high-danger save percentage in the NHL

[1:34]: this season

[1:34]: 72.83%

Charlie O'Connor [1:34 PM]: sounds about right

Kurt R. [1:35 PM]: still doesn't answer the question of "is it mason, or are the bad screwups just particularly egregious"

Charlie O'Connor [1:35 PM]: and that's where the question is -- has mason just been really really bad on high-danger shots? or are most of the high-danger shots legit unstoppable

[1:35]: well not most. but a higher percentage than you'd expect

Kurt R. [1:35 PM]: hes been slightly below average in medium-sv and great in low-sv

Brent Gold [1:36 PM]: Inverse hextall

Charlie O'Connor [1:36 PM]: IIRC mason has always been “just decent” in HD sv%. that's why some people in the stat community have questioned the consensus that Mason is actually great because his 5v5 save percentage has been awesome

[1:36]: because HD sv% is more repeatable year-to-year than other locations

[1:36]: problem is, with goalies, nothing really has particularly high y2y repeatability so /shrug

Kelly Hinkle [1:39 PM]: goalies are weird

Charlie O'Connor [1:39 PM]: basically... i don't think hakstol's system is unassailable. but that doesn't mean it's all bad. there are good parts and parts worthy of legitimate skepticism regarding their effectiveness

[1:39]: so often i see people say "i like his systems but his player management is bad"

[1:39]: ...i don't think the systems are perfect either

Kelly Hinkle [1:40 PM]: Charlie, do you think there's been a marked change in the system since the start of the season?

Charlie O'Connor [1:40 PM]: not really

[1:40]: they pretty much do the same stuff

Kurt R. [1:40 PM]: i think that what happened is people saw last year's team, which on paper was pretty eh, make a late run to the playoffs and decided "this system must be good"

Kelly Hinkle [1:40 PM]: that feels right kurt

Kurt R. [1:40 PM]: "because they couldn't be winning all these games and posting good possession numbers otherwise"

Kelly Hinkle [1:41 PM]: Do we think whatever this system is would be actually good with a more talented team?

Charlie O'Connor [1:41 PM]: i mean it would be better

Kelly Hinkle [1:41 PM]: but not because of the system, because there are better players

Charlie O'Connor [1:41 PM]: yeah

[1:42]: i think as long as the shot selection stays the same, 5v5 goal scoring will always be a bit meh

Kelly Hinkle [1:42 PM]: i guess what I'm wondering is, and this is probably a stupid thought, but there some system that could make this team better and Hak just doesn't run it

[1:42]: or is Hak failing because the team is bad

Charlie O'Connor [1:42 PM]: LA runs a similar o-zone system and usually has one, maybe two players over 2.0 5v5 Points/60 every year

[1:43]: they just prevent goals a lot better than PHI has this year

Charlie O'Connor [1:43 PM]: kelly that's an interesting question

Kurt R. [1:43 PM]: interesting how the flyers traded drew doughty to the kings and now they're good

[1:43]: do you think the flyers system would work if they had never traded doughty???

Charlie O'Connor [1:44 PM]: truthfully i don't know. i'd like to see what they could do with different offensive zone tactics. more direct attacking the slot

Kelly Hinkle [1:44 PM]: I'd also like to see what they'd do with an optimized lineup but shrug

slackbot [1:44 PM]: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Charlie O'Connor [1:44 PM]: at the same time, does hak have them playing primarily low-to-high because that's just what he likes? or because he's determined that the team won't score any other way?

Kurt R. [1:45 PM]: so this is where the conversation about Having A Natural Scorer comes back into play, doesn't it

Charlie O'Connor [1:45 PM]: the funny thing is that it's less a natural scorer

Kelly Hinkle [1:45 PM]: flyers need a Scorer

Charlie O'Connor [1:45 PM]: a team filled with "snipers" would prob take a lot of outside shots

Kurt R. [1:47 PM]: trabs we should post this transcript on the web site

Kelly Hinkle [1:47 PM]: cheap content i like it do it

Travis Hughes [1:47 PM]: yeah i like that

Kelly Hinkle [1:48 PM]: Deep Thoughts With The BSH Gang