It’s an argument that’s been around since the beginning of sports. The “blame game” is one that can range from a general manager of an organization all the way down to its team trainer. We’ve all heard the cases trying to be made; “he has no offensive support” or “the coach isn’t being hard enough on these guys.” The list goes on and on.
An argument could be made, however, for coaches being the ones to blame when it comes to hockey. After all, coming into this season, there were a total of eight coaching changes in the NHL. Two have also been made mid-season racking up the total to 10. Only the NBA saw more coaching changes in the last year than the NHL (13).
One man who is blameless thus far in the season is Philadelphia Flyers head coach Craig Berube. He has brought life back into his squad and is well on his way to earning a contract extension.
Berube’s knowledge of the game, especially from a coaching aspect, is irreplaceable. After spending a few years on the bench as an assistant coach, Berube was finally brought to the throne after the Flyers parted ways with former coach Peter Laviolette when he got off to an alarming 0-3 start this season.
Berube is already off to a better start than Laviolette had. In his debut, Berube helped lead the way to a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers. Laviolette, on the other hand, he got smacked around in his Flyers debut, losing to the Washington Capitals by a score of 8-2.
In 62 games, Berube has compiled a 33-22-7 record as the man in charge. That record is good enough for a .532 win percentage. The last time a Flyers head coach had that good of a win percentage in his debut season was 2002. Ken Hitchcock was the head honcho at that time.
Berube has done a nice job utilizing the players and their abilities to figure out the best line situations. As long as he doesn’t absolutely fall flat on his face and miss the playoffs, he pretty much guarantees himself a new contract.