Remember how magical his timeouts were last year? It seemed that every single time Lavy called for one, we’d come out and do something special. This year, well…
Generally, a timeout serves two purposes: 1) Give players a rest during a crucial part of the game; 2) Prevent a team from free falling by giving them a bit of a pep-talk or changing strategy a bit. When Lavy took over last year, he used his timeouts very effectively. He timed them perfectly, never waiting until late in the third period if he felt we needed a boost in the first. Even before that Boston game in the video above, a few games turned in the Flyers favor after timeouts.
This year, I remember maybe one timeout that changed a game. I don’t remember the opponent, but I remember it being called right before a faceoff in our own zone. The Flyers won the draw, Briere rushed the other way, and Carter finished the play off with a goal. I think that goal either gave us a lead or a 2 goal cushion in the middle of the third period. Other than that, we’ve seen Lavy call timeout, followed by no magic. JJ and Jonesy mention something every time, building up our anticipation, and then nothing happens.
Basically, this leads to a bigger question: Has Lavy already lost the interest of his players? The early part of the season a coach has to get players to use a system correctly. At a certain point, there’s not a lot of teaching. You might review a few things here and there, maybe tinker and change some things. But for the most part, players learn what they have to do, and the second part of a season the coach has to motivate. I’m not putting the blame on Lavy here; it’s up to the players. Usually it takes a few years for players to tune a coach out. Have we seen it happen already, so quickly? Maybe, maybe not.
I think the players have faith in his system, because they saw instant results when he took over. The wins didn’t come right away, but the team played a lot better. They just need do something, anything, EVERYTHING that it takes to get them playing hard again. But if their heads are too big, if they think they know everything, well, then we’re completely screwed.
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