The man his teammates affectionately called “Chief” during his 17-year NHL career can now put that moniker to good use as he takes over behind the bench of the much-maligned Philadelphia Flyers. Berube, during his playing days, was a rough-and-tumble wrecking ball, not unlike current Flyer Zac Rinaldo (although with much less skill). So, with Peter Laviolette’s unceremonious exit, it begs to question what type of coach will Berube be? And will his promotion be enough to jump start this listless, albeit talented squad?
So far neither GM Paul Holmgren nor Berube have given any indication of what changes the rookie coach has in store- although there will will be several new line combinations. When asked where the club needs improvement, the “Chief” answered:
“First of all, team defense. I don’t think we’re playing well enough without the puck. We need to play a lot better without the puck and I think we need to compete a lot harder… When you play good hockey without the puck, the team comes together and you do the right things to get the puck back and keep the puck out of your net. RIght now, we need to stress that. We need to a better job of that. We need to take pride in it.
And when he was questioned about the lack of scoring, Berube answered:
“When you don’t play well without the puck, you don’t score goals.”
Overall, there’s not much of a track record on how the new coach will do things. He has coached the Phantoms and has been Laviolette’s right-hand hand, which may or may not be a good thing. In the end we will not know how Craig Berube plans on managing the Flyers until we see them in action tonight against the equally inept Florida Panthers. If the club comes out flat like the past three games, then it will be Paul Holmgren’s head next in line on the chopping block.
RIght now Craig Berube is a mystery, which fits right in with the theme of this underachieving Flyers squad.