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The Philadelphia Flyers Have A Dave Hakstol Problem

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Before we even get going here, let me just make something clear. I realize that Dave Hakstol is not the only reason why this series is 2-1 right now in favor of Pittsburgh. I fully understand that Claude Giroux needs to pick up his game and find the back of the net if this team is going to succeed in the playoffs. I fully understand that Wayne Simmonds has been borderline irrelevant at best this series (albeit playing through obvious injuries). I know that playing in front of Brian Elliott probably doesn’t instill a ton of confidence in this group considering you never know what you’re going to get out of him between the pipes. I know this all and in no way am I saying that Dave Hakstol is the ONLY reason why the Flyers are two losses away from their season being over. What I am saying, however, is that Dave Hakstol is the biggest reason why.

The Flyers have been to the playoffs twice so far in Dave Hakstol’s tenure. 2 outta 3 years ain’t bad. Do I think this roster could have made it to the playoffs in 2 of those years despite whoever was behind the bench? Probably. But you can’t take that away from Hakstol regardless. But in these 9 playoff games under Hakstol? Well saying “it hasn’t been great” would be the understatement of the century. What people need to realize here is that I actually don’t mind the 3-6 record for Hakstol in the playoffs right now. They took a very loaded Capitals team to 6 games in 2016 and now they’re going up against the two-time reigning Stanley Cup Champions in the Penguins. Those are both a couple of tough series to get out of. So I’m not saying the 3-6 record is bad. But the way they’ve lost those 6 games? By a combined score of 25-3?

What that tells me, and what it should tell everybody, is that Dave Hakstol is simply unfit to be a leader of men. He may be able to “develop” young talent. But in no world is he a leader. In no world does this man to anything to inspire a group of men to succeed. Because as soon as one little lug nut pops loose for this team in the playoffs, all 4 wheels immediately come off and the game turns into a shit show. I don’t care if Claude Giroux isn’t scoring. I don’t care if Brian Elliott is letting in beach balls. What Dave Hakstol’s job is as the head coach of this hockey team is to figure out a way to stop the bleeding and try to salvage these games. And what does Dave Hakstol do? Does he make any adjustments? Does he call any timeouts to try to get the train back on track? Does he do fucking anything at all?

No. All he does is stand there with that same blank ass stare on his face for the entire game and watch as the shit storm keeps rolling on. This clip from yesterday was after the Flyers were already down 4-0. They had just taken what seemed like their 50th penalty of the game on a too-many-men call. Everybody in the world knew that one thing the Flyers absolutely, positively could not do in this series if they wanted to survive was run into penalty trouble. You’d think that maybe the head coach would like to have a quick word for his team after they repeatedly kick themselves in the dick time and time again yesterday. Maybe call a quick timeout just to say, “listen, boys. I don’t know what the fuck you’re doing right now but you’ve got to pull your heads out of your asses, figure it the fuck out right now, stay out of the goddamn box and let’s turn this shit around”. Anything at all to say that this is beyond unacceptable but nope, it was just the same blank stare from Hak as always. Not to mention that this was only a few minutes removed from when Hakstol probably should have used a timeout after the Penguins scored their 3rd goal of the game to try to turn things around. But then this happened instead 5 seconds later.

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Now Hakstol has already come out and said he probably should have called a timeout there. But what is an apology worth after the fact? Absolutely nothing. Anybody with half a brain knew that a timeout was necessary in that situation. But not Dave Hakstol. Because apparently he knows so much more than everybody else and he’s always right and you guys just don’t understand the dynamics in that locker room and yada yada yada. [Jerking off hand gesture goes here]

Like I said. I fully realize that Dave Hakstol does not actually go out there on the ice and play the game. The Flyers have some more issues to work out besides just the coach if they’re ever actually going to contend. But when the shit starts to hit the fan in these games, it is your job as the head coach in the National Hockey League to do anything at all to inspire your team and make them believe that a comeback is possible. Nothing against him personally but Dave Hakstol just isn’t that type of guy. He’s not a leader. That’s fine. I’m sure he’s a nice enough guy outside of the rink. He’s just not fit to be a head coach in the NHL as all. But in the meantime, can you at least put Travis Konecny back up on the top line with Giroux and Coots? For fucks sake. Everybody wants to blame Giroux for not scoring in the playoffs so far. How about ya give him a little help and quit making him carry Michael Raffl on his line.

P.S. – I tweeted this at the very beginning of the game yesterday.

Out of all the stupid things that Flyers fans do, chanting “Crosby Sucks” may be the dumbest. I blame yesterday’s loss on a couple of things. 1) Dave Hakstol not even thinking about calling a timeout after that 3rd goal. And 2) Flyers fans for feeding Crosby all afternoon.

He’s the best player in his generation. I understand that you may think he’s a bitch or that he cries a lot. But you’re not getting in his head by chanting “Crosby Sucks”. You’re not throwing him off of his game at all. You just keep feeding him and feeding him and the chant 100% always backfires without fail. So if you’re at the game on Wednesday night and you hear any Flyer fan start to chant “Crosby Sucks”, I am giving you the green light to beat their ass and kick them out of the Wells Fargo Center. The Crosby pictures in the urinal are fine and everything. I bet Crosby doesn’t even know those things exist. But chanting “Crosby Sucks” while he’s out on the ice? Just take a quick look at how well that’s worked out for the Flyers in the past and maybe use your brain one time.

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Flyers in 6.

@BarstoolJordie