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When you follow sports long enough, you learn that you always have to expect the unexpected.
Sometimes a game will change thanks to something that you swear you’ve never seen before.
None of that was the case for the Flyers on the ice last night.
Nope. Things were pretty much just what we’ve seen before:
Lots of shots, not enough goals, mistakes, untimely penalties, bad goaltending and a fifth straight loss, this time 5-2 to the Vancouver Canucks.
But, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t something unexpected that took place off the ice.
It wasn’t from the players, who all were sounding the same frustrated tone you would expect. No one kicking over tables, or spitting fire and brimstone at the state of the team.
So as we trudged down the long hall to the coach’s press conference area, which on most nights feels like walking the Green Mile since we are usually on our way to an interview death sentence, the premise of this takeaways piece was starting to formulate.
This team is broken. Their failures are systemic. It needs a new look. A change of some sort, personnel-wise or otherwise. This team plays like shampoo directions – lather, rinse, repeat.
But then it happened, without warning, and it came so far out of left field that it put aside all preconceived notions about how Tuesday’s loss to Vancouver was going to be forever chronicled.
Dave Hakstol provided frank and accurate insight.
For once, the coach didn’t come across as smug, or as bothered by the questions being fired at him. Instead, he told you what was happening. What was wrong. He identified mistakes being made. He called out his goaltender. He questioned his own coaching decision. He was as as blunt and honest as I’ve ever seen him.
Does this mean he’s turned over a new leaf? That we can expect a change from stubborn stoicism to something more Ken Hitchcockian (more on him later by the way)?
But we want to celebrate this version of Dave Hakstol so much that we’re going to turn over these takeaways to him.
That’s right. Today’s takeaways are brought to you by Dave Hakstol (as well as Cozzi Jewelers).
Take it away, Dave! Continue Reading