After a winless start, the Philadelphia Flyers fired coach Peter Laviolette on Monday, three seasons after he led them to the Stanley Cup finals. Assistant Craig Berube, a former Washington Capitals player in his seventh season coaching within the organization, was promoted to replace Laviolette.
Despite a preseason vote of confidence from ownership, Laviolette just couldn’t overcome a punchless offense, a pair of journeymen in goal and a patchwork defense.
He dealt with rumors of his firing last season, a year in which the Flyers missed the playoffs after the lockout shortened the campaign. It was the only season in which he failed to make the postseason in Philadelphia.
Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren tried to mold a playoff roster in the offseason, signing forward Vinny Lecavalier, defenseman Mark Streit and goaltender Ray Emery. He also jettisoned overpriced and underperforming veterans, like goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov and forward Danny Briere.
●OILERS 5, DEVILS 4: Edmonton scored four third-period goals, then prevailed in a shootout, to stun visiting New Jersey. The Devils had led 3-0 entering the final period, then fell behind 4-3 before Patrick Elias scored in the final minute of regulation.