The Philadelphia Flyers are off to an 6-3-2 start to their season. However, even with the great start, head coach John Tortorella is still trying to find the right lineup to play his style.
Flyers head coach John Tortorella has been consistent with his message since the start of training camp. Either play hard or you will not see the ice.
Thru the first 11-games as the Flyers head coach, Tortorella’s message has been put to the test. Something that has resulted in some veterans ending up in the doghouse.
After just six games, two of the Flyers most important forwards, Kevin Hayes & Travis Konecny, were benched for their play.
“We weren’t playing good enough,” Travis Konecny said after being benched for the 3rd period vs the San Jose Sharks. “I was out for both goal; I’m sure that had something to do with it.”
Konecny went on to say “he (Tortorella) has been on us about that since day-1 of camp. Doesn’t matter who you are, you gotta play the right way.”
The next to find themselves in the doghouse was Wade Allison
Allison, who has seen his ice time decrease in multiple games, continues to try to find consistent play in the Flyers lineup. Something that relates to the style of play that Allison plays.
Head coach John Tortorella continues to press Allison to play a more north-south style of play. Something that Allison has struggled with to start the season.
“It’s the only way (Wade Allison) stays in the line up is if he plays north,” John Tortorella said after practice on Monday. “If he plays east-west, he’ll east-west himself out of the lineup.”
Tortorella added that he likes how Wade concentrated on responding to his criticism as of late.
The latest Flyers player to receive criticism is Rasmus Ristolainen, who was a healthy scratch on Saturday in Ottawa.
Ristolainen, who started the season on the injured list, has struggled to find his game so far this season. Something that has caught the eye of head coach John Tortorella in the wrong way.
“Everything about his game needs to be better,” John Tortorella said about Ristolainen on Monday.
Tortorella added that Ristolainen will get another chance in the lineup soon. But, would not confirm if that will be tomorrow night vs the St Louis Blues.
Even tough it has been tough love with the Flyers from their head coach, it is something that leads to a better connection between player & coach.
Tortorella said on Monday that he will give his critiques to players right to their faces. Stating that he feels he owes it to them as they deserve to know where they stand.
This is another message that has been clear since day1 of training camp. Which could be a reason for the great start to the season by the Flyers.
Even with the criticism, Tortorella has been extremely happy with how his team has performed.
“It’s a dogfight for us every night because we’re just not going to fill the net,” Tortorella said about the Flyers play. “I appreciate how hard they’ve played.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Mitchell Leff – Getty Images