Flyers Chairman Ed Snider: 'We don't need a fresh perspective'

Flyers Chairman Ed Snider: 'We don't need a fresh perspective'

"We don't need a fresh perspective" -- Ed Snider

And that line -- more than any other from Monday morning's press conference, maybe more than any line at any time -- sums up the last 38 years of Philadelphia Flyers hockey.

Craig Berube was officially introduced as the 18th coach in Flyers history on Monday, and the 11th coach since Paul Holmgren's own tenure behind the bench ended in 1991. Peter Laviolette was fired after just three games. That's the quickest any coach has ever been fired in league history.

Right from the top, things went south. In fact, it very quickly gave way to an irritated Ed Snider arguing with an equally irritated Howard Eskin. That tells you a lot of what you need to know in case you missed it. Although this end to proceedings paints the clearest picture:
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As for specifics, Holmgren said he made the decision to fire Peter Laviolette while on the plane coming back from Carolina last evening. He met with Laviolette this morning, who apparently expressed as much frustration about the state of his team anyone else.

Holmgren, who made a point to say it was decision to fire Laviolette, twice mentioned the excitement surrounding his free-agent acquisitions of Vinny Lecavalier, Mark Streit and Ray Emery over the summer, and how the team had not lived up to that excitement.

"We made some changes over the summer that got us excited," Holmgren said. "It was a fleeting thought."

Then he got into the damning quotes: "Right from Day 1 at training camp, I was concerned about how the team looked."

And in assessing his team's play over three games: "It was unacceptable. We don't look like a team at all."

Holmgren did at one point attempt to slightly remove Laviolette from under the bus, stating: "I'd be remiss not to thank Peter. … He did a good job. ... He's a good coach.

"I like Peter. I thought he deserved another opportunity [after last year].

"Peter Laviolette worked his ass off for the Flyers."

This conversation -- as it should, as it often does when any coach gets canned -- will quickly work it's way right back to general manager and soon focus on what Holmgren's future should be with the Flyers. The coach is responsible for marking all the pieces fit, but Holmgren is the one who put together the team he was concerned about "right from Day 1."

Still, the major takeaway from this morning's presser is that the Flyers are prepared to soldier on as they have since they last won a Stanley Cup. Ed Snider was highly combative throughout the press conference and capped things off in a style that should surprise no one.

When asked if he was worried about the perception Berube's hire might bolster -- specifically, that the Flyers are too insulated by their own history and culture -- Snider doubled down, and did so with some anger in his voice.

"Thirty teams are trying to win the Cup and we're doing our damnedest to do it. That's our culture. That's our culture," he said.

"We don't need a fresh perspective."

Thirty teams are trying to win a Cup, but the Flyers' attempt to do it every single year has led them into one knee-jerk reaction after another.

This is a team operating with a goal in mind, but without any specific road map to get there.

The Flyers are trying desperately to win a Stanley Cup every year, and that's maybe the biggest part of what's holding them back from actually doing it.

Flyers-Stars 5 things: Streaking like it's 2002?

Flyers-Stars 5 things: Streaking like it's 2002?

Flyers (16-10-3) vs. Stars (11-11-6)
1 p.m. on CSN and CSNPhilly.com

Remember when it was a fight for the Flyers to simply sew together back-to-back wins?

Prior to this run, they had done it just twice in the first 22 games.

Now, they’re the hottest team in the NHL, winners of seven straight and trying to make it eight on Saturday afternoon when they welcome the Dallas Stars to the Wells Fargo Center.

Here are five things you need to know for the matchup:

1. The great eight?
Jeremy Roenick, Mark Recchi, John LeClair and Eric Desjardins.

Roman Cechmanek and Brian Boucher.

These are just some of the players that were wearing Flyers jerseys when the team last won eight consecutive games, back on Jan. 6-19, 2002.

It’s worth mentioning, before the 2004-05 season, winning streaks were a bit more challenging with a tie being the result if overtime went scoreless. The extra session was also not 3-on-3, like it is now.

Still, what the current Flyers are doing is impressive. They’ve gone to the shootout only once over the seven-game spurt and have outscored the opposition by 10 goals, 27-17.

2. Raffl winners
Dave Hakstol has called Michael Raffl a big-bodied, straight-line forward, which is certainly not off the mark.

But from time to time, Raffl will show the deceptive skill side of his game.

He did it Thursday night to win the Flyers’ 6-5 affair over the Oilers in the final minute and a half of regulation for his second game-winner over the last three contests.

"Raf has this stutter step that's undercover speedy," Steve Mason said postgame Thursday (see story). "He used it in Nashville to get a big goal and then here tonight.

"It looks like he's going to stop fully up, but he finds another gear and he really adds another element to that line that brings physical play.

"He has that sneaky talent, too, that can make you pay."

Raffl is quietly making teams pay. The Flyers are 4-0-2 in games that he scores a goal. Despite missing eight games because of injury, the 28-year-old Austrian is on pace for around 20 goals.

That’s much-valued secondary scoring and complementary play.

3. Not so bright
Before reeling off seven straight wins, the Flyers were in a similar spot to which the Stars are in now.

Dallas, which finished 50-23-9 last season — best in the Western Conference — after starting 19-5-0, can’t find consistency through 28 games this season. The Stars have won back-to-back games just once thus far and goaltending has been an issue as Dallas is surrendering an NHL-worst 3.18 goals per game.

The Stars do not lack offensive firepower, however. Center Tyler Seguin is tied for second in the NHL with 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists), while linemate Jamie Benn isn’t far behind at 24 (eight goals, 16 assists).

Also, veteran forward Jason Spezza is coming off a three-point game (one goal, two assists) in Dallas’ 5-2 win over the Predators.

4. Keep an eye on ...
Flyers: We’ve got to go Jakub Voracek after the winger’s one-goal, three-assist performance on Thursday night. Voracek has been an absolute monster on the seven-game winning streak, posting 11 points with three goals and eight assists for a plus-6 rating.

Stars: It’s hard not to say Seguin, a dynamic player who always gives the Flyers trouble. His 21 career points (nine goals, 12 assists) against the orange and black are his second most versus any team.

5. This and that
• Mason is on a career-best six-game winning streak in which he’s posted a 2.27 goals-against average and .931 save percentage. Since Nov. 12, Mason is 9-3-1 with a 2.34 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.

• Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen is a dreadful 1-10-3 lifetime against the Flyers with a 3.49 goals-against average and .891 save percentage, while backup Antti Niemi is 4-1-0 with 1.48 goals-against average and .947 save percentage.

• Dallas has won its last three meetings with the Flyers by a combined score of 7-3.

• The Stars have lost 11 of 15 on the road.

• Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov has four points (two goals, two assists) in his last four games.

Penn State fan surprised with Rose Bowl tickets in heartwarming video

Penn State fan surprised with Rose Bowl tickets in heartwarming video

It's been a long road back to relevance for the Penn State football program. 

The Nittany Lions surprised just about everyone this season by finishing 10-2, winning the Big Ten title and claiming a spot in the historic Rose Bowl against USC on Jan. 2. 

For one fan, the surprise season went one step further.

Per ESPN's Instagram account ...

But wait, there's more. 

Not only was he surprised with Rose Bowl tickets in what could be the most touching video of the year, but he even got a personal call from Penn State head coach James Franklin thanking him for his support. 

Not a bad way to close out 2016.