LETTERS TO LAVI: PART 2 Q: What do you think you have to do to prepare to play the upcoming season to keep the focus on the Stanley Cup?
“The focus is always on the Stanley Cup. It never changes. It didn’t change two years ago, it didn’t change last year and it won’t change this year. We don’t talk about making the playoffs, we talk about winning the Stanley Cup, having a good year and preparing ourselves for the playoffs, being successful in the playoffs and then ultimately competing for the Stanley Cup.
“Our preparation in that manner doesn’t change at all. It’s been consistent since I’ve been here. Even though we’ve been down and out a couple years ago when we were in 29th place, we talked about winning the Cup. Our preparation remains the same and we’re looking forward to get going next year.”
Q: With Richards, Giroux, Carter, and Briere all being quality centers, how do you determine who should play wing? And does it bother the players one way or the other which position they are in?
“I think we bounced the guys around a little bit. [Claude] Giroux, [Danny] Briere and [Jeff] Carter have played some wing. I really think that Carter did a good job of adapting this year because we had four centers for the top three spots. He was still able to score 36 goals in a new position. I really liked him with Claude Giroux throughout the year.
“I really wish that Jeff had been healthy to see how he would have done in the playoffs, but for the most part we bounced him around and he saw most of the work at right wing. I thought that he did a really good job. I don’t think that it bothers the players as long as you talk and communicate with them your thoughts and your plans.”
Q: When you guys went to the Cup you had a somewhat short off-season to retool and put everything together. With a slightly longer offseason this year, what kind of things are you looking to accomplish?
“The biggest thing we can gain this summer is rest and to really come back into camp in shape. It gives you a chance to work on your off-season program, get stronger and let some injuries heal up. It was a short season in the summer [last year]. I found ourselves back at camp and I was really happy with the camp we had. We came out of the gate in the first half of the year and I thought we were really strong coming off of the short summer. I don’t know if the short summer had anything to do with losing some steam at the end of the year, but having that ability to take the time this summer we will use it to our advantage. We will get everybody back healthy.”
Q: With all the different personalities on the Flyers, how do you keep it all in perspective?
“Our guys are really good guys and you’re right there are different personalities, but I think that’s what really makes a team. I think if you had one type or one personality on a team it would become old pretty quick. I think you need people that make up a different composition to a team’s personality. Managing them is something that you work on a daily basis as you continue to get to know each guy more. We’re pretty fortunate here in Philadelphia because we have a really good group of players to work with.”
Q: I am sure your getting tired of the same old questions, so I think I'll throw you a curve ball here… Since the bright orange tie didn't bring much luck. Will you keep it or buy a new one? Thanks good luck next year!
To find out about Peter Laviolette’s orange ties, continue on to our facebook page right here!
PART 1 Q: After a disappointing loss in the playoffs, how will you motivate your younger players so that they are not adversely effected by it next season?
“Every year is a different year and I think with young players you look for them to develop both physically and mentally. You learn not only from the good times, like we had in 2010, but certainly from this past year as well. When you’re talking about building a foundation for young players and experiences, it can’t always be great experiences that you learn from. Sometimes there are adverse experiences as well.
“I don’t really think it has an impact on next season, good or bad. I think our team will have to make it’s own way and our own mark in the league as a new group and a new team. Certainly you can learn from two years ago, when experiences are good and you get to the Final, and you also learn from last year as well.” Q: What are your feelings on the newly rekindled rivalry with the Bruins and are you and your players pulling for the Bruins to take the Cup?
“I don’t know who the players are pulling for with regards to the Boston or Vancouver to take the Cup. I really don’t have any feelings one way or the other.
“As far as the Bruins and the rivalry with us that has developed, I think they made the Final because they had a terrific year and they played well in the playoffs. They represent the Eastern Conference in a good manner. They were tough all year and tough in the playoffs and I think it does help build our rivalry a little bit. I see it being a good match up for us next year as well.” Q: Coach Laviolette, as both a life-long Flyers fan and minor-league hockey coach I'm incredibly pleased with the job you've been doing and the aggressive forechecking system that you've had the team playing since your arrival. I'm wondering if there are any specific drills that you run in practice on a regular basis that you use to teach/re-enforce your system?
“I really believe on not having a lot of variety. When you constantly have to teach new drills to the players they have to get the understanding and feel of it, so I believe in less drills and more repetition. Certainly I think you can use drills to implement your system. You mentioned the aggressive forechecking system… If you want to practice that and implement that you should keep it as simple as possible. Set, dump the puck in, send five guys in to break-out and send in your forcheck to try and get guys in the positions that you’re looking for.
“Sometimes when you do a breakout in a neutral zone-counter and you go back and dump it in. By the time you get to the point you want to work on, there could have been something that went wrong in the drill, so keep it simple. Use repetition over and over and not throw a bunch of drills at your players.” Q: Do you like the system of the 1-3-1 that the Tampa Bay Lightning implored?
“I’ve actually played a 1-3-1 system all through Carolina and in Philadelphia. Their [Tampa Bay] system is a little bit deeper than ours. Typically we send one man in the neutral zone, we lock three lanes and we have one guy defending behind the three guys. Tampa plays it a little more passive than we do but basically it’s the same thought process.” Q: I have noticed that you are a big gum chewer. What is your favorite kind of gum? And is it your stress reliever during the games or is there another reason for the gum chewing?
To find out what gum head coach Peter Laviolette chews on the bench, continue on to our facebook pageright here!