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Coach Lavy has overseen one of the most tumultuous eras in Flyers history and lived to tell about it.
After taking over a sinking ship in December 2009, squeaking into the playoffs, overcoming a historical deficit and losing the Cup on one of the most heart-breaking overtime finishes ever, Laviolette's Flyers came out like gangbusters in 2010-11, only to have their championship dreams dashed by a hot goalie and an apparent lack of leadership.
Despite the wild offseason, Laviolette is back with the players of his choosing, and no fans can claim disappointment.
Everyone expected the Flyers to struggle through the beginning of the season, as all of the changes were sure to lead to some imbalances of chemistry.
However, Laviolette has steered the Flyguys through the first 20 games with 25 points, good enough for second in the Atlantic behind Pittsburgh with a game in hand. Despite losing Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Kris Versteeg, Ville Leino, Nik Zherdev and Dan Carcillo's combined 224 points over the summer, the Flyers lead the NHL with 73 goals scored.
Laviolette has proven in his short tenure to be one of the best coaches in the league.
Some writers have referred to Laviolette as a hockey genius, but what I'm most thankful for is Laviolette's honesty. It seems the players and officials always know where they stand with Lavy because he is not afraid to tell them.
And from Laviolette's honesty comes respect, because all hockey players respect winning, which is this coach's only motivation.
Laviolette so clearly loathes losing fans that appreciate his efforts, even when the same cannot be said for the players on the ice.