Four Questions on Peter Laviolette

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Randy Carlyle is still twisting in the wind as the Maple Leafs‘ head coach despite some damning quotes from the new boss.

 

For now, let’s look into another available head coach candidate, former Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette (fired after his team’s 0-3 start earlier in the season), with Eric T. of Broad Street Hockey.

How would you describe Peter Laviolette’s systems?

Eric T: Peter Laviolette generally seems to prefer an up-tempo, aggressive game. But he’s not dogmatic about it; he mixed in some fairly passive neutral zone trap during his time in Philadephia, especially in his first two years. One thing that I do think was a constant in Philadelphia was that there were always stretch pass options on organized breakouts and the puck-moving defensemen were pretty aggressive about looking for them.

How have Peter Laviolette’s teams traditionally fared in even-strength possession?

ET: Their puck possession numbers have been pretty good, for the most part. His teams in Carolina were in the ~5th to 7th range, and in Philadelphia they were ~10th to 12th until the defense caved in in ’12-13. Looking back at those Philly teams, I do wonder if they shouldn’t have been even better. They had some real high-end talent (Richards, Carter, Giroux, Pronger, Timonen) and very solid pieces around them (JvR, Hartnell, Briere, Carle, Coburn); it’s a lineup that in retrospect seems like it should’ve been better than a ~51% Fenwick close.

Given the Leafs strengths/weaknesses and Peter Laviolette’s history, he seems like like he could maximize what the Leafs have here offensively but might not be the best candidate to help this team figure out defence. Do you agree?

ET: I’d actually be fairly optimistic about what he could do with their defense. Like I mentioned, Peter Laviolette has been really aggressive about having his defensemen look for stretch passes to create quick offense, and I think the Leafs have plenty of defensemen with the puck skill to pull that off — and some forwards with the speed to capitalize.

Peter Laviolette got the Canes and Flyers to the Cup Finals (winning with the Canes) in his first (full) seasons with those teams. What do you think it is about his message that makes this guy so effective when he first arrives (also got NYI into the playoffs)?

ET: I hate to speculate about someone’s motivational skills or message getting through; I think it’s awfully tough for us to know as fans what the coach is saying or how it’s working. But it’s worth noting that the Flyers were 28-24-5 under Peter Laviolette in the regular season that first year, a record that was actually slightly worse than under John Stevens. They had to win a game 82 shootout to make the playoffs, and only then did they get hot. Similarly, his 20-22-6-4 record in his first year in Carolina was nothing special — it wasn’t until the next year that they became a powerhouse. There’s definitely a popular narrative that he’s a great motivator who people are excited to play for initially but eventually the shtick gets old, but without any direct knowledge of his motivation or the players’ reaction to him, I don’t have any great reason to buy into it.

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Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]
  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Something tells me our players would tune Lavy out rather quickly.  I’ve never really been a big fan of his.

  • Fish Head

    Enough of the retreads. I say we go for Jeff Blashill.

  • maple1967leafs

    Bon Scott was a Leaf fan  I never liked him also ,Word here in Winnipeg is the Leafs have decided to stay with RC,Therefore Chevy stayed with Maurice,To me it don’t matter which coach is here unless these players begin to play all out and quit figure skating around we could have Scotty Bowman and still miss the playoffs

  • Burtonboy

    maple1967leafs Bon Scott was a Leaf fan  The only question I have is do we have a full team of lazy bums who don’t have a friggen clue ? Is that even possible?  Surely you would get 1 or 2 out of the bunch that know how to compete and work hard. Fact of the matter is the eye test tells me they are all playing alike for the most part. If the work ethic problem is that systemic then we have little choice but to blow this up completely and start all over

  • Yaknowwhat

    Pass on Lavy…past his due date

  • darthNihilus

    Not a fan of his. I prefer Trotz and I hope the Leafs do too.

  • Jordan29

    Im just going to say this, but people dont be surprised if Carlyle is back next year. I have a feeling he will

  • WendelGilmour

    Burtonboy maple1967leafs Bon Scott was a Leaf fan  
    I wonder why guys who are so aggressive playing for the Marlies are less so after going up to the Leafs.
    I have no clue what goes on in the room, but that’s a flag for me.

  • Burtonboy

    WendelGilmour Burtonboy maple1967leafs Bon Scott was a Leaf fan  Biggest problem in that room is Carlyle . I’m pretty much convinced of that

  • darthNihilus

    Jordan29  Then this team is screwed. I hope Shanahan is not that stupid. If thats the case we can look forward to Kadri/Gardiner traded for some plugs with far less skill. (same for the draft)

  • Yaknowwhat

    We do have some very good pieces here….which is why the focus on leadership and culture makes sense…yes we can blame the coaching to a certain degree…but this team failed to show up in so many key games this season you have to look deeper…there is most certainly a culture problem in the dressing room….too many of our players dont understand what it takes to win…and thats why leadership is so important especially for young teams…our players need an example to follow…a leader that sets an example that they can look to and follow…and someone who is respected and can hold the other players responsible….Nobody on this team has emerged in this role…..changing the coach will help…but the players need understand…they will not have success unless they are prepared to out work their opponents…it really comes down to a battle of will, and this team is sorely lacking in that dept..

  • Yaknowwhat

    After shannys comments I would be shocked if carlyle is back…

  • Jordan29

    darthNihilus Jordan29  This is where I laugh. I can go back to last year and a lot of this year when I continually said I didnt like Carlyle and wanted him gone. I got in a lot of arguments when people would say im wrong and i remember more then one person telling me to “go cheer for the habs then”. But now out of nowhere Im apparently right and hes poison? I think hes still a complete moron and not the right coach, but hes far from the issue. This team was a joke to finish the season and nobody helped

  • Jordan29

    Yaknowwhat  maybe, but I would have expected him to be gone already

  • Yaknowwhat

    Short list of coaches…..Dineen,Boucher,Lavy….I’m starting to lean towards Dineen…

  • WendelGilmour

    Burtonboy WendelGilmour maple1967leafs Bon Scott was a Leaf fan  
    I hope you’re right Bboy, but some of the habits of these guys are just basic traits players should have. I hate RC’s system, and the way he allows vets to do as they please without consequence. Other things are completely on the players. Little fight on the boards, don’t stand up for each other, and fly bys on the forecheck, zero backchecking pressure.

    They need a coach who demands they play a certain way and if you don’t you sit, regardless of who you are. I have little confidence many of these guys will change.

  • Jordan29

    Yaknowwhat  we are still missing  2 of the 3 piece we have been missing for 3 years now. We got the starting goalie, now we just need to get a legit offensive #1 centre, and another 1-2 defenceman. Should be hard but Nonis has Gunnarsson, Franson, Reimer, Holland, and other prospects at his disposal now. More then we ever had before

  • Jordan29

    darthNihilus  thats who i would choose as well. Cant argue with his resume

  • WendelGilmour

    Yaknowwhat  
    I can’t argue any of that. Some of the biggest games were the worst no show efforts.

  • WendelGilmour

    Jordan29 darthNihilus  
    No doubt RC is part of the problem, but for sure IMO the players own most of this.

  • WendelGilmour

    Yaknowwhat  
    I have no idea who, but I am now leaning towards a younger fresh face with some new ideas.

  • WendelGilmour

    CanuckUKinToronto  
    Good point, I hadn’t thought of Muller, but he has known Shanny for years.

  • Burtonboy

    WendelGilmour Burtonboy maple1967leafs Bon Scott was a Leaf fan  I’d like to see this group under a different coach and a different system before I’m willing to say its more a player problem then it is a system problem. If you believe possession hockey is the way to go and I do we had a better team under Wilson then we have under Carlyle by a wide margin. That’s playiNg run and gun FFS . In fact just looking at SOG this team has hit historical lows. I’m seeing all players doing pretty much the same thing game in game out. That smacks of system failure more then anything else

  • Reversethecurse13

    Posting from a MacDonald’s (because my roommates moved out and i no longer have internet)
    Why is Carlyle still here?! Thought he would have been fired within days of the end of the season…

  • Burtonboy

    Reversethecurse13  McKenzie said it will take 7-10 days for Shanny to do his review . He was then asked on a scale of 1-10 what are the chances of Carlyle getting canned . He said 10 lol

  • Reversethecurse13

    Burtonboy Reversethecurse13  Okay thanks. I’ve had little access to info, but i did hear that Bob quote a few days ago. As long as the hammer falls..

  • wendelsfist

    Reading that above once Carlyle and Lavvy lost Pronger on their team’s defence, the teams puck possession began to tank.  Lavvy looks like another marginal NHL coach.

  • WendelGilmour

    Burtonboy WendelGilmour maple1967leafs Bon Scott was a Leaf fan  
    I think we’re about to find out anyway. I expect we’ll see some player turnover, but mainly peripheral players. By some of Shanny’s comments it looks like he feels the same way as you do. 
    I’m afraid if we keep the same core we’re going to get the same results. Many on this board mock character and leadership, yet if you don’t have it along with skill you’re simply not going to be competitive. Based on the weak (being generous) efforts in some of the biggest games I don’t believe this group has the will to claw and scratch to get points. Too many guys who do the easy things well, and refuse to do the hard things.

  • Burtonboy

    wendelsfist  I’m not one who looks at or even needs fancystats to tell me whats happening on the ice . Even a blind man can see the Leafs don’t have the puck enough. That said the stats on Carlyle teams are damming to say the least

  • Zep2

    Questions on work ethic, coaching and leadership seem to be on the agenda

    Ive always been skeptical of Dions captaincy, he was not loved in Calgary, and changing the volume and playlist on the Boom box  doesn’t inspire much other than snickers

    Last years squad, was a hard working difficult team to play against. On this years team , that core was largely intact  . Nonis tried to Upgrade in net (pass) and add sandpaper (fail) to a lineup that pushed Boston to the brink. His moves were cheered by most of us but he is now on a short leash 

    Carlyle seemed unable to get his message through to a team that was winning but winning poorly. I can forgive him for that. Thats on the players. The thing i can’t understand is his failure to integrate younger guys into  the lineup, particularly Holland

  • Jordan29

    After taking a really good look over the potential UFA market, I think the most important guy Nonis needs to go after is Niskanen. I highly doubt Pittsburgh will give him any amount of money or term with the current group and cap they have. The only way they resign him is if they let Orpik walk and somehow fins a way to keep him. One they sign Sutter to lets say 3.5 mil. That leaves them with only 12 mil to fill 7-8 spots. They also have Letang, Maatta, Scuderi, and Martin signed. Maybe they sing him, maybe they dont.

    I say throw 5-6 mil at him and take a chance. If you sign him, the subtraction of Gunnarsson or Franson only really adds 2-3 mil of salary. Buyout Gleason and we still have room for another top 6 forward and Reimer, Franson, and Holland (move Leivo in) to trade with

    James Van Riemsdyk ($4.250m) / Phil Kessel ($8.000m) 
    Joffrey Lupul ($5.250m) / Tyler Bozak ($4.200m) / Nazem Kadri ($2.900m) 
    Peter Holland ($0.950m) / Dave Bolland ($4.500m) / David Clarkson ($5.250m) 
    Jerry D’Amigo ($0.851m) / Jay McClement ($1.500m) / Leo Komarov ($1.500m) 
    Troy Bodie ($0.600m) / 
    DEFENSEMEN
    Dion Phaneuf ($7.000m) / Matt Niskanen ($5.500m) 
    Jake Gardiner ($2.500m) / Morgan Rielly ($0.894m) 
    Petter Granberg ($0.800m) / Carl Gunnarsson ($3.150m) 
    Paul Ranger ($1.500m) / 
    GOALTENDERS
    Jonathan Bernier ($2.900m) 
    Drew MacIntyre ($0.850m) 
    BUYOUTS
    Mike Komisarek ($0.000m) 
    Mikhail Grabovski ($0.000m) 
    Tim Gleason ($0.833m) 
    ——
    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (estimations for 2014-15)
    SALARY CAP: $71,100,000; CAP PAYROLL: $65,678,000; BONUSES: $950,000
    CAP SPACE (21-man roster): $5,422,000

  • Jordan29

    Bozak and Kadri can be the centres if we got a winger, or stay like that with a centre

  • MaxwellHowe

    Give my left or right nut to have Nate MacKinnon on the Leafs. 

    As it is, there should be a full court press to land Stasney.

  • Burtonboy

    CanuckUKinToronto Burtonboy Reversethecurse13  Yeah that seems about right . Frankly I’ll be shocked if Carlyle is back . In fact I starting to think we will see wholesale changes in the front office as well . Best guess is Nonis might last 6 months or so with others on that team getting canned long before that.

  • MaxwellHowe

    wendelsfist Yup, lotta “great” coaches were simply fortunate to have guys like Pronger and Chara on the back end.

  • Burtonboy

    Posted last night in the other thread . This should be interesting. Naz the analyst lol

    https://twitter.com/FriedgeHNIChttps://twitter.com/FriedgeHNIC
    Nazem Kadri will join the HNIC panel for Saturday night’s CLB/PIT broadcast.

  • NotTheCanucksnaphook

    Burtonboy  What a fuckin beauty this kid is.

  • NotTheCanucksnaphook

    Cameron has wanted Stastny for a long time….I have always hated the contract and believed he was too much of a perimeter guy.

    Maybe the douche bag was onto something.

  • MaxwellHowe

    CanuckUKinToronto NotTheCanucksnaphook Stasney’s future is in his own hands.  Tho I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if the Avs signed him to a biggie and tried to flip Duchene for a top level Dman.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Burtonboy desperate for the Leafs’ fan viewership I see

  • Jordan29

    I think the Avs ill keep Stastny guys, ROR will be the guy to get. They likely wont want to or be able to pay him the 6.5 he gets this year, and they have shown they have the balls to make deals

  • MaxwellHowe

    Jordan29 But isn’t ROR a UFA as well?  Can’t get much for rights to a guy who can jump to the open market.  If I were Patrick Roy – well first I would get therapy, and then I would get a #1 Defenceman by way of trade for Duchene, who is locked up long term.

  • Uncle Otis

    I’d hire Petrielli before Lavi…Randy lite
    Muller sounds interesting but of known available candidates…. I like No-Neck

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    MaxwellHowe Jordan29  ROR is RFA

  • Zep2

    SJ and the Blues are 2 of the favourites to go all the way.

    Things they don’t have in common with the Leafs- continuity at the top

    Things they do have in common with the Leafs -have never won the Cup (just seems that way for Leafs fans)
    and they’ve acquired core pieces through trade

  • MaxwellHowe

    CanuckUKinToronto MaxwellHowe I think they’re a move or two from being a powerhouse.  But the defence needs an upgrade

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    Uncle Otis  Was reading a Canes site last night and it sounds like Muller is having the same issues as Carlyle…system that doesn’t work, poor special teams.

  • MaxwellHowe

    ingy56 MaxwellHoweJordan29 ahhh, that does make a huge difference – and they can’t offer less than his current salary, isn’t that correct?  Well, then maybe he is the odd man out.  Sorry Jordan29

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    MaxwellHowe ingy56 Jordan29  Yes, they have to begin with a minimum raise over his base I believe.

  • MaxwellHowe

    ingy56 Uncle Otis eyes of the hurricane?