“I had closed not bad switch for a few weeks, but since the announcement Friday of a return of the series to be 24 teams, I can tell you that the hamster starts to roll. I look forward to going again. I look forward to leaving for Philadelphia. “
Michel Therrien discovered the second phase of the protocol to return to play in the NHL when he was recalled by the representative of the Newspaper, Monday. But already, we could feel a good level of excitement in his voice.
“I’ve done enough work in my house in Lorraine these past few weeks, he started laughing. I talked to Alain (Vigneault) this morning. We have not yet established a date for our departure for Voorhees. We will soon be a plan. For phase 2, I know that the coaches are not will notice not on the ice with small groups of players. “
Therrien keep his whistle for a few more weeks. At his next visit to Voorhees, New Jersey, held in the training center of the Flyers, it will have to be content with the simple role of observer.
According to the documents published by the NHL for phase 2, the coaches will not be permitted to jump on the ice rink in the company of groups comprised of a maximum of six players.
“For the players, this is good news, said the assistant of Vigneault with the Flyers. They will have the chance to touch the ice before the start of the camps.
“I won’t lie. To the interruption of the season on the 12th of march, we thought that the activities would be re-started two or three weeks later. We had no idea what we were embarking. We remain busy in working on our team with videos, and on the analysis of the other formations. We have quite quickly come to understand that the situation was serious. And it still is today.
“But we now know that there will be a return to the game. At the very least, it looks well, he continued. We will have plenty of time to prepare us for the next steps with the new formula of the playoffs to 24 teams. “
Two sides to a medal
Therrien already knew for a long time that the Flyers would participate in the series in the event of a return to the game. Regardless of the formula, the team of Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier had his place in the series due to his fourth place in the East.
Questioned about the advisability of opening the doors of the series to be 24 teams instead of 16, the 56 year old man has used his experience to not set foot in the flat.
“I have always believed that it was an honor to participate in the playoffs in the NHL. It is a challenge and you have to earn your place. There is so much parity. All organisations will aim for a presence in the series. I’ve always had as a philosophy as a coach that it was unacceptable not to drive your team in the playoffs.
“A personal position, and with my competitive side, I would have better liked to see the teams that deserved actually a playoff spot. But I also understand the other side of the coin and this is the aspect business. I do not know the numbers of the NHL, but they certainly have good reasons to admit more teams. There will be more revenues. I understand both positions. “
The weight of money
Without identifying a team, you can read between the lines that he finds it strange to see a team like the canadiens, which had a 0.1 % chance of appearing in the series, to get a renaissance. Gary Bettman and the leaders of the NHL, however, have calculated the economic impact of the presence of a large market like Montreal, as well as that of the Chicago black hawks in the West. The dollars have had more weight than performance on the ice.
Montreal or Pittsburgh
The Flyers could just find the CH on his way to the second round of the series. If there is no change to the formula of the series, the Flyers arena, the winner of a probable series of three to five between the Habs and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“It would be a confrontation special because I managed both teams. It could always change. I don’t think it’s sunk in the concrete for the second round. The teams that finished at the top would like to face training with the least good classification. Is it that we affronterions necessarily the winner between Montreal and Pittsburgh ? It is possible that the NHL decided as well. We will have the answer later. ”
But regardless of the answer, Therrien would like to see the Flyers, like the other three teams head into the East, playing matches significant before jumping into the lions ‘ den for the series.
“I hope that there will also be a challenge for the four teams with a pass in the two associations. You don’t want to take cold in a big series. I find that it would not be fair. “