Blogs > Jack McCaffery's blog

Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Berube enjoyed his first postseason as head coach



NEW YORK --- Craig Berube was a Stanley Cup playoffs rookie at the beginning of the Flyers-Rangers series, his first as an NHL head coach. By the time it whipped into its seventh game, he'd already had the full range of experience.

He'd changed goalies. He'd dealt with injuries. He'd scrambled lines, attempting to work certain players out of slumps. He'd matched and countered and re-countered the Rangers' lines. He'd adjusted defensive pairings. He'd tried young players and old.

And whatever would happen Wednesday at Madison Square Garden, he figured he'd be most prepared for the next time.

“I like coaching,” Berube said, as the series was about to go the distance. “And that is what I am dong. All that stuff goes into coaching. It's what you have to do as a coach --- make adjustments, do certain things. Things happen. Injuries happen. We lost Nik Grossmann and had to put different people in the lineup.

“It's all part of it.”

So it was, all of the personnel changes, all of the in-game maneuvers. But so, too, was the mental preparation, with Berube having maneuvered through the series never allowing the Flyers to sag into a two-game losing streak.

“Today, we just went over a few things and had a meeting,” he said, as the teams prepared to play for the second time in as many nights. “I told them it's important that we get skating right away. It's two good teams, and you have to be ready from the start.

“I haven’t done anything different, to be honest with you,” he added. “Like I said, I try to keep it as normal as we can. It's a big game. I have to keep my emotions in check. The players do, too.”

The Flyers started the series with a loss, but recovered and ultimately forced Game 7 with a 5-2 victory in Game 6, their best, to that point, in the playoffs. In it, Berube made multiple successful moves, including dressing Erik Gustafsson, who would score a goal.

By Wednesday, he was just ready for a series verdict.

“Thinking about the series before it started, I thought it would be a long one for sure,” he said. “I thought the teams were fairly equal. We split during the regular season, home and home. So I thought looking at that side of it, it was going to be a long series.”

The first, he'd hoped, in a no-longer-early coaching career.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home