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Is this really what the Flyers need? | Sports Daily

Alain Vigneault was the latest casualty for an organization that refuses to rebuild.

Chuck Fletcher (left), Flyers president of hockey operations, leaves after meeting with the media with interim head coach Mike Yeo after the Flyers announced they have relieved head coach Alain Vigneault and assistant coach Michel Therrien of their duties.
Chuck Fletcher (left), Flyers president of hockey operations, leaves after meeting with the media with interim head coach Mike Yeo after the Flyers announced they have relieved head coach Alain Vigneault and assistant coach Michel Therrien of their duties.Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

It was clear that something needed to change with the Flyers. They had lost eight straight games and couldn’t convert on the power play. But was Alain Vigneault the problem? Not according to The Inquirer’s Mike Sielski, who cites the team’s horrific draft record and reluctance to move on from the past as the biggest reasons for the team’s struggles.

Sielski contends that Vigneault was always going to go because it is what the team does. Ed Snider, Dave Scott, Chuck Fletcher, Paul Holmgren. Vigneault, Dave Hakstol, Peter Laviolette. The names of the decision-makers and the coach changes. Only, the decisions rarely do.

In the end, Sielski believes the team simply isn’t good enough, and Vigneault was just the latest casualty for an organization that has refused to rebuild.

Tell Us: The Flyers were clearly reeling on the ice, but was it time for a head coaching change? Let us know what you think about the team’s firing of Alain Vigneault.

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On the Fly

When your team has lost eight straight, the last of which was a 7-1 drubbing at home, changes need to be made. Those changes came down on Monday morning, as the Flyers fired head coach Alain Vigneault. Assistant Mike Yeo has assumed the role on an interim basis.

Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher apparently saw enough on Sunday night to make the change, relieving Vigneault of his duties after two-plus seasons. Vigneault amassed a record of 74-54-19 with the Flyers. But after an impressive first season in charge, the luster had worn off.

New coach, same result. While the Flyers finally showed signs of life offensively, scoring five goals, they still couldn’t end the losing run, falling to the Avalanche, 7-5, Monday night.

Next: The Flyers are back on the ice Wednesday against the New Jersey Devils in Newark at 7 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia).

Early Birds

Gardner Minshew delivering a win for the Eagles is an impactful moment from this season. The eye-opening performance kept the team in the playoff race and came a week after Jalen Hurts threw three interceptions in an awful loss. Minshew celebrated his big day with Eagles fans at MetLife Stadium and his father outside the stadium. And for Howie Roseman, credit is due for trading for Minshew.

The Eagles also got good news as they head into the bye week to rest up for the playoff push ahead. According to coach Nick Sirianni, injuries to Jason Kelce and Steven Nelson don’t appear to be serious.

Off the Dribble

COVID-19 has been a major player in all of our lives this year and that impact hasn’t spared our favorite sports teams. For 76ers fans, the presence of the pandemic has been prevalent from the moment the season started as players shuffled in and out of the lineups from almost the opening buzzer.

That narrative has finally shifted for the Sixers as players returned from health and safety protocols. But new issues have emerged as the aftereffects have played a part. And with players like Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Matisse Thybulle working their way back into shape, losses like Tyrese Maxey, who missed Monday’s game with a non-COVID illness, are magnified.

For once, though, the shoe was on the other foot. The Hornets were also without major contributors as LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier were ruled out with COVID-19, and Embiid scored 43 points while the Sixers pulled off a 127-124 overtime win.

Next: The Sixers remain in Charlotte for the second half of their back-to-back against the Hornets. They play again at 7 p.m. Wednesday (NBCSP+).

Worth a look

  1. Almost a miracle: Soccer reporter Jonathan Tannenwald looks back at how close Jim Curtin and the Union came to giving their fans a memorable, odds-defying win.

  2. U.S. boycott: The United States will stage a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympics in Beijing to protest Chinese human rights abuses. China vowed to meet the White House’s move with “firm countermeasures.”

Readers react

Dick Allen missing the Hall of Fame by one vote is much more painful, from all angles and on all levels. The Union had a surprising season, but a majority of Philly sports fans were not as invested in them as our other teams. And the Union gave us much enjoyment, which will be remembered positively. There is no positivity from the knowledge that Allen is still not given this duly earned honor. John W. on the greatest sports injustice this past Sunday

Today’s newsletter was created in collaboration with the Inquirer sports staff.