After having lost seven straight games, Philadelphia Flyers’ fans seem to be doing a lot of finger pointing in the direction of head coach Dave Hakstol. There are many questions of his coaching decisions and Charlie O’Connor of The Athletic (subscription required) details how there are many questions that need to be asked about some of his decision-making during Friday’s overtime loss against the New York Islanders.
After an overtime to those same Islanders on Wednesday, Hakstol said he would change up the 3-on-3 rotations in overtime for Friday’s game. The scribe writes that the problem with changing the OT rotations is that none of the combinations had any experience playing together and looked out of place with one another. Even the addition of defenseman Brandon Manning seemed out of place when there were several stronger defensemen to choose from.
O’Connor also said you have to start wondering whether Hakstol is the right person to lead this franchise as it looks more and more like the team is overrun with developing young players. Regardless, he doubts general manager Ron Hextall is ready to make a change. The GM is the one who hired Hakstol and the coach still has more than two years left on his deal. But how long will be able to hold off on making a change if the team continues to lose?
- Still with the Flyers, Sam Carchidi of Philly.com writes that after Friday’s performance against the New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds is starting to look like his old self after playing through numerous injuries. The scribe writes that Simmonds’ speed has been noticeably faster. He also potted his first goal in the last 14 games. The 29-year-old wing is coming off four straight seasons in which he’s scored 28 or more goals. He has seven goals so far in 23 contests.
- The New York Rangers might be without forward Boo Nieves for a little while, according to Newsday’s Steve Zipay. The rookie center only played in 3:10 of Friday’s game against the Red Wings before he left in the second period with a lower-body injury. According to Zipay, Nieves grabbed his hip during a play during the first period. He had already missed three games earlier this year due to the flu. Veteran David Desharnais, who has been a healthy scratch for three straight games, would likely take over for Nieves.
- Jonathan Bombulie of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweets that Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin will sit out tonight’s game against the Detroit Red Wings with an upper-body injury. He has already missed the team’s last two games, and although he has been skating, he remains day-to-day.