As a Boston Bruins and Minnesota Wild fan I have to admit, that in the past, I hadn't been much of a Flyers fan. I've always looked at them as being a dirty team that happens to play in the Eastern conference. However, like many UND fans, I had to see how Hakstol's transition in Philadelphia, went. They Flyers have also piqued my interest. They're an exciting young team that plays the game the right way. They also have boughten into Hakstol's systems and are playing an exciting brand high-octane hockey.
So, during the season, I have watched the Flyers play a couple of times a week. I've even gotten eight-year-old daughter, semi-interested in Hak's Flyers. They're like our third favorite team.
During Hakstol's tenure at UND, his teams tended to start out slow and peak during the end of the season going into the playoffs. Hak's first season in Philly has also transpired the same way.
Sam Carchidi, Philly.Com -- After a slow start, the Flyers are 21-9-6 since returning from a winless West Coast trip after the holiday break. That type of upswing was part of the coach's resumé at North Dakota, where his teams showed marked improvement in the second half of the season.This season, the Flyers weren't expected to make the playoffs, and they were said to be missing a few key parts to make a run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I think that Hakstol should be one of the top candidates for the Jack Adams Award for the NHL's coach of the year.
In his 11 seasons at North Dakota, Hakstol's teams were 113-73-19 (.598) before Christmas and a staggering 176-69-24 (.699) after Christmas.
"There's so many different stories to those years," Hakstol said the other night. "We were building a completely new team every year, and I don't care how many players you have back; we had anywhere from half our team being rookies during that stretch to a veteran-laden team. But you're building a new team every year there. The same approach here: Show up. Work to win games. Work to get better. Every week, every month - and make sure you're playing your best hockey at the critical time of the year, which is now."
No matter what Hakstol's team does in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, I think it's safe to say that he's found a home in Philadelphia.