John Tortorella sees Brad Shaw on Flyers coaching staff as a ‘huge plus’

One of the Flyers’ biggest goals is to reduce their goals against.

Over the past two seasons combined, the Flyers were tied with the Devils for the most goals against per game in the NHL (3.56) and had the league’s worst penalty kill percentage (74.6). ).

Before they start worrying about scoring more goals, which they also need to do, they first need to start preventing them.

That will be Brad Shaw’s daunting task as he reunites with John Tortorella in Philadelphia, in a place filled with pressure.

“Brad Shaw is probably one of the smartest coaches I’ve been around and I’ve had the good fortune to work with him over the last five or six years,” Tortorella, the new head coach, said Wednesday. of the Flyers, during a telephone interview with NBC. Philadelphia Sports.

Shaw was hired by the Flyers earlier this month as an associate coach. He will oversee the club’s defenders and penalty kill units.

The 58-year-old worked on the Tortorella Blue Jackets staff from the 2016-17 to 2020-21 seasons. Tortorella and Shaw focus on defensive pressure and structure away from the puck.

The Flyers’ primary focus heading into 2022-23 is stability at the back. They are hoping that Ryan Ellis can return and potentially build their depth. They traded for Tony DeAngelo and brought back Justin Braun. Ivan Provorov is 25, Travis Sanheim 26 and Rasmus Ristolainen 27. Cam York, 21, will push for a full-time NHL job, while Nick Seeler and Ronnie Attard will also compete for playing time.

“I think he’s going to do great things for our young defense and try to develop some of these kids, see if they can play in the league and see if they can progress,” Tortorella said of Shaw. “He has great communication skills, he’s a veteran, he played the position in the league.”

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Shaw’s most critical job will be with the Flyers PK. Only the Canadiens have allowed more power-play goals (104) than the Flyers (102) over the past two seasons.

During Shaw’s five seasons in Columbus, the Blue Jackets were tied for the 12th-best penalty kill in the NHL at 80.9%. In 2018-19, they finished tied at three for the league’s highest-ranked PK at 85%.

“One of the best shorthanded coaches I’ve known in terms of some of the things he looks for and the way he teaches,” Tortorella said. “I think it’s a huge plus for us.

“He knows me and I think sometimes it takes a bit of time for the players to adjust to me and understand me a bit. I think he’s going to be a really good channel that way, for them to understand me. and how I go about business a little faster too.”

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