For the first time since Oct. 8, 2015, Dave Hakstol will not be behind the Flyers' bench for a regular-season game.
Instead, the Scott Gordon era (if we can call it that) begins Tuesday night when the Flyers (12-15-4) host the Red Wings (14-15-5).
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Let's look at the essentials:
• When: 7 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m.
• Where: Wells Fargo Center
• Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
• Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app
• Familiarity with the organization was a major reason why general manager Chuck Fletcher wanted Gordon for the Flyers' interim head coaching job.
The fact that he's been in the organization I believe will allow him to get up to speed quicker than bringing in somebody from the outside. Yet, he wasn't here on a daily basis, so there's some distance - if that makes sense. Close enough, yet far enough away. I think that brings, hopefully, an opinion that we need, a voice that we need.
Bringing in a coach on the fly during the thick of a season is never easy, but one that has some history with the current players is a plus.
Nine players in the Flyers' projected lineup Tuesday have played at least one game for Gordon at AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.
But the familiarity doesn't end there.
Gordon was an assistant with the Maple Leafs from 2011 to 2014. James van Riemsdyk scored 30 goals for Toronto in 2013-14.
"We also want to get JVR going, he's a big guy for us," Gordon said Tuesday after morning skate. "I coached him in Toronto, I know how good he can be."
Van Riemsdyk has three goals and four assists through 15 games this season. At times, he's been hardly noticeable on the ice. Last game, he played just 13:32 and was a minus-3 in the 5-1 loss to the Canucks.
Having Gordon understand van Riemsdyk's strengths should only help spark the Flyers' winger, but we'll have to wait and see what he can do differently with JVR.
• Since Nov. 23, the Flyers' penalty kill has ranked seventh in the NHL at 86.2 percent. Still, it sits 30th overall at 73.5 percent and has been a problem since 2014-15 under assistant coach Ian Laperriere.
With time, could Gordon have an impact on the PK? According to Tony Androckitis of InsideAHLHockey.com, Gordon used a penalty-kill style that had some unorthodox qualities and was predicated on understanding pressure.
In his overall system, Gordon said he doesn't want to throw too much at once at the Flyers.
"We did a couple of things today that we'll try to implement tonight," Gordon said Tuesday, "and then we'll see where we're at after the game."
• In terms of noteworthiness, Carter Hart's NHL debut will trump Gordon's Flyers debut. That's because Hart is viewed as the goalie of the future and is only 20 years old (see story).
There will be a buzz tonight at the Wells Fargo Center solely because of Hart.
• Here's a look at where the Flyers have been since Nov. 13, trends that ultimately led to Hakstol's firing.
Since Nov. 13, the #Flyers ...
• Haven't won consecutive games.
• Are 3-8-3 with 9 points.
• Have a minus-20 goal differential
• Have 4 power-play goals in 35 chances— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) December 18, 2018
• The Flyers, on a four-game losing streak, have not lost five straight this season. Over the four-game skid, they're allowing 5.5 goals per game.
Claude Giroux-Nolan Patrick-Travis Konecny
Wayne Simmonds-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
James van Riemsdyk-Scott Laughton-Michael Raffl
Oskar Lindblom-Phil Varone-Dale Weise
Travis Sanheim-Ivan Provorov
Robert Hagg-Shayne Gostisbehere
Andrew MacDonald-Radko Gudas
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