Sometimes you have to make a hard left turn.
With Episode 5 of Flight Plan (Presented by Virtua Health – got to show love to our sponsor), that was definitely what happened.
As some of you noticed, we have been trotting out a new episode every two weeks. That, of course, is the goal each time.
However, when the organization makes a drastic change – like they did when firing coach Peter Laviolette – we needed to slam on the brakes and completely overhaul the episode.
Now, some will ask, “Why?”
And it’s a valid question. After all, this is a documentary series and we are going to show the team, warts and all, from the beginning of the season to the end of the season.
We knew going into it that there were going to be times when it wouldn’t be easy. Invariably, there would be that slump that really drags things down. But we agreed we wouldn’t let that deter us and we would continue to provide the story as it actually played out.
And we are going to address the coaching change in Episode 6, however Episode 5 was always going to be about training camp and opening night.
As such, when we focused a good chunk of the episode on training camp, we spent a lot of time with Laviolette talking about the benefits of a full camp, about the trip to Lake Placid and the team bonding and his insights into who was playing well, who was competing for jobs and where the team was situated.
The episode was done and was being emailed around to the staff, as always, looking for anything we may have missed in the editing, when the news broke about the coaching switch.
The creative team came together and we discussed what to do with the episode. We decided to delay the release and change the tone of the story.
We figured it would look really ridiculous to put out an episode extolling the efforts in training camp by the coach and players when, two days earlier, Chairman Ed Snider called it the worst training camp in 47 years.
So, we adjusted.
We snuck in the presentation of the new goalie mask for Steve Mason (not in the original episode) and beefed up the behind the scenes stuff from the “Meet the Team” taping.
Finally, we got into the opener.
The plan there was to do a big segment on Claude Giroux being mic’d up for the game.
However, a technical issue with the wireless microphone, limited us to how much on-ice sound we actually had, so we had to work with what we had as Giroux took the microphone off during one of the intermissions.
Nevertheless, we were still happy with the episode, which was completely reworked in a span of three days.
Our editor Mike Apalucci and our field producer Justin Rutherford did yeoman’s work making that happen.
And while the episode wasn’t what we had originally written and outlined, it still came together as a stand alone piece that we were happy with.
I should also thank my team of associate producers – Joe Siville, Rob Johnson, Samantha Wood and Lauren Cochran (who is sadly leaving us to go work for the Miami Heat, believe me, she will be missed) for their input and ideas on how to fix this episode.
Moving forward, you can expect Episode 6 to focus on the first five games of the Craig Berube era, and Episode 7 to be all about the rivalry with the Penguins.
That is, unless we have to make another sharp turn between now and then.
Just a few notes from practice today:
- The most interesting aspect of the session was the repeated practice of plays when the opposition has the puck behind the Flyers net. It was the identical scenario on which Vancouver scored the tying goal Tuesday when Henrik Sedin fed Christopher Higgins in front of the net. The Flyers spent about 20 minutes of practice on the drill, switching out defensive pairs repeatedly. It was an intense drill, and on one instance, when the forwards scored, Luke Schenn shattered his stick in frustration across the post.
- The power play also got in a good amount of work, but one interesting note was Jake Voracek took very little practice with the top unit, meaning a change could be coming there.
- Today’s practice was on the shorter side, lasting about 40 minutes total. It’s a good bet that Berube wants his players to have enough energy to give a 60-minute effort against the Penguins tomorrow after only about 50 minutes before tiring against Vancouver.
To contact Anthony SanFilippo email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37
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