Eight years doesn’t seem like much, but when you’re an ex-hockey player, that can seem like a lifetime if you're waiting for a chance to someday be a head coach in the NHL.

That’s how long it took Craig Berube before landing the Flyers' job three days into this past season when Peter Laviolette was fired.

“I enjoyed it,” Berube said of his first time helming the club.

He would leave his home in central Bucks County every morning before 6 a.m. to arrive in Voorhees for the long days ahead.

“There’s ups and downs, went through tough times and good times,” Berube said. “That’s part of coaching. I enjoy coaching. I like coming to the rink and working with the players.

“I like coaching the games and being on the bench. It was very enjoyable. I’m very fortunate to have a job like that, especially here in Philadelphia.”

Berube inherited an 0-3 team. It was 1-7 -- the worst start in franchise history -- before it began to pull itself together in mid-October.

On Nov. 22, the Flyers defeated the Islanders, 5-2, to pull even at 10-10-2. Thus began the climb up from 10th in the Eastern Conference and fifth in the Metro Division.

On Dec. 19, the Flyers defeated Columbus, 5-4. That night, they climbed over .500 at 16-15-4 and were officially in a playoff spot -- third in the Metro and eighth overall in the East.

Then came the final, long grind to the playoffs which took until the second-to-last week in the regular season for the Flyers to clinch in Florida.

What surprised him?

“There’s always things that come up with players,” Berube said. “I think the biggest part of coaching is trying to get all your players on the same page and making them all happy.

“There’s ice times, there’s guys not playing, it’s a lot of different things that go on in there. That’s part of it, and a lot of times it’s a hard job that way.”

One of his strengths as a coach is the very same thing that made him strong as a player in the dressing room: He's brutally honest.