Chase Utley may not be on the field on Friday
afternoon at Citizens Bank Park when the first pitch of the 2011 season
comes out of Roy Halladay's hand, but No. 26 will be in the dugout
sitting alongside Charlie Manuel and the rest of his teammates. The
importance of the quiet leader's presence can't be underestimated, at
least according to the 2010 Cy Young Award winner.
"The fact that he's here is big for this team. I know at some point
he's going to go do his rehab stuff, but as good as he is on the
field..." Roy Halladay said on Wednesday after the team's final On-Deck
Series tune up in Philadelphia when asked about what Chase Utley means
to the Phillies.
Doc continued, "The best part about him is his demeanor off the
field, his demeanor in the clubhouse, his work ethic. Guys see that.
Even now, watching guys come in and see him doing his rehab, it's a huge
presence in the clubhouse. I'm really glad that he's here doing that
and not in Florida doing that because I think he's a big part of this
team whether he's on or off the field. He still contributes when he's
not playing. I'm definitely glad he's here. We'd love to have him on the
field, but you can't underestimate the kind of influence that he has on
As many fans of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia know, the
force is strong in Chase Utley. His mere presence is felt by even the
greatest pitcher in the game. If Roy Halladay recognizes and appreciates
Chase Utley trying to work his way back to the baseball field, imagine
the kind of impact it can have on some of the greener guys on the club.
Fans in attendance on Friday won't get to hear Led Zeppelin's Kashmir, but Chase will be there. His teammates are well aware of that fact.
Two bizarre goals less than two minutes apart ruined a special night for the Flyers on Thursday at Wells Fargo Center.
Martin Hanzal scored a tie-breaking goal simultaneously while teammate Jakob Chychrun was being pounded in a fight with Brayden Schenn during a 2-2 game.
Then, rookie defenseman Ivan Provorov tackled Brad Richardson, who fell into goalie Steve Mason for a shorthanded goal that counted after review for interference.
That’s one way of losing as hockey game, 5-4.
Brandon Manning, who has been outstanding on both sides of the puck, tried an ill-advised clearing pass up the high slot and it was picked off by pinching defenseman Oliver Edkman-Larsson for a quick turnaround shot to make it a 2-0 lead.
A huge save on Anthony Duclair in the first period by Mason after a turnover from Andrew MacDonald. Mason didn’t look great on the fifth goal. Rushes to the net were a problem in front of him.
The Flyers scored three against Buffalo. In this one, they had five scattered shots over their first three power plays. That's not going to get it done. But they did get it done on their fifth power play with Schenn diving with his stick extended hit the ice as he tipped Shayne Gostisbehere’s point shot home to tie the game, 2-2. The Flyers were 2 for 8 on the power play.
Claude Giroux leads with six overall.
There was no Boyd Gordon in this one to take PK draws. That went to Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. Roman Lyubimov had a nice shorthanded move for a possible scoring chance but couldn’t complete it.
You've got to like Sean Couturier upending Duclair during the opening minutes of play along the left boards. Duclair later had a fine assist on Jamie McGinn’s goal that gave the 'Yotes a 1-0 lead.
Ryan White had a goal that made it 5-3 late in the game.
The new third line with Nick Cousins centering Schenn and Dale Weise scored in the second period. All three picked up a point with Cousins banging home the Schenn rebound to make it a 2-1 game.
Chychrun lost to Schenn, who had sent Michael Stone to the boards hard with a legal shoulder check. Stone still assisted on Hanzal's goal that began the madness that saw Arizona get two quickies.
Injured: Forwards Scott Laughton (knee) and Michael Raffl (abdominal pull), defenseman Michael Del Zotto (knee). Healthy: forward Gordon and defenseman Nick Schultz.
The Flyers will practice Friday at Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J., and host the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Sixers' meeting on Thursday to address the national anthem situation on opening night was led by VP of Content and Integrated Marketing Jason Wiley, John Gonzalez reported.
Wiley and team executives decided not to have Sevyn Streeter perform the national anthem because she wore a "We Matter" shirt, according to the report. The team had concerns Streeter would have further protests.
A member of the Sixers' dance team performed in her place.
Wiley helped book Streeter, according to the report, and had previously worked for Bad Boy Records and had music industry contacts.
CBS3 reported Thursday that Streeter had signed a contract that barred her from making a political statement during the performance (see story).
The Sixers discussed the incident and are considering options on how to address it (see story).
“I think the team, not only do we want to speak up on the matter that happened yesterday, but I feel like we’re now starting to push, like it’s not just about saying something, it’s about making a difference,” Nik Stauskas said. “It’s about going out there and doing something. So we don’t really know what we’re going to do yet, but I know a lot of guys on this team are eager to go out there and make a difference one way or another.”