Let the Post Rabbit Era Begin: Sixers Host Detroit in Home Opener

Let the Post Rabbit Era Begin: Sixers Host Detroit in Home Opener

As kids today -- or is it professional athletes? Hip Hop artists? I forget who says it exactly -- like to say, "haters gone hate."

Regardless of how exciting this young Sixers team is, or how well they're playing at any given moment, people who don't even watch the NBA at all are going to trot out their typical insightful analysis of, "who cares? The NBA hasn't been good since [insert 80's era superstar] played." This, of course, ignores one simple fact.

A whole lot of people care.

Sure, the Sixers may not be the perennial title contender that the Phillies have become. They may not be the well-oiled hockey machine that Ed Snider has built. And they certainly don't play in the NFL, arguably Philly sports fans' first love. But the fact remains that the Wells Fargo Center is going to have a whole lot of fans in the building tonight for the home opener to the 2011-2012 season.

So, get your "who cares" out of the way now and allow the hoops fans in this town to enjoy a team that has started out a respectable 3-2 on the road to jump start their season. Not only has Coach Collins rejuvenated a franchise that was totally in the dumps -- Eddie Jordan was here less than two years ago!?! -- just a short while ago, but a new ownership group has shown that they care immensely about you, the fan, and want to ensure you get a valuable experience when you pay money to come putt your butt in the seats.

The new lighting, the new PA announcer, the new music, the new video montages, the potential new mascot (?) … They'll almost certainly be a nice upgrade over what came before. Oh, and the new extra dancers, too. (And we admit, the mascot thing could easily go either way)

But the real excitement will be what takes place on the court when the clock is running. Tonight is your first real chance to get a look at the new Sixers up close and personal.

Before the season started, Coach Collins said his goal for the season was simple. To be better.

We're just happy to have relatively high expectations for once.

First tip from the Center scheduled for 7:00 p.m. as the Sixers host a banged up Pistons team. If there's a game the Sixers should win early in their schedule, this one is it.

You may not care, but keep it to yourself, will ya? Because plenty of love will be shown this year in South Philly for the 76ers.

Time to get better.

Best of NHL: Penguins beat Panthers in Sidney Crosby's debut

Best of NHL: Penguins beat Panthers in Sidney Crosby's debut

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby scored in his season debut as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied to beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Crosby, who scored on a power play, missed the team's first six games with a concussion. Carl Hagelin and Eric Fehr also scored for the Penguins, who extended a seven-game unbeaten streak against the Panthers.

Marc-Andre Fleury, who has started the first seven games of the season for Pittsburgh, stopped 20 shots. Matt Murray, who backstopped the Penguins to a Stanley Cup in June, served as the backup to Fleury after missing the first six games with a broken hand.

Reilly Smith scored a power-play goal and Mark Pysyk also scored for the Panthers, who have lost 11 of 12 against the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

James Reimer made 19 saves in his second start of the season (see full recap).

Kings top Blue Jackets in overtime
LOS ANGELES -- Alec Martinez scored 1:14 into overtime, and the Los Angeles Kings rallied to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 Tuesday night for their third straight victory.

Drew Doughty scored the tying goal with 5:57 left in regulation for the Kings, who won their third straight overtime game after an 0-3-0 start to the season. Captain Anze Kopitar also scored, and third-string goalie Peter Budaj stopped 19 shots in his third consecutive win.

Cam Atkinson scored a tiebreaking power-play goal late in the second period, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves for Columbus. Brandon Saad also scored for the Jackets, who had won two straight after an 0-2-0 start.

Martinez ended it by putting a rebound into an open net for the defenseman's second goal of the season (see full recap).

Lightning strike for seven goals in win
TORONTO -- Steven Stamkos matched a career-high with four points -- two goals and two assists -- and the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-3 on Tuesday night.

Frederik Andersen gave up seven goals on only 24 shots, the third time in five starts he has allowed at least five goals and fourth time he's allowed four or more. The 27-year-old has an .851 save percentage so far this season.

Alex Killorn, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, Vladislav Namestnikov and Jonathan Drouin added goals for Tampa Bay, while Ben Bishop made 40 saves.

William Nylander, James van Riemsdyk and Auston Matthews scored for the Maple Leafs, who outshot the Lightning 43-24 (see full recap).

Report: Eagles make inquiry about Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

Report: Eagles make inquiry about Bears WR Alshon Jeffery

The Eagles could be looking for a bigger name outside.

In need of a deep threat — and reportedly in talks about a trade for 49ers wideout Torrey Smith — the Eagles are interested in Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and attempting to make a move for the 2013 Pro Bowler, according to a report Tuesday night by Benjamin Allbright of Mile High Sports Radio.

We followed up with Allbright, who clarified the Eagles simply made an inquiry.

Jeffery, much more of a do-it-all, dynamic wide receiver than the one-dimensional Smith, is 26 years old and can become a free agent at season's end. He'll warrant good money, but would make the Eagles better in more ways than one compared to Smith.

The 6-foot-3, 218-pounder put up 89 catches for 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, followed by 85 catches, 1,133 yards receiving and 10 scores in 2014.

This season, he has 520 yards receiving and has yet to find the end zone playing for the quarterback-challenged Bears, who are 1-6 and more than likely thinking about next season.