On Deadline Eve: Flyers in Beantown

On Deadline Eve: Flyers in Beantown

As of 6pm, none of the Flyers have been yanked from the lineup yet. There's no guarantee that will be true at 7, or even 8.

Tonight's the biggest movement night of the year in the NHL, and the Flyers and Bruins are both contenders in the East (ie, likely buyers in the market). The rumors continue to fly, and will all night and into tomorrow afternoon. But the players can't think about all that bullshit, half of which isn't even remotely true. For their sake, I hope they're steering way clear of the internet this week. If not, Joffrey Lupul hasn't had a wink of sleep lately.

Far more pressing than the deadline is the test the Flyers have on the ice tonight, and for the next month-plus. They're back to their pattern of following good hockey with bad, but there have been explanations, however weak, to fall back on lately. Not anymore. Danny Briere is back, and so is Kimmo Timonen. If their power play woes continue, it has nothing to do with personnel. These lines are loaded for bear.

After hearing that Claude Giroux was recalled, we all just about lost it at the combinations John Stevens announced. The new third line will be Giroux, Briere, and Upshall. I'm not sure how that bodes in the defensive zone, but they should score like they're at Mad River. The top line of Richards, Knuble, and Gagne is steady both ways, and the Carter line should see some rejuvenation now that the full complement of nine scoring forwards needs to be accounted for.

However, if there's a non-Devils team in the East that can consistently hang with that kind of firepower, it's the Broons. (The Pens still have our number too, somehow.) Boston leads the pack in the east with 93 points, which is the mark most teams on the playoff bubble are shooting for all season.

However, they've been more than human lately. After losing just eight times from November through January, the Bruins had a sub-.500 February. Here's to a shitty March, Boston.

Your likely netminders are Niitty and Tim Thomas. Don't blame TT for the recent woes. He's remained solid despite the increased losses, and Manny Fernandez was in net for 3/7 February defeats. Update: Manny's in net.

Eagles' Brandon Brooks gives father touching gift

Eagles' Brandon Brooks gives father touching gift

How’s this for an awesome deed?

Eagles offensive guard Brandon Brooks took to Twitter to show a heartfelt message, that included a photo of a new car he purchased for his father.

In the tweet, Brooks revealed the mindset his father has instilled in him growing up, not wanting to be average and more.

Nice gesture, Brandon.

Elements will play factor for both Flyers, Penguins in outdoor game

Elements will play factor for both Flyers, Penguins in outdoor game

PITTSBURGH -- The ice on Friday afternoon at Heinz Field was watery and slushy.
 
That’s because the city set a historic record at 78 degrees for Feb. 24.
 
So what were the ice conditions?
 
“They were pretty good,” said Sidney Crosby. “It was pretty bright there. Started off the practice and the sun was beating down pretty good.
 
“I’ve played in a few of these and the ice was pretty good considering how warm it was. It’s supposed to cool down and I’m sure it will get better.”
 
The Penguins will host the Flyers on Saturday night in a Stadium Series outdoor game.
 
Pittsburgh took the ice Friday at 4 p.m. The Flyers got on the ice a little more than an hour later and things started to cool down.
 
“We had a pretty good practice given the circumstances,” Jakub Voracek said. “This is a little better setup than Philly. The fans are closer.”
 
It was much hotter when Pittsburgh took the ice, but the temperature was still warm after the sun went down.
 
Shayne Gostisbehere said, “It was hot for sure. … It was fun, but it was pretty hot.”
 
Defenseman Radko Gudas said the ice surface was, “playable, but a little rough.”
 
On Saturday, rain is expected, with temperatures falling to 42 degrees by 5 p.m.
 
During the game, which begins at 8 p.m., the temperature is projected to continue to drop and there will be wind gusts up to 31 mph. By the end of the night, the forecast says temps will be in the 20s. 

Players are more concerned about the wind than the ice at this point. Crosby, who has played in three previous NHL outdoor games, said wind is a huge factor. It happened to the Penguins at the 2014 Stadium Series game in Chicago.
 
“It can definitely be a factor,” Crosby said. “I want to say in Chicago that was something we kind of had to look at. We felt it a little more there compared to the other two [outdoor games]. If it going to get windy like that, it’s something to be aware of.”
 
It remains to be seen how the NHL will handle which team goes into the wind first.
 
“Yeah, the wind,” Penguins assistant coach Rick Tocchet of what element will be a big factor. “I hope you don’t have to backcheck. Who gets the advantage? They change in the third period. But who picks what end? There is a wind factor.”
 
Tocchet rated the ice Friday as “a little slushy.”
 
“It was good early and then it got tough because it was hot outside,” Tocchet said. “But we got a half-decent practice out of it.
 
“The one thing, the puck didn’t bounce, which was good. Players can adapt a lot better when the puck doesn’t bounce. When things bounce, it’s a tough night.”