Eagles-Saints on MNF: Can't You Feel the Excitement? No? Me Neither.

Eagles-Saints on MNF: Can't You Feel the Excitement? No? Me Neither.

With
the Eagles' record at 3-4, their season seemingly on the brink of
disaster, and Andy Reid's demise likely hanging in the balance, we
simply are not feeling the big-game vibe that is usually associated with
Monday Night Football in New Orleans. Since the Atlanta Falcons
systematically destroyed the Birds eight days ago, there has been a
creeping feeling the Birds are heading south for the winter.

Sure,
the club have been in this position before under Andy Reid, and still
managed to reach the playoffs. In 2008, the Eagles were 5-5-1 heading
into a Week 13 tilt against Arizona, but routed the Cardinals 48-20 on
Thanksgiving night, and took four out of their last five to sneak into
the playoffs where their run continued all the way to the NFC
Championship game.

In '06, they were 5-6 one game after Donovan
McNabb was lost for the season to a torn ACL when the team suddenly
rallied around Jeff Garcia in a 27-24 Monday night victory over the
Carolina Panthers, the first in a wave of six straight Philly rode into
the second round of the tournament.

And in '03, they were off to a
miserable 2-3 start, and on the verge of losing in New York before a
Brian Westbrook punt return touchdown bailed the Eagles out with less
than two minutes to go, sparking a stretch of 11 wins over the next 12
games, which led to a third-consecutive NFC Title berth.

Clearly
Reid is no stranger to mid-season adversity, but the theme around town
is it feels different this time. Maybe it's because after 14 years, fans
think they already know how the story is going to end, which is
ultimately with disappointment. Maybe it's because people just want
something new.

But part of it is maybe there really is no reason
to think that magic can be recaptured. After all, who is gonig to bail
Reid out now? To this point, he has generally failed to replace McNabb,
Jim Johnson, and a dozen other guys who formed the backbone of those
teams that just wouldn't quit. The head coach has hitched his wagon to
Vick, to Juan Castillo, to Nnamdi Asomugha and Danny Watkins, among
others.

The makeup of this organization is not the same as it was
four years ago, when the Birds last rebounded out of a sticky
situation. Needless to say, the level of enthusiasm seems to have
changed along with the times, perhaps with good reason.

A win
tonight might push the Eagles back into postseason contention, sort of.
However, given how inconsistent Reid's squads have been since 2010 --
only one game above .500, with zero playoff wins -- any sense that a W
will lead to something bigger or better down the road isn't going to be
accomplished overnight.

The Eagles are down, not out, but the
feeling is they may as well be. A win tonight will seem like it's only
delaying the inevitable, while a loss will be like the proverbial pop of
a balloon. It's hard to get excited when those are the two
most-anticipated outcomes.

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

Twenty-five of the Union’s 34 games in 2017 will be featured on CSN and TCN, as Jim Curtin’s club vies for a second straight playoff berth.

Twenty matches will air on TCN, while five can be seen on CSN. The nine others will be appear across 6ABC, ESPN and FOX Sports 1.

The Union’s season opener on March 5 at the Vancouver Whitecaps will broadcast on TCN and the team’s home opener on March 11 against Toronto FC will air on CSN. The next three games — March 18 at Orlando City SC, April 1 at D.C. United and April 8 vs. the Portland Timbers — will be shown on TCN.

The Union are coming off an 11-14-9 season and their second-ever trip to the MLS playoffs in which they suffered a first-round exit to Toronto FC.

For the Union’s full 2017 schedule, click here.

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Jonathan Toews had three goals and two assists and the Chicago Blackhawks beat rival Minnesota 5-3 on Tuesday night for their second win over the Western Conference-leading Wild in less than two weeks.

Toews notched his fourth career hat trick on an empty-netter with 1:02 left to stave off a spirited rally by the Wild, who began a franchise-record eight-game homestand on Feb. 8 with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Blackhawks. Toews had a goal and two assists in that one and has 37 points in 35 career games against Minnesota.

Chicago's captain has been chewing up almost everyone else, too, with 20 points in his last 12 games. Toews' wing men Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik had the other goals, giving the Blackhawks 34 goals in their last eight games. Their first line totaled nine points.

Mikael Granlund's second power-play goal for the Wild brought them within 4-3, before Ryan Suter hit the crossbar with a shot that nearly tied it (see full recap).

Islanders open 9-game road trip with win
DETROIT -- Calvin de Haan was credited with a go-ahead goal that caromed off an opponent late in the second period and the New York Islanders went on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 Tuesday night.

De Haan's shot from above the left circle was stopped by Petr Mrazek, but the rebound went off Detroit defenseman Xavier Ouellet and the back of the goaltender's left leg and into the net. John Tavares scored early in the third period to give the Islanders a two-goal lead and they coasted to the victory.

Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist, and Thomas Greiss stopped 26 shots for New York.

Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit and Mrazek finished with 19 saves.

The Islanders, in contention for a wild-card spot, began a stretch of nine straight road games by winning for the third time in four games and improved to 8-13-4 away from home (see full recap).

Crosby, Penguins take care of Hurricanes
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Sidney Crosby scored the go-ahead goal on a deflection in the second period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Evgeni Malkin and Scott Wilson also scored to help the reigning Stanley Cup champions bounce back from their only loss since the All-Star break. Pittsburgh moved three points behind East-leading Washington and is 7-1-3 since the break.

Jeff Skinner scored for the last-place Hurricanes, who have their second five-game losing streak in the past five weeks. They have been outscored 19-4 during the current slide.

Matt Murray made 29 saves for the Penguins while Cam Ward stopped 19 shots for Carolina (see full recap).