Fitting During "Finals" Week... Even My Flyers Recap Lost Tonight

Fitting During "Finals" Week... Even My Flyers Recap Lost Tonight

So, a moment after I finished my recap of
the Flyers' 5-2 loss in Ottawa, their seventh straight up there and
fourth straight overall, I went to the team's video console site, which
proceeded to crash my browser. The post? Gone. My fault for not saving
it in World or something, and yeah I had about 10 tabs open. 

I'm not redoing the whole post, which contained virtually nothing you
don't already know. Everyone from the players to the coach to the
analysts, media, fans... everyone can see this team is underperforming
and trending in the wrong direction as the season hurtles toward its
end. Just a few general points. 

The Flyers' stagnancy continued on Tuesday night while the Capitals took
over the East lead (on a shootout winner by Mike Knuble) and the
Penguins climbed to within a point. While the powerplay finally got on
the board with a pair of goals, both by Mike Richards, it still looked
like crap overall, which is actually better than the PK looked in giving
up three Senators goals on the man advantage. Other than Richie, who
scored a pair of goals against the Sens for the third time this season,
Nik Zherdev showed some encouraging signs, and Sergei Bobrovsky was far
better than the four goals against would indicate. Ben Holmstrom got his
elbow out on a hit that may earn him a phone call. It wasn't too nasty,
but that cocked elbow near a head sets off alarms in the discipline
office. 

At this point, we're hoping the Flyers can go back to the well and
somehow become a far more inspired team once the playoffs start. Tonight
was a final confirmation that they won't magically be rounding into the
shape we saw for much of the season before round one starts. This
Flyers team, playing for a top seed and division crown, couldn't even
beat a team playing only to stay out of dead last in the conference. 

Four losses in a row with two to play. Then, who knows.

Report: Flyers close to re-signing Michal Neuvirth

Report: Flyers close to re-signing Michal Neuvirth

Well, it isn't a trade, but the Flyers are reportedly close to a move on deadline day.

The Flyers are "close" to re-signing goaltender Michal Neuvirth to a new deal, reports ESPN's Pierre LeBrun

In 24 games this year, Neuvirth is 10-9-1 with a 2.90 goals against average and a less-than-stellar .887 save percentage. He also missed 22 games with an injured left knee.

Injuries have always been a concern with the 28-year old, but when he is on the ice, Neuvirth has shown his worth.

In his first year with the Flyers in 2015-16, Neuvirth posted a 2.27 goals against average with a .924 save percentage in 32 games while sharing the net with Steve Mason.

Both Neuvirth and free-agent-to-be Mason have struggled to get in a groove this year.

Also worth noting, the deal gives the Flyers a goalie to expose in this summer's NHL expansion draft.

Each team must expose one goaltender, which the new Las Vegas Golden Knights franchise can select.

With both Neuvirth and Mason's contracts up after the year, the Flyers would be forced to expose a younger goalie, perhaps promising Phantoms goalie Anthony Stolarz, who is a restricted free agent this offseason.

Re-signing Neuvirth enables the Flyers to expose him, should they choose to do so, while keeping Stolarz protected from the draft.

Three years later, Eagles nailed Malcolm Jenkins vs. Jairus Byrd

Three years later, Eagles nailed Malcolm Jenkins vs. Jairus Byrd

INDIANAPOLIS -- As the NFL combine gets set to kick into high gear this week, the league offered a cautionary tale about free agency. 

On Tuesday night, news broke that the Saints are going to cut safety Jairus Byrd, according to a report by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, three years after they signed him to a monster six-year deal. By cutting Byrd, the Saints will save cap space, but they'll also take on plenty of dead money just to move on. 

Just three years ago, Byrd was the hottest safety on the market. He was the guy a lot of Eagles fans targeted. They wanted Byrd, not Malcolm Jenkins. 

Well, this one worked out well for the Eagles. While Byrd's first season with New Orleans ended after four games with a knee injury, Jenkins has become one of the Eagles' best players. 

Byrd has missed more games the last three years (15) than Jenkins has missed defensive snaps for the Eagles (eight). To Byrd's credit, he did play all 16 games in 2016. 

But even when they're both on the field, Jenkins has been the much better player, being named to the Pro Bowl in 2015. He has eight interceptions over the last three years to Byrd's three and Jenkins has returned half of those interceptions for touchdowns. Byrd hasn't had a pick-six since 2011. 

The Eagles rewarded Jenkins with a five-year extension before the start of the 2016 season. 

This story should be on the minds of Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas this week in Indianapolis as free agency approaches. It's not always about the biggest splash; it's about finding the right fit for a team. 

Even if the Eagles really wanted to splash this year, they might not have a lot of room to work with. They're strapped in terms of salary cap space, but they do have some options. This week will serve as an opportunity to meet with the representatives for several of their players already under contract like Connor Barwin, Jason Kelce, Ryan Mathews and Mychal Kendricks. Trades or cuts would free up plenty more space. 

There won't be a break after the combine this year thanks to a congested schedule. Almost immediately after the Eagles return to Philly, the legal tampering window will begin on March 7 and free agency opens on March 9.  

With this cautionary tale in mind, the Eagles have to avoid signing a Jairus Byrd and instead sign a Malcolm Jenkins. Easier said than done.