Game 20: Carolina Hurricanes at Flyers Pronger and Coburn OUT

Game 20: Carolina Hurricanes at Flyers Pronger and Coburn OUT

Add
two more names to the Flyers' list of skating wounded. Defensemen Chris
Pronger and Braydon Coburn won't face the Carolina Hurricanes tonight,
each sitting with as-yet undisclosed injuries (ie, it hasn't been
specified whether they are upper or lower body injuries). Marc-Andre
Bourdon and Kevin Marshall will dress in their places, having been
called up/down from the Adirondack Phantoms earlier today. Harry Z has
been sent to Trenton, presumably to keep him close by for a quick
recall.

Can't say we're pleased to hear any injury news for Chris Pronger,
who suffered lingering back issues after breaking a hand last year and
missed time due to a stick to his eye already this season. Hopefully
it's nothing major, perhaps just a flu bug or other illness. The decisions made in personnel—both the guys they called up and the presumed short-term loan of Harry Z) are at least good signs that the Flyers aren't immediately looking to replace Pronger and Coburn for a long time. [Injury Update from Paul Holmgren below]

On to the game.

In two contests so far this season, including one a week ago tonight, the Flyers have topped the Hurricanes 5-1 and 5-3.

The
Canes are 7-11-3, with their 17 points currently representing last
place in the Southeast Division and the Eastern Conference. They're not
scoring a ton of goals nor doing a particularly good job keeping the
light off behind their own net, and neither their power play (woeful)
nor penalty killing are anything to write home about so far.

A 3-2 win over Toronto yesterday snapped a three-game losing skid,
including two shutouts; Carolina has turned in a terrible November to
date, losing seven of 10 games. Their other two wins this month came
over Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay.

Cam Ward started last night, but it appears head coach Paul Maurice won't be giving Brian Boucher a go in front of a Flyers faithful that are still happy to call him our own, even if he may get a mock cheer here and there. Boosh took the 5-1 loss in the team's previous visit to Philly this season, while Ward took the 5-3 defeat in Carolina. Pucking Hockey lists Ward as tonight's Canes starter, and Ilya Bryzgalov is back between the pipes for the Flyers.

The Hurricanes have had trouble finding the net lately, scoring just
three goals in their last three games, all of which came in last
night's win. Will the Flyers' depleted blue line be able to keep them
muted? Will Matt Read stay blazing hot? Will Kimmo Timonen, Andrej Meszaros, and Matt Carle be skated into the ground as they try to hide two guys making their NHL debuts?

There's more to this matchup than first place vs. last place...

[Update: Paul Holmgren informs the beats that Pronger has a virus, and Coburn an upper-body injury that is barring him from contact. Both are day-to-day. Erik Gustafsson was placed on LTIR]

Conspiracy charge added for 3 former Penn State administrators

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Conspiracy charge added for 3 former Penn State administrators

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A Pennsylvania judge on Thursday allowed prosecutors to add a conspiracy charge against three former Penn State administrators, increasing their possible penalty if convicted of crimes for their handling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

Judge John Boccabella granted a request by the attorney general's office to tack on a related conspiracy count to the charges of endangering the welfare of children.

Prosecutors said each felony count carries up to 7 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Jury selection is scheduled for March 20 in Harrisburg in the case of former university president Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley.

The defendants sought permission last week from Boccabella for an appeal that could delay the trial. The judge has not ruled on that request.

They argue Boccabella erred when he declined to dismiss the child-welfare charges, arguing the statute of limitations expired, the defendants did not provide direct care for children and they are charged with actions that occurred before the law was revised.

Earlier this month, the judge dismissed charges of failing to properly report suspected abuse, and last year the Superior Court threw out perjury, obstruction and conspiracy charges.

The three administrators fielded a complaint in 2001 from a graduate assistant who said he saw Sandusky, then retired as an assistant football coach, sexually abusing a boy in a team shower.

They did not report the matter to police or child welfare authorities, but did tell Sandusky he could no longer bring children to the campus and they notified his charity for children, The Second Mile.

Sandusky currently is serving a lengthy state prison term after being convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys.

Last week, a new judge appointed to preside over his appeals under the state's Post-Conviction Relief Act scheduled a March 24 hearing at the courthouse near State College to "present and finalize the evidentiary portion" of the hearing.

Hits King Pete Rose on Phillies' Wall of Fame ballot

Hits King Pete Rose on Phillies' Wall of Fame ballot

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies have released their Wall of Fame ballot for 2017 and Pete Rose is on it for the first time.

Baseball’s all-time hits king joins Steve Bedrosian, Larry Christensen, Jim Fregosi, Gene Garber, Placido Polanco, Ron Reed, Scott Rolen, Manny Trillo and Rick Wise on the ballot.

The Phillies had to receive permission from commissioner Rob Manfred to include Rose on the ballot. Rose was placed on baseball’s permanently ineligible list in 1989 after he admitted to wagering on baseball during his time as manager of the Cincinnati Reds. The ban precludes him from appearing on the ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Rose is still on the ineligible list, but Manfred has shown some leniency in recent years and Rose has been able to participate in some ceremonies. He was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds' Hall of Fame last summer. 

Rose was one of the stars on the Reds’ Big Red Machine, a club that won back-to-back World Series in 1975 and 1976. He came to the Phillies as a free agent before the 1979 season. He spent five years with the Phils and his leadership was considered key in getting a talented team over the top on its way to winning the 1980 World Series. 

The Phillies’ Wall of Fame ceremony will take place Aug. 12 at Citizens Bank Park. 

Fans have a voice in the voting, which is has begun on the team’s website -- www.Phillies.com. Fans can select their top three choices and the five finalists will serve as the official ballot for a special Wall of Fame selection committee.