Geno Malkin's Aversion to Popcorn, Scottie's Girl, JVR for J-Bo? and Lupul's Reality TV Appearance

Geno Malkin's Aversion to Popcorn, Scottie's Girl, JVR for J-Bo? and Lupul's Reality TV Appearance


Just my luck that as soon as I leave to spend a few days in the desert on a horse with no name, key members of the Flyers Rat Pack resumed their blog-worthy behavior.

In reverse order of the title, the most fun story to hit my inbox this week is Joffrey Lupul's brief appearance on the VH1 celeb-reality show "Sober House." If you haven't seen this gleeful trainwreck of fallen stars, it's the follow-up to Dr. Drew's "Celebrity Rehab," which was noteworthy for Steven Adler's drug-addled rambles, Special Agent Angelo Pappas' constant altered—yet not chemically—state, and the holy-shit hotness of a model turned addict (shocking twist!) named Amber Smith.

As related by the Puck Father, from whom we jacked the above pic, Smith went to a party with another hockey player named Kip Brennan, and the storyline is that once he abandoned her (remember, hockey players can do whatever they want and women will still love them), the old urges kicked in for Amber. She hit up the booze, and made the casual acquintence of one Mr. Joffrey Lupul, the swift opportunist who swooped in when Brennan was off doing god knows what. Apparently Amber still left with her date, but give Loops an gold star for the effort.

Here's a video of the segment.


Not to be outdone, Scottie Upshall's apparently in a relationship with a looker by the name of Melanie Collins, a tidbit we learned from the site Busted Coverage. The two spent the All-Star Break vacationing in the Virgin Islands. That's her on the right. Well done, sir. 

Next up, Wyshynski also posted a great interview with the NHL's leading scorer, Evgeni Malkin of the Pens. One of the questions PD's Russian correspondent asked pertained to the survey ESPN.com recently conducted, in which Philly was said to have the most disruptive fans:

Not long ago ESPN had a survey where 24% of players surveyed said that the Philadelphia Flyers have the most disruptive fans. Have you ever been, even a little, afraid of Flyers fans? 

I
agree with the players [who named Flyers fans]. I can't say that I am
afraid of them though. Although I do remember one game in Philadelphia
last year when we had popcorn thrown to our bench by Flyers' fans,
other garbage. Thank god there were no bottles thrown. And their fans
also jump on the glass behind the bench, or behind the glass. People
don't behave that good there. I have never seen anything like this
anywhere. And this survey showed that other players noticed it too. I
am surprised by those fans. But I understand that they are just
supporting their team. 


Geno apparently missed Lupul getting hit by a pizza box after scoring the back-breaking game winner in Washington, as well as a fan throwing a plastic beer bottle at Jeff Carter after the game. But yeah, that stuff only happens in Philly.

Do you just see them as being strange? Or do they unsettle you or put you under pressure in any way?

No,
they don't put me under pressure. It's just not very nice when there is
popcorn thrown on the bench, and it doesn't feel good to go out and
play hockey after such things. No pressure, but such things are not
enjoyable and are unfounded.

Listen everyone. Let's try to knock it off with the tomfoolery behind the bench. It's not very nice to play hockey amidst such conditions for the Malkins of the world.

All joking aside, Malkin's an amazing talent who is great for the sport, and Puck Daddy really put together an interesting and in-depth Q&A here. Head over to Yahoo for the rest of the interview, which also discusses the effects of the hit Mike Richards put on Geno in last season's conference finals, perceptions of Sidney Crosby, and the $1,000 Malkin put the board to motivate his teammates.

What Would Bouwmeester Cost?
Finally (via The Fourth Period) the Ottawa Sun quotes league sources as saying the Flyers remain interested in beefing up their blue line by adding Jay Bouwmeester of the Panthers. The price would obviously be high, and the sources referenced a possible package of James vanRiemsdyk and Scott Hartnell, again mentioning Paul Holmgren's displeasure over JVR's play at World Juniors. That'd be a hell of a price to pay for J-Bo, who becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, but any deal for him would likely involve at least one of the Flyers' many talented forwards. They simply won't have room for everyone, and they're looking thinner every day on defense. How would you react to that trade, were it to go down?

Instant Replay: Knicks 110, Sixers 109

Instant Replay: Knicks 110, Sixers 109

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK -- A 17-point game came down to the final possessions. 

The Knicks squeaked out a 110-109 victory, holding on to this one after suffering a buzzer-beating loss to the Sixers on Jan. 11. 

The Knicks squandered a double-digit lead in the fourth as the Sixers slowly chipped away at their lead at the line. The Sixers got within one, 106-105, when T.J. McConnell drained a three after a series of Sixers’ free throws. 

Jahlil Okafor scored a go-ahead basket during a hustling Sixers possession with nine seconds remaining to give the Sixers a 109-108 lead. 

In the end, it was Carmelo Anthony, who had been running up the scoreboard all night (37 points), that nailed the game-winning jumper over Robert Covington. Kyle O’Quinn picked off the Sixers' final inbound attempt. 

Inside the box score
• Okafor finished with a season-high 28 points and 10 rebounds. He had eight rebounds in first half, including a coast-to-coast fast break.

• Dario Saric continues his strong Rookie of the Year push. He finished with 19 points, 15 rebounds and five assists. 

• Robert Covington struggled from the field overall (7 of 19, 2 of 11 from three) but filled up the stat sheet with 20 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

• Anthony did what Anthony does. He scored 37 points on 15 of 25 from the field, including the game-winner.

Anderson debuts
Justin Anderson made his Sixers debut in the first quarter. Anderson is a multi-positional player and the lineup reflected that. He first played with Rodriguez, Stauskas, Covington and Holmes. Anderson played 3:47 and went 0 for 1 from three with a rebound and a foul. 

While Anderson said he had learned about the Sixers by watching his first game from the bench, he will get more on-the-court experience on Sunday when he plans to spend time at the training complex on the team’s off day. 

Bigs Convene
Joel Embiid was with the Sixers in New York. After the second quarter ended, he stayed on the court to talk with Kristaps Porzingis and Joakim Noah. Both Knicks big men also were sidelined on Saturday.

Trust It
T.J. McConnell isn’t the only one to #trustthefriendship with Saric. Check out this no-look pass to Robert Covington. 

Up next
The Sixers have a day to bounce back from this loss. The 48-9 Warriors come to town on Monday. 

Villanova pushes past Creighton despite exhaustion before off week

Villanova pushes past Creighton despite exhaustion before off week

BOX SCORE

VILLANOVA, PA. – Jay Wright finally admitted what we could all see.

The Wildcats are gassed.

No. 2 Villanova beat No. 23 Creighton, 79-63, Saturday at the Pavilion to clinch the Big East Conference regular-season title outright (see Instant Replay).

The Wildcats are 27-3 and 14-3 in the conference, but the last couple weeks their lack of depth has shown.

With Omari Spellman ruled ineligible before the season by the NCAA, Phil Booth out since November with lingering knee pain and Darryl Reynolds out the last five games with a rib injury, Wright has essentially been limited to five starters, freshman Dante DiVincenzo off the bench and a few minutes a night from freshman Dylan Painter.

It's taken a significant toll on the six guys in the rotation. 

Big late leads have dwindled or, in the case of Wednesday’s game against Butler, disappeared. Three-pointers have front-rimmed. Defensive assignments have been missed.

Through it all, Wright refused to admit fatigue was an issue.

Now, with the Wildcats securely the top seed in next month’s conference tournament, Wright is being honest about his team.

They’re exhausted.

“I know you guys have asked a lot, 'Do I think we’re getting worn down with seven guys, 6 1/2 guys,' and I said I don’t think so, I think we can do it,” Wright said Saturday after the Senior Day win over Creighton.

“I gotta answer your question, but it just doesn’t do us any good saying we’re worn out. It’s not an excuse. Other teams have things to deal with. I get we weren’t pretty, we haven’t been pretty, today wasn’t pretty. But I think it just speaks to the leadership of these seniors and I think it speaks to the character of these seniors (that they got through it).

“Are they tired? Yeah. Are they worn down some? Yeah. But it doesn’t matter. Other teams got stuff too. It’s not the reason you lose. It can’t be the reason you lose. Maybe you were tired and you didn’t concentrate or we didn’t defend or we didn’t rebound. That’s what happened and that’s the way we look at it.

“I wasn’t trying to BS you, I was just saying that whether you’re tired or not doesn’t matter, you’ve got to get it done, and we got it done. I’m so proud of them and it’s senior leadership. It’s talented players and senior leadership.”

Villanova now has a week off before an essentially meaningless game next Saturday at Georgetown.

It’ll be the Wildcats’ first extended break since the season began.

“They haven’t had an off week because they played Virginia (two weeks ago in a non-conference game), and now they get it and a chance to get their legs back,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said.

“It’s a long season and when you don’t really have a chance to catch your breath, especially because he’s riding six or seven guys pretty hard right now? I’m sure this week off will do them some good.”

Sophomore transfer Eric Paschall had a career day Saturday, with 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting to go with six rebounds. Josh Hart added 16 points and eight boards, Kris Jenkins overcame another off shooting night from three (1 for 7) to record 15 points, four boards and three assists, and Mikal Bridges had 11 points and eight rebounds. DiVincenzo and Jalen Brunson each scored nine points. 

The next meaningful game Villanova plays will be March 9 in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament in New York.

Now it’s time to rest. And heal.

“It’s going to be good for us,” Jenkins said. “We get a couple days off. We’ll still watch film, still learn, still get better, but physically we need a couple days to regroup and get ready for Georgetown and then the Big East tournament.

“Georgetown is first, but we really do need this break.”

On Saturday, Villanova built an 11-point lead, gave it all away, fell behind, traded off seven second-half lead changes, then went on a 16-4 run midway through the second half to finally put away the Bluejays.

With the threes not falling, the Wildcats focused on attacking the rim and scoring in the post in the second half.

Jenkins in particular had an unusual game. He stopped shooting treys and made 5 of 8 shots from inside the arc. That’s the second-most two-pointers he’s ever made and the most he’s ever attempted.

“Just playing off my teammates and adjusting to how teams play me,” said Jenkins, shooting just 30 percent from three the last 10 games.

“They really take away threes and try not to let me get any clean catches so always being aggressive and trying to make the right play.”

For a tired team, backing off the threes was huge.

Villanova outscored Creighton 36-18 over the last 14 minutes after Creighton took its biggest lead – two points at 43-41.

Now comes rest.

“It’s big for these guys,” Wright said. “In my mind, we just had to get to today. We just gotta get through it without getting somebody else hurt and without just being dead.

“Because we’re going to get time off. We’re going to take Sunday off, we’re going to have a light day Monday, and then we’re going to take Tuesday off, because these guys really need the rest. So this is perfect timing for us.”