G's Up, Habs Down: Amazing Giroux Leads Flyers Over Canadiens

G's Up, Habs Down: Amazing Giroux Leads Flyers Over Canadiens

Claude Giroux's rise to NHL superstardom continued on Friday, when he scored a pair of second period goals and helped generate another as the Flyers came back to beat the Montreal Canadiens, 3-1. G was simply jaw-dropping in the second and third periods, and Carey Price and the Habs defenders had no answer for him. With goals and moves like these, how could they?

Recap, video highlights, and some injury news below.

Price was stopping everything the Flyers threw at him in the first, looking like he might just earn another shutout after posting two in recent games. Petteri Nokelain opened the scoring as the first period wound down, capitalizing on a gift from Andrej Meszaros. The Giant had trouble controlling the puck in front, and the Canadiens had a lead it looked like Price might be able to protect.

Peter Laviolette as clearly disappointed with the Flyers' effort in the first, and Giroux said after the game that Lavvy let his feelings be known in the first intermission. Jake Voracek said it was the maddest he's seen the coach. Apparently it worked..

Led by Giroux, the Flyers owned the second period, netting each of their three goals in the frame. With Price looking unbeatable using conventional means, G got creative. He tried to score off the face-off and missed, but after Matt Carle fired the puck off the boards behind the net, Giroux collected it and fired a zero-angle shot directly at Price's backside. Sometimes when a goal goes in off a bank like that, you joke that the shooter meant to do it, as the announcers did today. Watching the replays, there was little doubt Giroux actually did intend to shoot it Gretzky-style off of the goalie.

Notes:
Much as we love the fact that the Flyers play on Black Friday, it rarely ends well. John Boruk pointed out that this was their first win on the unofficial holiday since 2006.

Andreas Lilja suffered a high ankle sprain, and Paul Holmgren says he could miss three weeks. It's unlikely we'll see Chris Pronger (mysterious virus) or Jagr (groin) before next Friday. JVR (upper body) will be out 1-2 weeks.

Price allowed three goals, but the Flyers easily could've had more had it not been for the Canadiens netminder standing on his proverbial head.

The Flyers outshot the Habs, 18-5, in the decisive second period, a nice recovery from a five-shot first.

Neither team scored on the power play despite there being nine infractions called, including about 1:40+ of two-man advantage time for the Flyers. For their part, the Flyers were without three key power play pieces.

The kill unit looked great, stymying the Canadiens and narrowly missing on some shorty attempts.

Marc-Andre Bourdon again played well, notching two big hits and taking what could be considered a wise stick-slashing penalty to break up a Canadiens rush. It came after
he gave the puck away, but still…

Up Next:
The Flyers head up to Madison Square Garden to face the Rangers at 2PM.

Photo by Christopher Szagola-US Presswire

Hall of Fame defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy dies at 48

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AP Images

Hall of Fame defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy dies at 48

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Hall of Fame defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy has died in Orlando.

Police say the 48-year-old former Seattle Seahawks star was found dead on Tuesday morning.

Orlando Police Department public information officer Wanda Miglio said the circumstances surrounding his death are still unknown, but that there is nothing suspicious about his death. An investigation is being conducted.

One of the best defensive lineman of his generation, Kennedy was a star in his 11 seasons in the NFL with the Seahawks. He became the second Seattle player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012. He was an unmovable wall as a dominant defensive tackle, and a quiet, gentle soul away from the field never interested in finding himself in the spotlight.

Kennedy was an eight-time Pro Bowler and won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 1992.

"Really sad to lose a guy like Cortez Kennedy," Broncos' general manager John Elway tweeted Tuesday. Elway was chased around by Kennedy twice a year for much of the 1990s as competitors in the AFC West. "A great personality, a great player and I enjoyed competing against him."

Even though he last played for the Seahawks in 2000, he remained a significant part of the organization. He was a mainstay around the team during training camp and would occasionally roll through the locker room during the regular season grabbing a few minutes with anyone -- players, coaches, media -- up for a chat.

"My heart hurts," current Seahawks offensive lineman Justin Britt tweeted. "We lost a truly great player but even better person."

10 observations from Day 1 of Eagles' OTAs

10 observations from Day 1 of Eagles' OTAs

There was finally some football in South Philly on Tuesday as the Eagles kicked off the first round of their OTAs. 

Aside from a few notable absences -- Fletcher Cox, Jason Peters, Donnie Jones, Marcus Smith -- the Eagles had just about everyone on the field (see story)

Here are 10 observations from Tuesday's practice: 

1. Here's how the first-team offense looked: 
QB: Carson Wentz
RB: LeGarrette Blount
TE: Zach Ertz
OL (left to right): Lane Johnson, Isaac Seumalo, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Halapoulivaati Vaitai
WR: Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, Jordan Matthews

2. Here's how the first-team defense looked: 
LDE: Brandon Graham
LDT: Destiny Vaeao
RDT: Tim Jernigan
RDE: Vinny Curry
LBs: Jordan Hicks, Nigel Bradham, Mychal Kendricks
S: Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod
CB: Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson. 

Note: In the nickel package, rookie third-rounder Rasul Douglas came on the field as an outside cornerback and Mills slid into the slot. 

3. Early in the practice, in an offense-only drill, the Eagles were trying to audible into a new play, but there was some confusion with Blount, who didn't seem to know the play. Blount is still obviously learning the playbook, but it shows the respect they have for him that he was working with the ones already. 

4. The play the Eagles wanted to get into during that drill was a good one. Wentz rolled out to his right and found Jeffery streaking across the field. The two seem to be getting on just fine. 

Although later in 11-on-11s, Wentz tossed up an ill-advised pass deep to Jeffery in tight coverage and the ball was picked by McLeod. Jeffery will win a lot of battles, but that one was too much. 

5. Linebacker Joe Walker and cornerback Ron Brooks were on the field on Tuesday but didn't participate in team drills. Walker (ACL) and Brooks (quad tendon) are both recovering from significant injuries. 

6. The Eagles lined up a few times with Darren Sproles and Donnel Pumphrey on the field together. Those few times, Sproles was in the backfield and Pumphrey lined up in the slot. It's early, but we might get to see some creativity from Doug Pederson with these two this year. 

7. Dillon Gordon, whom the Eagles signed as an undrafted rookie last year, did something interesting on Tuesday. The offensive tackle, who played tight end in college, took a few reps at tight end in limited offensive drills. That's intriguing because if he could play the role of an extra tackle during the season, he'd have something Matt Tobin doesn't: the ability to actually become a receiver, not just an eligible one. 

8. Robinson, who is getting run at corner with the first team, won a jump ball with Dorial Green-Beckham on a deep ball. It was an impressive play by Robinson, but DGB mistimed his jump. 

The best defensive play of the day came from Najee Goode in 7-on-7s. The veteran backup linebacker and special teamer dropped back and dove backward to break up a pass off the hand of Nick Foles. 

9. Obviously, there's no hitting yet, but Derek Barnett had a good first day going against the vets. Sure, Lane Johnson completely shut him down on one play, but Barnett showed off a variety of moves. 

10. The Eagles' two rookie receivers worked with the third team on Tuesday, while DGB and Nelson Agholor worked with the twos. Shelton Gibson showed off his quickness and Mack Hollins' size and speed combo wasn't any less impressive. Also, Hollins wasn't wearing gloves, but it didn't seem to affect his ability to catch. 

Stupid observation of the day: Thanks to his afro and thick beard, Seumalo kind of looks like a lion with a mane.