Bryz, Flyers Downed in Nashville, Couturier Stays Hot

Bryz, Flyers Downed in Nashville, Couturier Stays Hot

Not gonna get too deep in this one, in part because there's not a whole lot to say. Pekka Rinne was a rock (a very fast and flexible rock) in net for the Predators, and Ilya Bryzgalov was once again unable to fight off some shots through screens and deflections. The Flyers played a decent game though, generating a lot of shots and some good scoring chances. The line of Wayne Simmonds, Matt Read, and Sean Couturier was the best on the ice, netting both of the Flyers' two goals in a 4-2 loss. 

The Flyers found themselves in an early hole after a first period Predators goal beat a screened Bryz on the power play. The deficit grew to two when Gabriel Bourque stripped Brayden Schenn of a bouncing puck in the high slot of the Flyers zone Sergei Kostitsyn and fed it to Sergei Kostitsyn. Kostitsyn ripped a shot through no less than four players moving laterally between himself and Bryzgalov, who didn't have a line of sight on the puck until was passing him. 

Couturier brought the Flyers to within one when he took a feed from Simmonds and went to his happy place, just off the dot in the face-off circle with his left-handed shot on the inside. Just as we've seen in his three goals in the previous games, he generated some good torque and ripped a wrist shot, beating Rinne just inside the far post. That's four goals in four games and nine on the season for Couturier, who is increasingly hard to keep off the ice. He is the second Flyers rookie to score goals in four consecutive games this season, with Matt Read the first. 

The Preds widened the gap at 4:30 of the third period though. Nick Spaling was credited with a goal after a puck caught him in the leg before appearing to be deflected on goal by a Flyer. Again, while it's easy to see the goal totals continue to pile up when Bryz is in net, and like everyone else, we want him to find a way to stop them all, the Predators came full-speed into the zone, and Jordin Tootoo flung a puck toward that appeared to hit two players before scoring. 

Midway through the third period, the Simmonds-Read-Couturier line made it interesting though. They pinned the Predators back in their zone, with Simmonds in particular buzzing around Rinne until finally he banged his twelfth of the season home. 

That would be the end for the Flyers though. They showed good fight in the third period, just couldn't beat Rinne again despite some solid opportunities. Mike Fisher finished off the game with an empty netter. 

All in all, it's probably a nothing-to-see-here loss on the road to a solid defensive team with a tremendous goalie who stopped 36 shots. The G Unit was quiet again, but the Predators were using their change advantage as best they could to ensure they had the matchups they wanted. Rinne was the star of the game, plain and simple. 

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The Eagles need a big-time wide receiver


The Eagles need a big-time wide receiver

I’ve been saying it since early 2000s: The Eagles will never, ever win a Super Bowl again until they go out and get a big-time wide receiver. 

The one year they had one -- 2004, with Terrell Owens -- they got to the Super Bowl. But they never got there earlier, with the likes of Na Brown, Todd Pinkston and James Thrash; nor later, when they blew it with T.O. and failed to land Big-Time Receivers like Roy Williams, Erik Moulds, Javon Walker, or Peerless Price. 

We face a similar situation today.  The Eagles are 4-2 and just beat the Vikings, the league’s last undefeated team. But the team’s lackluster receiving corps threatens to derail the season, and with it the crucial first year of Carson Wentz’s career. Missing out on the playoffs in their rookie year because of receivers who can’t catch the ball is the sort of thing that ruins young quarterbacks for life. 

Don’t make the same mistake again, Howie Roseman. Go out and get Alshon Jeffrey. Or Torrey Smith. Or better yet, Alshon Jeffrey AND Torrey Smith. I don’t care what it takes- and it’s not like the Eagles are ever having draft picks again anyway. 

Of course, none of this would be a problem if we’d traded for Anquan Boldin. I’ve wanted the Eagles to get Anquan Boldin for 10 years, and they never have- not even this year, when he was a free agent, and he went and signed with the Lions and helped beat us two weeks ago.  

So in conclusion: Do whatever it takes, Howie. Start a bidding war. Just keep offering #1 picks until the Bears or Niners say yes. 


In an event I’d have considered considerably less likely than either the prospect of a Cubs world championship or the election of a woman as president of the United States, Joel Embiid on Wednesday night played in a regular season game for the Philadelphia 76ers. It took almost three years, but Embiid finally passed Andrew Bynum on the Sixers’ All-Time Games Played List. 

But Embiid was not the MVP for the Sixers’ opener. That title goes to the older gentleman who charged at Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook with two raised middle fingers, as he screamed an f-bomb at him. 

Yes, he was thrown out of the arena, though had it been up to me I’d have given the guy a ticket upgrade, and possibly a job with the team. The greater point is, how many times did you see fans in courtside seats flipping the bird at opposing superstars, in the three years Sam Hinkie was in charge? Exactly. The passion for the Sixers is back. 

My ideal scenario: The Sixers trade for Russell Westbrook, and the cover of next year’s team yearbook is Westbrook and that fan, side by side, flipping the bird together. 


Other Philly sports takes: 

- It’s so, so pathetic that Pittsburgh keeps changing the name of its hockey arena. 

- I heard they were doing E-A-G-L-E-S chants at the Sixers home opener. Awful- they should keep that stuff where it belongs, at Phillies games. 

- I can't figure out how to pronounce Big V's full name so for now I'll just call him "Winston Justice.”

- My thoughts on the WIP lineup changes? It’s about to time they gave a shot to an ex-Eagle in the mid-day, and an overweight out-of-towner in the afternoon. 

Follow @FakeWIPCaller on Twitter. 

Mike McQueary's defamation suit against Penn State headed to jury

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Mike McQueary's defamation suit against Penn State headed to jury

BELLEFONTE, Pa. — Lawyers for a former Penn State assistant football coach urged a judge and jurors Thursday to find the university liable for how it treated him after it became public that his testimony helped prosecutors charge Jerry Sandusky with child molestation.

McQueary is seeking more than $4 million in lost wages and other damages, saying he was defamed by a statement the school president released the day Sandusky was charged, retaliated against for helping with the Sandusky investigation and misled by school administrators.

Sandusky, a former defensive coach at Penn State, was convicted in 2012 of sexual abuse of 10 boys and is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence. He maintains his innocence.

In closing arguments Thursday, Penn State attorney Nancy Conrad emphasized that McQueary had said he was damaged by public criticism that he did not to go to police or child-welfare authorities when he saw Sandusky sexually abusing a boy in a team shower in 2001. Instead he reported it the next day to then-head coach Joe Paterno.

"Mr. McQueary was not damaged by any action of the university," Conrad argued. "Mr. McQueary, as he testified and as he recognized, if he was harmed, was harmed by national media and public opinion."

McQueary testified he has not been able to find work, either in coaching or elsewhere, but Conrad blamed that on an inadequate network of contacts and the lack of a national reputation.

Judge Thomas Gavin will decide the whistleblower count, a claim that McQueary was treated unfairly as the school suspended him from coaching duties, placed him on paid administrative leave, barred him from team facilities and then did not renew his contract shortly after he testified at Sandusky's 2012 trial.

McQueary was not allowed to coach in the school's first game after Paterno was fired, a home loss to Nebraska.

"That sends a very clear signal to those in your network that the university doesn't want you to be supported," Strokoff said. "`Stay away, you're a nonperson.'"

Penn State has argued it put McQueary on leave out of safety concerns, as threats were fielded by the university.

Strokoff said there was no evidence of multiple death threats against his client, and called McQueary's treatment outrageous.

"He should not have been the scapegoat," Strokoff said.

Jurors will decide the defamation claim and a misrepresentation allegation that two administrators lied to him when they said they took his report of Sandusky seriously and would respond appropriately.

Conrad insisted they did take steps to inform McQueary about the actions they were taking, which included meeting with Sandusky and an official from the children's welfare charity he founded, and telling Sandusky to stop bringing children into team facilities.

"No one told Mr. McQueary, `You cannot go to the police,'" Conrad said.

The defamation claim involves a statement issued by Penn State then-president Graham Spanier expressing support for the two administrators, then-athletic director Tim Curley and then-vice president Gary Schultz, when they were charged with perjury in November 2011 for allegedly lying about what McQueary told them in the weeks after the 2001 incident.

The perjury charges against them were dismissed earlier this year by a state appeals court, but Curley, Schultz and Spanier still await trial in Harrisburg on charges of failure to properly report suspected child abuse and endangering the welfare of children.

McQueary lawyer Elliot Strokoff said Spanier's statement could have led people to conclude McQueary was a liar.

"If the charges are groundless, then the grad assistant lied," Strokoff said. "And that's defamation."

Conrad said Spanier's statement indicated the charges against his two top lieutenants would be proven groundless.