Does Richards Need Surgery?

Does Richards Need Surgery?

The finger-pointing was under way well before the Flyers' season actually ended on Friday night, and naturally the captain has received his share of the criticism. Mike Richards managed just seven points and only one goal in 11 playoff games this year, and he was a -6 in the Bruins series, prompting some fans to call for the C off his sweater.

Not surprisingly, there may have been more to the story. The Inquirer's Sam Carchidi reports the club is awaiting the diagnosis on a wrist injury, one that's severe enough it may require surgery. GM Paul Holmgren confirmed the news, and elaborated it was something the Flyers center played with over the "latter part of the season."

Holmgren added the team should know more about Richards' injury some time on Monday, as well as whether or not Chris Pronger will need more surgery.

Obviously, the news garners some mixed feelings. It is sort of a relief knowing something was wrong, likely the cause behind Richards' diminished offense. He finished the season with 23 goals, his lowest total since 06-07. Of course, the NHL isn't going to say, "Oh, Richards was hurt," and put the Flyers back in the playoffs. Also, we have no idea on the severity.

The question Flyers fans will probably ask next is whether Richards should have been playing at all if the injury was that bad. Did he hurt the team more than he made a positive contribution?

When it comes down to it, you want to see the captain on the ice. He would have taken as much grief or more sitting out. Everybody hear the whispers about Pronger? Plus, Richards is still a great two-way player, even if he wasn't exactly getting it done at the offensive end.

In the end, this does little to change how disappointing the Flyers' finish is. It's merely one piece of a much larger puzzle the front office will have to figure out to get this team back on track.

>> Flyers Notes: Flyers await diagnoses of Pronger, Richards [Inquirer]

Flyers reveal 2017 Stadium Series jerseys

Flyers reveal 2017 Stadium Series jerseys

Back in black.

The Flyers on Saturday morning revealed their 2017 Stadium Series jerseys for their Feb. 25 outdoor game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Heinz Field.

With their 50th anniversary sweaters resembling their current away jerseys with gold outlining throughout, the Flyers have gone back to black and orange for the outdoor game.

The jersey is almost all black, with an orange name plate and an orange elbow stripe. Orange is sprinkled throughout the jersey.

In addition to the outdoor game, the Flyers will also wear the jersey against the Penguins on March 15 at the Wells Fargo Center, a Wednesday Night Rivalry game.

Pittsburgh unveiled its Stadium Series jersey back on Nov. 25, an all gold uniform in celebration of its 50th season.

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome Russell Westbrook's 7th straight triple-double

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome Russell Westbrook's 7th straight triple-double

OKLAHOMA CITY -- James Harden scored 21 points, and the Houston Rockets overcame Russell Westbrook's seventh consecutive triple-double to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 102-99 on Friday night.

Harden also had 12 assists and nine rebounds to help the Rockets win their fifth straight. Houston withstood Harden's 6-for-23 shooting effort.

Westbrook finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He has the longest triple-double streak since Michael Jordan had seven straight in 1989. The most in a row is nine by Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain in March 1968.

It was Westbrook's 12th triple-double this season and the 49th of his career. He is the NBA's active leader in the category and ranks sixth all-time.

The Thunder had won the previous six games during Westbrook's triple-double binge (see full story).

James moves into 9th on scoring list as Cavs top Heat
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 27 points to move into ninth place on the NBA scoring list, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Miami Heat 114-84 on Friday night.

James passed Elvin Hayes on a driving layup with 6:58 remaining and has 27,315 career points. The four-time MVP was removed about a minute later and received a loud ovation from the Cleveland crowd.

Kevin Love, a game-time decision because of back spasms, scored a team-high 28 points and had 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers. He missed the morning shootaround but was in the lineup after warming up on the court about an hour before tip-off.

Kyrie Irving added 23 points for the Cavs, who have won three straight after losing three in a row.

Derrick Williams scored 17 points to lead the short-handed Heat, who have lost four straight (see full story). 

Schroder has career-high 33, Hawks rally past Bucks
MILWAUKEE -- Dennis Schroder scored a career-high 33 points and the Atlanta Hawks rallied from 20 down in the second half to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-110 on Friday night.

Paul Millsap had 23 points and 14 rebounds for Atlanta. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18.

The Hawks, who ended a seven-game losing streak Wednesday with a win over Miami, trailed by 20 at halftime. A 40-point third quarter put them back in the game.

Jabari Parker scored 27 for Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo, in foul trouble throughout the game, had 14.

Atlanta pulled ahead 105-103 on Kyle Korver's jumper with 3:15 remaining, giving the Hawks their first lead since early in the game (see full story).