Five points back of the first-place Rangers and four points back of the fourth-place Penguins, the Flyers obviously can't catch either team tonight. But after watching the Rangers sit atop the conference for months, and after assuming a first round playoff matchup with either the Pens for the past few weeks, might the Flyers be faced with the Blue Shirts in the first round?
With New York sliding, just 4-6-0 in their last 10, the Penguins haven't lost a game in regulation over the same stretch, going 9-0-1, and have been further benefitted by the return of Sidney Crosby.
With a Ranger loss to the Maple Leafs and Penguin win over the Senators, Pittsburgh would move into first place in the Eastern Conference by night's end, swapping spots with the Rangers to drop the former-leaders down to fourth.
As all that's going on, the Flyers can do nothing except that which they've already been doing for weeks: take care of their own business and ignore the rest. And so, rather than focusing of its playoff future, Peter's Laviolette's club will once again be better off focusing on the task at hand -- namely, clinching a playoff spot of their own with a win over the Montreal Canadiens tonight.
Now, to matters specifically pertaining to the Flyers -- when, if ever, will this team get on the same page with its goaltender? When they were scoring, Ilya Bryzgalov couldn't stop the other team from doing the same. Now that he's stopping nearly everything sent his way, the pucks aren't going in at the other end of the ice either.
Bryz is the owner of a 9-1-1 record, 1.24 GAA and .956 save percentage in the month of March. The team around him, however, has scored just 7 goals in its last four games.
Fortunately for the Flyers, who are trying to accumulate as many points as possible down the stretch to maybe secure home-ice in the first round, Montreal has not won in Philadelphia in its last three attempts and is currently dead-last in the conference.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on CSN.
Is tonight the night they find a way to put it all together on home-ice, clinching one of those X's next to their name in the process?
Separately, with a surging Pittsburgh and a struggling New York vying for the top spot in the East, who are are you more (or less) afraid of in the first round? Does the prospect of either still have you hoping for a slide to sixth?
Philly fans have a bad reputation. This isn't going to change anytime soon.
Regardless of which side of the Philly fan debate you fall, you'd probably agree fans shouldn't give the double bird mere feet from the athletes who are playing in front of them.
You've almost assuredly seen it by now, the image and footage of a Sixers fan flipping off Russell Westbrook last night in the highly-anticipated season debut. He was subsequently removed from his seats by security.
The New York Post got to the bottom of it all and even tracked down the fan's response on Facebook:
Dr. Richard Harkaway, a Philadelphia urologist who is originally from Long Island, wrote that it was Westbrook who initiated the confrontation, which ended with Harkaway being tossed from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia during the 76ers’ season-opening loss.
“To all my FB friends who are seeing a picture of me on the Internet giving the finger to Russell Westbrook. Actually two fingers,’’ Harkaway wrote in a private post. “Not as simple as it seems. I love to scream at the players and anyone who has been to a game with me knows this. Part of my charm. What you may not have seen on any of the video clips is what started the whole thing, which was Russell Westbrook saying ‘sit down f—ing fat boy’ when I stood up to boo.”
Do two wrongs make a right? Probably not. Being rude is being rude.
Do you think this fan's actions were justified after reading his response on Facebook?
Two Phillies are in the running for a 2016 Rawlings Gold Glove.
Shortstop Freddy Galvis and centerfielder Odubel Herrera were named National League finalists at their position on Thursday. Winners will be announced on Nov. 9. Galvis and Herrera are both finalists for the first time.
Galvis joins San Francisco’s Brandon Crawford, a Gold Glove winner in 2015, and the Chicago Cubs’ Addison Russell as finalists at shortstop.
Herrera is a finalist in center field along with Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton and Atlanta’s Ender Inciarte.
Galvis, who turns 27 in November, committed himself to improving his defense after making 17 errors in 2015 and he did that with a career season in the field in 2016. He led all NL shortstops with a .987 fielding percentage and made just eight errors in 625 total chances while earning praise from Phillies’ infield guru Larry Bowa.
Galvis led the NL with 153 starts at shortstop and had errorless streaks of 51 and 44 games. At the plate, he reached career highs in doubles (26), homers (20), extra-base hits (49) and RBIs (67). On the down side, Galvis hit just .241 and his .274 on-base percentage was the worst in the majors.
Herrera, who turns 25 in December, began his career as an infielder in the Texas system and completed just his second season in the outfield in 2016. His credentials for a Gold Glove are not nearly as good as Galvis’. Herrera’s nine errors were the second-most among major-league outfielders, but he had 11 assists, fourth-most among NL outfielders.
The Phillies selected Herrera in the Rule 5 draft in 2014. They selected Inciarte in the Rule 5 draft in 2012 and he opened the 2013 season on the Phils’ roster, but was shipped back to his original club, Arizona, during the first week of that season.