Claude Giroux moved into a tie for third place in the NHL with his eighth goal on Thursday night, but credit the assist to Jaromir Jagr. The 68 car gained the zone with a head of steam, speeding behind the defense and around the net, then emerged from the corner while the New Jersey players looked on, mesmerized. Jagr slid the puck straight across the ice -- right in front of the goal, between all six Devils -- to a wide open Giroux for the jam.
What an amazing pairing.
But the Flyers couldn't hold on to two leads, allowing 39 shots against one of the most anemic offenses in the NHL. Danny Briere gave them a chance to win the eventual shootout, except whether or not his goal in the extra session was legit or not was instantly up for debate.
New Jersey's netminder was playing aggressive, meeting Briere practically at the faceoff dot. As the orange blur sped toward Jonas Hedberg, the Devils goalie seems to realize his mistake. Caught out of position, Hedberg does the only thing he can, which is flail on the ice. Briere slams on the brakes, waits until the coast is clear, and glides in for the easy goal. Take a look:
Briere described the play:
"He kind of surprised me with the poke check and I almost fell. I wanted to keep moving forward but he kind of surprised me and I stumbled and almost stopped completely. I know the rule. You’re not allowed to go backwards and you’re not allowed to stop completely. To be honest, I was trying to stop completely. I just got surprised and stumbled a little bit."
My initial reaction was he stopped. Had that been the call on the ice, it would have been almost impossible to dispute. As it turned out, the call went the Flyers' way, and when the goal was reviewed it was just as impossible to dispute. Sure looked like he stopped though.
VOORHEES, N.J. — Radko Gudas (wrist) is closer to game action as the Flyers’ defenseman has been cleared to shoot pucks for the “past couple of days.”
The 26-year-old, recovering from a fractured right wrist (his shooting hand), was shooting and hitting in practice Wednesday at Flyers Skate Zone. Gudas has yet to play in a preseason game, but said he’s “pretty close” to 100 percent.
“I can’t say it’s really 100 percent, but it’s getting there soon,” Gudas said following practice.
“There’s a lot of time for me to get in top, game-like shape. There’s not a chance I would miss the start of the season.”
Gudas said the most important aspect of the wrist’s healing is keeping it stable by wearing a brace to limit too much moving.
“It’s better, I’m shooting on it in practices, feels better every day,” he said. “I’m working on a lot of it every day with the strength guys and the doctors here. We’re going day to day, I’m seeing myself sooner than later jumping on the ice.”
The second-year Flyer would like to play in preseason games before the start of the regular season, but also understands the importance of not rushing to avoid costing him regular-season games as a result.
“That’s the main part — feeling pain-free,” Gudas said. “Throughout the season, there’s not a lot of time off so we need to make sure everything is the best it can be before the season starts.
“Obviously it’s going to be the coaches’ decision when to put me in. I’m sure they’re talking with the staff for when would be the proper time.”
Gudas signed a four-year contract extension in June after playing a career-high 76 games and recording 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 2015-16.
After practice, Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol did not have an update on Gudas or defenseman Nick Schultz, who was shaken up Tuesday night.
“Everybody wants to play at least a game or two before the season,” Gudas said. “I don’t think it needs to be said.
“He wants to have me ready and I want to be ready.”
The Eagles crushed a Super Bowl contender on Sunday at the Linc. And Vegas took notice.
According to Bovada, the Eagles' odds to win the Super Bowl went from 33/1 to 22/1. Just nine teams have shorter odds to win the Super Bowl. The Patriots are tops at 15/4, followed by the Packers (8/1) and the team the Eagles beat, the Steelers (9/1).
With the win, the Eagles also became the favorite to win the NFC East, going from 11/4 to 2/1. They're followed by the Cowboys and Giants (both at 11/5) and last year's division champs, Washington, is at 6/1.
The Eagles are also 12/1 to win the NFC.
Of course, the biggest story for the Eagles this season has been the emergence of rookie quarterback Carson Wentz. He had his first 300-yard passing game Sunday and was named the NFC's Offensive Player of the Week. His odds to win MVP went from 50/1 to 33/1. Those are the same odds as Drew Brees and Eli Manning.
Meanwhile, former Eagles quarterback and current Minnesota Viking Sam Bradford went from 50/1 to 25/1 to win MVP.
While Wentz's MVP odds shortened, his odds to win Rookie of the Year actually got longer, going from 8/5 to 7/4. That could have something to do with the odds of Ezekiel Elliot (7/4), Dak Prescott (5/1) and Sterling Shepard (7/1) all improving.