Flyers Ride Wave of Momentum into Toronto, Face Opponent Riding Wave of Momentum

Flyers Ride Wave of Momentum into Toronto, Face Opponent Riding Wave of Momentum

If the Flyers are looking to the future in their crease,
they have a funny way of showing it. Despite trading for Steve Mason on Wednesday,
Ilya Bryzgalov is expected to start the second half of a back-to-back against
the Toronto Maple Leafs, bringing his streak of consecutive starts to 22.

One would think Mason might get the opportunity to prove his
worth right away given the circumstances. If he was acquired for no other
reason,
it was to give Bryz a breather, one he could surely use tonight.

I suppose this Mason guy might be tired from being on the
road a lot recently, flying into Philadelphia from Columbus so he could join the
team on their trip to Toronto. All Bryzgalov has been doing in the meantime is
PLAYING 22 GAMES IN A ROW.

In all seriousness, there are probably several reasons why
Peter Laviolette sticks with Bryz tonight, one of which is Mason hasn’t even
had a chance to practice with his new teammates yet. Broad Street Hockey has
some troubling numbers on goalies playing both parts of a back-to-back though.

Bryz hasn’t exactly had success against the Leafs this year,
either, posting a 0-2 record, 4.98 goals against average, and .800 save
percentage. Yikes.

Elsewhere on the ice, two more recent additions should be
making their debuts in Orange & Black. Jay Rosehill was brought in so guys
like Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux won’t have to drop the gloves, while
journeyman forward Adam Hall was claimed off waivers to fill the void left by
the injury to Max Talbot.

Talbot is out for the year with a broken leg suffered in the
win over Washington on Sunday.

The Flyers are finally on a roll having won their third in a
row for the first time all season, but a tough task awaits them in Toronto. The
Maple Leafs are 5-0-3 in their last eight, with all three overtime losses
coming in shootouts. They’re also fresh, not having played since Saturday.

Consider it a test. Are the Flyers really clawing their way
back into postseason contention, or are their seven points out of the last
possible eight just a cruel tease? We shall see.

Previously: Obligatory Check-in: James van Riemsdyk Goes Cold

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Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

NEW ORLEANS -- Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to co-exist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right Jones fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

I like to give Flyers fans a bit of a hard time on occasion, but that's only because I love them.

One beautiful Flyers fan today reminded me of why I love them.

They took the time to send a postcard to CSNPhilly.com's Flyers Insider -- and hater of the woo -- Tim Panaccio with one single word written on it.

"Woo."

Panotch says "Someone wasted a stamp and post card on this," but I say we just generated at least 50 cents in ad revenue from those of you that are reading this right now.

Money and time well spent.

Now, if you're not up on your wooing, Panotch penned a piece on how some fans wooing at games started annoying some of the players. Panotch hates the woo. BUT... and this is an important but... the Flyers are 6-0 since this all started. 

Woo.