Flyers Score Seven Goals, More Than Twice as Many in Previous Four Games Combined

Flyers Score Seven Goals, More Than Twice as Many in Previous Four Games Combined

With their season on the line, the Flyers’ offense suddenly
came to life toward the end of March, averaging more than four goals per game
during a stretch where they grabbed nine points out of a possible 10. And with
their season still on the line, Philly’s offense just as abruptly went ice cold
less than two weeks ago, only able to muster three scores over a four-game
span, essentially eliminating the squad from playoff contention.

The combination of which makes their seven-goal outburst in
Montreal on Monday all the more perplexing – against the second-place team in
the East and one of the better defensive clubs in the NHL at that.

It was just another example of how maddening it has been to follow
the Orange & Black this season. On any given night we might be treated to hockey
at or near its highest level, but too often only for a period or two at a time,
and some nights not at all.

The ability is in there though, as evidenced in
their 7-3 win over the Canadiens.

Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 25 of 28 shots, getting stronger as
the contest went along, perhaps even making a couple of his toughest saves of
the season. With the bench shorthanded defensively due to injuries and numerous
penalties, Luke Schenn skated a career-high 33 minutes, continuing to prove he
can be relied upon to carry the load at the back end. And Claude Giroux and
Jakub Voracek each had a goal and two assists, the one top-line connection for
the Flyers that has yet to lose its luster.

Quite possibly the biggest difference between this outing
and the previous 40 was Scott Hartnell finally re-emerging as a
difference-maker. Hartsy banged home a hat trick, giving him just seven goals
for the season after netting a career-high 37 a year ago.

Of course it is a condensed schedule, plus Hartnell
did lose around one month to a foot injury.

Injuries have been a theme all season long though. Multiple
players were missing for stretches, which at this point includes nearly all of
their defensemen who began the season in Philadelphia. Nicklas Grossmann, Braydon
Coburn, Andrej Meszaros, and Bruno Gervais were scratches for Montreal, and the group was stretched further after Kent Huskins was knocked out of the game in the first period and
Kurtis Foster received a 10-minute misconduct for coming to his teammate’s aid.

Yet not everything is about who isn’t in the lineup.
Injuries only explain away some of the inconsistencies. Take the Flyers’ power
play for instance. At one point it had ascended to number one in the NHL, only
to go six consecutive games without lighting the lamp, streak they finally snapped by converting on 3 of 4 chances in the victory.

Both the first and second PP units have remained largely intact of late. Maybe it was nothing more than a slump. Whatever the reasoning, they were firing on all cylinders here.

The Flyers found a way to win this one – and big – even though the occasion provided a few excuses to fail. Sure, Carey
Price hasn’t been sharp in net recently for the Canadiens, but the Orange &
Black got to him, chased him from the game, then continued pouring it on. Seven
goals match Philly’s highest output of the year.

What the front office is going to have to figure out in what
will surely be a taxing offseason is what causes these rapid mood swings. During wings like this the Flyers' level of talent is on full display. Now how do they
go about sustaining it from one game – or even one period – to the next?


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Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

USA Today Images

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Eagles bring back Taylor Hart after stint with Chip Kelly

Eagles bring back Taylor Hart after stint with Chip Kelly

The Eagles have brought back a familiar face to take Ron Brooks' roster spot.

On Monday, the team claimed defensive tackle Taylor Hart off waivers from San Francisco. Hart was just waived on Saturday by the 49ers, who claimed him after the Eagles waived him at final cuts.

So, Hart is coming back to Philly after a stint with Chip Kelly in San Francisco.

Hart, 25, played in one game for the 49ers this year. The Eagles are light at defensive tackle thanks to Bennie Logan's groin injury. While head coach Doug Pederson on Monday said Logan was getting better, the Eagles still brought in more depth by claiming Hart.

While still with the Eagles, Kelly had a hand in drafting Hart, an Oregon product, in the fifth round of 2014.

Hart worked hard this offseason to learn how to play in Jim Schwartz's aggressive 4-3 defense, which is very unlike the ones he had played in during college and in the NFL.

Brooks has been placed on IR after rupturing a quad tendon during Sunday's game against the Vikings. He'll have surgery this week.

In addition to adding Hart to the active roster, the Eagles also added cornerback Aaron Grymes to their practice squad.

Grymes, 25, was having an impressive training camp and preseason with the Eagles before injuring his right shoulder. He was waived shortly after that.

After coming out of the University of Idaho in 2013, Grymes didn't make an NFL team so he went to Canada. He ended up as a starter and All-Star on the Edmonton Eskimos and won a Grey Cup in 2015.

To make room for Grymes, the Eagles cut OL Matt Rotheram from the practice squad.