Flyers-Bruins Series Odds, Ends, and Extras

Flyers-Bruins Series Odds, Ends, and Extras

All is relatively quiet on the Flyers front as they get ready to open their second round series with the Boston Bruins today. The past few days have been filled with references to last postseason's matchup that saw the Flyers stage a historic comeback that no one reading site this needs further reminding about. But, the players themselves aren't too focused on 2010, which despite its unforgettable place in team history, is only a footnote in the current series once the first puck drops. Fans can and should enjoy The Comeback at any opportunity though, particularly when the trash talk gets going. It's hard to imagine the players won't be chirping about it too.

Here's a look at some of the other storylines heading into the series, including the odds the Flyers are being given to advance, and win the Cup.

Simon Gagne factored heavily into the Flyers' last series win over the Bruins, but his second round has begun on a very scary note. Gags was hit hard into the boards and tossed to the ice, with his head bouncing on impact. He was alert and talking in the locker room after refusing the stretcher, but with Gags' concussion history there's certainly added concern. Hell, watch the impact. He didn't need to have history for this to be a worry. [Puck Daddy]

The Lightning did still win that game, beating the Capitals, 4-2.

Beyond last year's matchup, here's a look at how teams have fared in the second round in a historical sense. [The Checking Line]

How glad are you that Flyers hometown broadcasts aren't dominated by the  egos of their broadcasters. Can you imagine having to listen to Jack  Edwards on a regular basis? [Broad Street Hockey]

Ryan gets a few shots in before the opening faceoff. [Flyers Goal Scored By]

Perhaps the biggest difference between last year's series and this one is that the Flyers will face Tim Thomas instead of Tuukka Rask. Meanwhile, two current Flyers who played on opposing sides in the Stanley Cup Finals no longer have lockers at the Skate Zone. [CSNPhilly]

Thinking about heading down to the game today? The Flyers have released some of the NHL's unused tickets, which are available here, or call 215-218-PUCK.

Finally, the odds for the series and the Stanley Cup. We have these courtesy of www.Bodog.com.

Odds to win the 2011 Stanley Cup     
Vancouver Canucks                   11/4
Washington Capitals                  4/1
San Jose Sharks                       5/1
Detroit Red Wings                      11/2
Boston Bruins                            8/1
Philadelphia Flyers                     8/1
Tampa Bay Lightning                  12/1
Nashville Predators                    14/1
 
Odds to win the 2011 Eastern Conference     
Washington Capitals                  7/5
Philadelphia Flyers                     7/2
Boston Bruins                            11/4
Tampa Bay Lightning                  9/2
 
Odds to win the 2011 Western Conference    
Vancouver Canucks                   7/5
San Jose Sharks                       5/2
Detroit Red Wings                      5/2
Nashville Predators                    7/1
 
What will be the Matchup in the Stanley Cup Final?
Washington Capitals vs. Vancouver Canucks                   9/2
Washington Capitals vs. San Jose Sharks                       6/1
Washington Capitals vs. Detroit Red Wings                      13/2
Washington Capitals vs. Nashville Predators                    17/1
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Vancouver Canucks                      10/1
Philadelphia Flyers vs. San Jose Sharks                          13/1
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Detroit Red Wings                        14/1
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Nashville Predators                       35/1
Boston Bruins vs. Vancouver Canucks                             9/1
Boston Bruins vs. San Jose Sharks                                 12/1
Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings                               13/1
Boston Bruins vs. Nashville Predators                              30/1
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Vancouver Canucks                   12/1
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. San Jose Sharks                       16/1
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Detroit Red Wings                     18/1
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Nashville Predators                    42/1

Series Prices
Washington Capitals                    -190
Tampa Bay Lightning                  +165
 
Philadelphia Flyers                     -110
Boston Bruins                             -110
 
Vancouver Canucks                    -255
Nashville Predators                    +215
 
San Jose Sharks                          -110
Detroit Red Wings                      -110

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Boston Bruins Player Props
Claude Giroux 2nd Round Points vs. Boston Bruins              
Over/ Under                   5
 
Danny Briere 2nd Round Points vs. Boston Bruins                             
Over/ Under                  5
 
Mike Richards 2nd Round Points vs. Boston Bruins               
Over/ Under                   4
 
David Krejci 2nd Round Points vs. Philadelphia Flyers                     
Over/ Under                   4.5
 
Milan Lucic 2nd Round Points vs. Philadelphia Flyers                      
Over/ Under                   4
 
Patrice Bergeron 2nd Round Points vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Over/ Under                   4
 
Zdeno Chara 2nd Round Points vs. Philadelphia Flyers                    
Over/ Under                   3

 

We'll be back with a gamethread a little closer to puck drop. Until then, an oldie but a goodie, Bruins Escalator Girl.

NFL Notes: Texans place J.J. Watt on IR; Dez Bryant misses practice

NFL Notes: Texans place J.J. Watt on IR; Dez Bryant misses practice

HOUSTON — The Houston Texans placed star defensive end J.J. Watt on injured reserve on Wednesday.

The move came one day after a person familiar with Watt's condition told The Associated Press he had re-injured his back and that the Texans expect him to be sidelined until at least December — and possibly the entire season. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team hasn't discussed his injury.

Watt, who has won Defensive Player of the Year for the past two seasons, missed training camp and Houston's four preseason games after surgery in July to repair a herniated disk in his back. He started each of the team's three regular-season games and got hurt again Thursday against the Patriots.

The Texans signed veteran defensive end Antonio Smith to take his spot on the roster.

The team was still exploring the injury and it's unclear if it will require surgery.

It's a major blow for Houston, which selected Watt with the 11th overall pick in the 2011 draft. Watt has played 83 consecutive games for the Texans despite various injuries, including torn core muscles and a broken hand last season.

This was a tough offseason for Watt, who had surgery in January to repair five torn core muscles before going under the knife again in July to repair his back.

Watt, who led the NFL with 17 1/2 sacks last season, has 1 1/2 sacks this season to give him 76 for his career.

The 27-year-old is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year and a four-time Pro Bowler. He's been a force since entering the league not only because of his pass-rushing prowess, but also because of his uncanny ability to swat down passes. He has 45 passes defended in his six-year career. He has forced 15 fumbles and recovered 13.

Cowboys: Dez Bryant (knee) misses practice
FRISCO, Texas — Dallas receiver Dez Bryant won't practice Wednesday after injuring his right knee in last week's win over Chicago.

Bryant injured the knee on his first catch early in the game but came back in the first quarter. He caught his first touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter of the 31-17 win.

Coach Jason Garrett said the team didn't have results of an MRI, and Bryant tweeted, "We'll find out today," to a fan who asked about his status.

Bryant missed seven games last year after breaking his foot in the opener. He also dealt with ankle injuries last season.

The Cowboys visit San Francisco on Sunday.

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Phillies-Braves 5 things: Ryan Howard's earned a job somewhere

Phillies-Braves 5 things: Ryan Howard's earned a job somewhere

Phillies (70-87) at Braves (64-92)
7:10 p.m. on CSN

The last two games for the Phillies have been about as ugly as it gets. After losing 17-0 on Sunday, they blew a six-run lead Tuesday as the bullpen continued to stumble toward the finish line.

1. No relief in sight
Pete Mackanin was peeved after last night's game and rightfully so. His relievers have an 8.03 ERA this month. Who can he even trust at this point?

The Phils have used 12 different relievers this month and only three — David Hernandez, Michael Mariot and Joely Rodriguez — have an ERA below 4.76. And even Hernandez, who has a 1.08 ERA in September, has allowed 16 baserunners in 8⅓ innings. 

Hector Neris, who Mackanin was saving last night for a save situation, is the most trustworthy option in the current bullpen. He's gotten outs most of the year, posting a 2.53 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with 100 strikeouts in 78⅓ innings. But even he has struggled lately, allowing runs in five of his last 10 appearances and walking 10 batters in his last 10 innings.

The Phillies will have money to spend this offseason and even if they don't spend it on A-list names, they could allocate some of it toward relievers who have better stuff than this bunch. Excluding closers like Aroldis Chapman and Mark Melancon, the free-agent reliever class includes decent veteran options like Brad Ziegler, Sergio Romo, Jim Johnson, Neftali Feliz, Fernando Rodney, Joe Smith and Brett Cecil, among others.

Giving one of those guys $6-8 million wouldn't stunt anyone else's development.

2. Stay a while
With the way these relievers have been batted around the last two games — 20 earned runs allowed in eight innings — the Phillies badly need some length out of Adam Morgan tonight. He hasn't given it to them in his last two starts, going just 9⅓ innings combined because of high pitch counts.

Morgan has been pretty good lately, though. Since returning to the majors on Aug. 14, he's allowed more than three runs only once in eight starts. He has a 3.86 ERA over that span, and if you exclude his poor outing against the Mets on Aug. 26, it's 2.92.

Morgan has missed more bats lately than we're accustomed to seeing. He matched a career-high with eight strikeouts in his last start, five starts after K'ing eight Mets. He's induced 25 swinging strikes in his last two starts. Over his last six outings, Morgan has a swinging strike rate of 12 percent; the MLB average for starting pitchers is 9.5 percent.

Morgan has faced the Braves twice this season. Both games were in May and he pitched well in each of them, allowing one run over seven innings and two over six. 

Morgan's season numbers are still ugly (2-10, 5.57 ERA), but it's pretty clear he's been a different pitcher since learning a two-seam fastball and coming back to the majors. Whether that holds up long-term remains to be seen, but Morgan is the rare Phillies pitcher finishing 2016 better than he started it.

3. Piece of the action
Ryan Howard continues to produce in his final days with the Phillies. He hit a grand slam last night for his 24th homer of the season and third in his last five games. 

Howard has homered 12 times since the All-Star break, equaling his output from the first half. And look at his numbers since July 7, a span of 44 games and 136 plate appearances: .266/.331/.621, 13 homers, 31 RBIs. He's locked in.

Howard can still do damage against right-handed pitching. He has 23 homers off of them in 313 plate appearances. Over the last 11 seasons, the only other player in baseball with that many homers off righties in so few plate appearances was Mark Teixeira in 2015. 

You mean to tell me an American League team can't use him next season in a role that only accentuates his strengths and mitigates his weaknesses?

Howard will play again tonight and likely in all of five of the Phils' remaining games. He's 3 for 4 with a homer off tonight's opponent, Braves right-hander Mike Foltynewicz.

4. Scouting Folty
Foltynewicz, a power-armed 24-year-old, was the Braves' return in the Evan Gattis-to-Houston trade prior to 2015. He's a classic case of a big, straight fastball not translating to success.

In 223⅔ innings in the majors, Foltynewicz has a 4.99 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. He's allowed 1.5 homers per nine innings (bad) and his opponents have hit .289.

Foltynewicz has a 7.62 ERA in three career meetings with the Phillies. They jumped him the last time they saw him, July 5, homering four times in his 5⅔ innings. 

Current Phillies are 15 for 43 (.396) off Foltynewicz. Howard, Tommy Joseph, Maikel Franco, Cody Asche and Peter Bourjos have all taken him deep.

Foltynewicz (8-5, 4.41) hasn't pitched since Sept. 12, when he allowed five runs on 11 hits to the Marlins in just 3⅔ innings.

5. This and that
• Roman Quinn's season is almost certainly over after he suffered an oblique strain last night. If that's the case, he'll finish his first taste of the majors with a .263/.373/.333 batting line, five steals and four doubles in 69 plate appearances. Quinn looks like a significant part of their future, but the Phillies really can't move other pieces around for him because of his lengthy injury history.

• Freddie Freeman in 17 games against the Phillies this season: .381 BA, five doubles, six homers, 11 RBIs, 17 runs, 10 walks. He's had a tremendous season in all aspects, but the most impressive stat might be that he's hitting .307 against righties and .307 against lefties. Prior to this season he was a .300 hitter vs. righties and a .260 hitter vs. lefties.

• Last night's two-hour rain delay probably cost Jerad Eickhoff a chance at reaching 200 innings. He's scheduled to start the final game of the season but would need to pitch 8⅔ innings to reach that plateau.

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