While the Flyers still have a game in hand on the Capitals, they're no
longer sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings. Do they feel any
pressure to be the top seed? If so, they certainly haven't showed it on
the ice recently. Do they feel the pressure of entering the playoffs
cold and on a bad home streak? Operating under last season's precedent,
that they can back in, then turn it on, is foolhardy. It was a surprise
last spring, and neither the players nor the fans should be expecting
they'll be able to do it again. Can they? Sure. But it's not exactly a
If first place isn't motivation enough, maybe today's opponent will be.
The last time we saw the Flyers play the Rangers, the Orange &
Black suffered their worse loss in years, a 7-0 shellacking. The Flyers
have had trouble handling teams whose playoff lives are nearly
flatlined, losing back to back games against the Thrashers and the
Devils. Today they face a club with a legit chance to either make or
miss the playoffs based on this game and the few that follow. They also
happen to be a potential first-round opponent for the Flyers.
Motivation enough? It'd better be.
Danny Briere is a surprise scratch
with a lower-body injury. No word yet on the adjustments to the lines,
but it could likely mean changes to the trio of Carter-Giroux-Zherdev,
which was the best unit on the ice for the Flyers on Friday. Carter is
too valuable as a center to let one game of chemistry affect that
decision. Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to face Henrik Lundqvist in the
nets, and Danny Syvret will be active, bumping Nick Boynton to the press
CHESTER, Pa. -- With little to gain in the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the Union went into Sunday’s match looking for a spark.
Instead, they found more of the same.
Bradley Wright-Phillips continued his scoring dominance over MLS, as the Red Bulls easily dispatched the lifeless Union, 2-0, in the regular season finale at Talen Energy Stadium.
The Union, who have clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2011, enter the postseason riding a seven-game winless run and three-game losing streak. They will face Toronto FC in a one-game playoff at BMO Field on Wednesday or Thursday.
The Red Bulls clinched a first-round BYE and the No. 1 seed in the East.
With the playoffs practically clinched heading into the match, Union manager Jim Curtin selected to start Roland Alberg for Tranquillo Barnetta, Fabian Herbers for C.J. Sapong and Eric Ayuk for Chris Pontius.
But the fresh legs wouldn’t help the Union, as Wright-Phillips notched his 24th goal of the season in the 26th minute. Aurelien Collin split the Union defense with a brilliant pass that broke the MLS leading scorer on a breakaway. Chipping the ball over an aggressive Andre Blake, Wright-Phillips followed up the volley for the 1-0 Red Bulls lead.
Alex Muyl doubled the Red Bulls’ lead in the 57th minute.
Though he didn’t need the scoring effort on Sunday, for the second time in three seasons, Wright-Phillips won the MLS Golden Boot for the most goals, edging out New York City FC’s David Villa. Luis Robles earned the five-save shutout.
While Carson Wentz may not have got a failing grade for his play on the field against the Vikings on Sunday, he bombed the sartorial decision he made postgame.
Wentz wore a bold blue check sports coat over what looked like an Under Armour v-neck.
The consensus on TV and Twitter may have been that Wentz bombed, there was one big supporter in the locker room.
According to a source, Eagles owner Jeff Lurie actually complimented Wentz on the blazer after the win.
Future Phillie Mike Trout was loving the Eagles win, sung the fight song
Grading the Eagles' 21-10 win over the Vikings