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
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.