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
Have any doubts about Joel Embiid's health?
Well take a look at this.
How about now?
Of course, this isn't live NBA action, and it is against 5-11 Drew Hanlen, a skills coach and consultant, but it's impressive nonetheless.
Charles Barkley is jumping on the Sixers bandwagon.
"I think the Sixers gonna get really good, really quickly, but it all depends on (Joel) Embiid," Barkley said. "They're not gonna win a championship the next couple years, but I think they can really become a perrenial playoff team in the next three years."
Sounds good, right? Not so fast. There are a lot of "ifs" according to Barkley.
Most of those "ifs" ride on the health of center Joel Embiid. If the big man gets healthy, and the Sixers can resolve the "glutton of big guys," Barkley likes the Sixers chances.
"I think the most important thing they need to figure out is if Joel Embiid is going to be healthy. ... I like (Jahlil) Okafor and I like (Nerlens) Noel, but they gotta figure out if Joel Embiid is going to be healthy.
"I like Ben Simmons, but that team's got a long way to go," Barkley said.
To hear more of Barkley's thoughts on the Sixers' future, watch the full video above.
The Eagles have a serious depth problem at linebacker, and they're looking at a local prospect to try to fix it.
The team will sign former Villanova linebacker Don Cherry on Sunday, pending a physical, a league source told CSNPhilly.com. ESPN's Adam Caplan first reported the deal.
Cherry, 21, first signed with the Bears after going undrafted in the spring, but was cut by Chicago in June.
The 6-1, 240-pound Cherry was an All-CAA selection as a sophomore, junior and senior. During his time on the Main Line, he was credited with 331 tackles, 46 1/2 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception.
Even with Cherry, the Eagles are still light in the depth department at linebacker. After starters Mychal Kendricks, Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham, the team has Najee Goode, Deontae Skinner, seventh-rounder Joe Walker and a couple of other undrafted free agents.
After cutting wideout Jonathan Krause on Friday, the Eagles had three vacancies on their 90-man roster. They're filling another of those openings with former Alabama safety Nick Perry, according to a league source. The perry deal was first reported by Al.com's Matt Zenitz. The 6-1, 211-pound Perry spent last season on the Ravens' practice squad after going undrafted in 2015.
Eagles training camp kicks off Monday, and the first full-team practice is Thursday.