Game 30247 Pumped Us Up for Flyers in Montreal, But Pronger Status a Downer

Game 30247 Pumped Us Up for Flyers in Montreal, But Pronger Status a Downer

After last night's venture into the theatrical corners of the NHL, we're right back in the swing of real time regular season games. I don't know about you, but 24/7 really got us ready to watch the Flyers and maybe break some stuff tonight, muttering Lavvy's philosophies over and over.

The matchup and venue are no letdown, either. The boys are in Montreal, one of the best hockey environments in the world, ready to face the Canadiens in front of a venomous crowd. Can't help but think of how this will play out on next week's episode. For now though, there's a winning streak to keep alive, and nothing will come easy with all of the injuries the Flyers have absorbed.

A look at the matchup, and some speculation on Chris Pronger below.

First, the Pronger stuff. Reports from TSN in Canada are hinting at the Flyers' captain possibly missing the remainder of the season. We're not sure what's being updated here, as Sarah Baicker points out. His status is already said to be "out indefinitely." But, we're not concussion experts and have no idea what would indicate to a doctor that a player should not be active at any time in the next six months. Still, Bob McKenzie isn't known for blowing smoke.

Even if the Flyers provide an update refuting the "season possibly over" whispers, it won't make them false. Until they say he's done for the season, it won't be true.

Back to the lecture at hand…

One of last night's big stars gets the night off in Montreal, his first in a while. Sergei Bobrovsky will get the turn in net. He beat the Habs in Philly on Black Friday, 3-1.

The Canadiens have had seven of their losses come in overtime or the shootout this season, including their most recent three, all of which came in the SO. They've won their last two games, but they only beat the Devils and Islanders, so, not exactly setting the world on fire. They've won just three of their last nine games.

Carey Price has been getting most of the starts, including the last six.

Montreal's PK unit has been elite so far this season, second best in the league. Their power play? Not so much, at 28th.

Can the Flyers stay hot despite the mounting injuries? We've seen nothing to indicate they can't… Hopefully Bob can tack another win to the board tonight, shut those miserable Habs fans up early…

Sixers being cautious with Jahlil Okafor early in training camp

Sixers being cautious with Jahlil Okafor early in training camp

GALLOWAY, N.J. — The Sixers lost Jahlil Okafor for the final 23 games last season because of a small meniscus tear in his right knee. Now they are being cautious as he prepares for his second year.

As part of the Sixers’ prescheduled load management for Okafor, he participated in a portion of practice and then worked out individually with head strength and conditioning coach Todd Wright.

“They just told me to relax once I did what they wanted me to do today,” Okafor said. “I was off to the sidelines. I feel fine. I’ll be good tomorrow.”

Okafor learned during his first NBA season that he should speak more openly with the staff about his body.

“Communication is key,” he said. “I think last year I didn’t really communicate how I was feeling, so I wasn’t able to get the help I needed.”

The team held three practice sessions in the first two days of training camp. Okafor said he knew the Sixers would be cautious with his workload. He is poised to improve upon his rookie year in which he averaged 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in 53 games last season.

“I’m 100 percent healthy,” he said. “I’m all good.”

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

GALLOWAY, N.J. -- With Joel Embiid's excitement to be on the court following two years of injuries comes the reality of his lengthy setback.

Embiid is participating in his first NBA training camp this week. While he has impressed with his natural abilities and improved skills, Embiid is facing challenges as he gets accustomed to the league.

"Everything is kind of off right now as far as catching the ball or shooting," Embiid said after practice Wednesday. "I've still got to get in the flow of the game."

Embiid has yet to play since being drafted in 2014. For the past two years he has worked out individually and in controlled settings. Practices, even in training camp, are different. 

"You see all the time when you realize he hasn't played basketball for a long time," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. "He's trying to gather his feet and find his balance, he's trying to figure out stuff in real time speed on defensive assignments and rotations."

On Wednesday, Embiid went through practice without any minute restrictions and was feeling healthier from the cold and virus he had been battling (see story). Teammates have praised his physical presence and eagerness to compete. He makes an impact with his 7-foot-2 presence alone, but there is more he wants to improve. 

Embiid is adjusting to the speed of the game. He has been facing challenges with getting the ball in the post and spoke to the coaches about his frustrations. The staff explained they are focusing on pick-and-roll defense and getting out to run during training camp, but he will get that desired location in game situations. 

“You continue to see the size of Joel Embiid,” Brown said. “He's a big man and he's got a mindset to back up his physical gifts. He really wants the ball. He wants to get deep catches. He wants to dunk on people.”

Embiid always has been realistic about his transition to his rookie season. He has pointed out many times that he is a fast learner, and is anxious to soak up new knowledge and apply it to the court.

"It's really frustrating," he said. "But like I've said, you've got to trust the process, which I've been doing."