Is It Too Late to Point Out How Danny Briere Shouldn't Have Been on the Ice?

Is It Too Late to Point Out How Danny Briere Shouldn't Have Been on the Ice?

Well this is going to be a wildly unpopular position in the wake of all the anti-Penguins bluster flying about, and I probably shouldn't have sat on it for the better part of a week -- but just what was Danny Briere doing on the ice with one minute to go in a 6-4 hockey game against a division rival anyway?
I love the fire Peter Laviolette showed on the bench, breaking Max Talbot's stick and threatening to turn Dan Bylsma into a refrigerator he once met in New Jersey; but that must-see-television might have been avoided if Briere wasn't on the ice to begin with.
And, yes, I understand that Bylsma first putting out a scoring line only to replace it with his fourth line seconds later, a situation that might put a Flyer at risk. Still, if there was any thought that the Pens would continue to press in an effort to tie the game, then Briere shouldn't have been on the ice. 
This isn't about a health liability, its about Danny, god love him, as a defensive liability. Really, isn't he the guy who routinely serves bench minors and other unaccounted for infractions since he wouldn't otherwise be utilized on the penalty kill? And isn't he the guy who's a career minus-5 despite averaging .8 points per game, dating back to 1997?
I'll give Danny this, he's been a plus-skater the last two seasons, and even I'll admit he's been by no means as glaringly worrying defensively as he was when he got here. I'll even concede I might riding him too hard, and that for Danny to be successful at his size, it comes at a price. If I'm the guy who says, "don't worry, he'll step it up in the playoffs" when Briere goes through a long scoring drought, then it's only right for me to acknowledge the role that line of thinking might play in other parts of his game.
But Danny is by no means the first choice when you need to kill clock in your defensive end in a close game. Nor is he the kind of talent you want to expose to a situation in which the other team's "goons" are on the ice.
So regardless of whatever move Bylsma pulled, and in spite of how awesome it was to see the Flyers head man go ape, Lavy got situationally out-coached in this one instance, when he should have had his own fourth line on the ice from the start. And it's cost him Briere for an undetermined length.
You can let me have it now.

Radko Gudas shooting pucks, 'pretty close' to 100 percent

Radko Gudas shooting pucks, 'pretty close' to 100 percent

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.”

Now 22/1 to win Super Bowl, Eagles also the NFC East favorite

Now 22/1 to win Super Bowl, Eagles also the NFC East favorite

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.