Lecavalier’s Flyers debut spoiled by Bernier, Maple Leafs

Lecavalier’s Flyers debut spoiled by Bernier, Maple Leafs

It didn’t take long for new Flyer Vincent Lecavalier to make his mark in Philadelphia. As the final seconds were ticking down on the opening period of Wednesday night’s season premiere at the Wells Fargo Center, Lecavalier collected his first point in Orange & Black off of a sweet dish to Brayden Schenn to put his team ahead 1-0 going into the dressing room.

Unfortunately, a one-goal lead was not nearly enough production for the work the Flyers put in during those initial 20 minutes. Despite launching 15 shots on goal and dominating the time on attack, Toronto netminder Jonathan Bernier stood tall when the horn sounded having kept his team in the contest.

You could sense the momentum changing right away in the second period, and sure enough the Maple Leafs outlasted the Bullies by a tally of 3-1.

Bernier was without question the star of the show, halting 31 of 32 shots to earn a win in his Leafs debut. The Flyers were among the teams to inquire about Bernier over the summer when he was still a backup goaltender for the Kings, but ultimately Toronto landed him, sending forward Matt Frattin, netminder Ben Scrivens, and a second-round pick to Los Angeles.

Perhaps Bernier was taking this opportunity to show the Flyers’ front office what they potentially missed out on.

Regardless, the most frustrating part of all was how many chances the Leafs—playing in their second game in as many nights—gave the home team to pile on. Philadelphia was awarded seven power plays compared to just two for Toronto, yet the Flyers were only able to convert once on Schenn’s marker.

They kept going back to this strategy where a puck carrier with a full head of steam would attempt a drop pass just before crossing into enemy territory, often to Claude Giroux. By midway through the game, Giroux or the intended recipient would be swarmed at the blue line, and by the end, the Flyers could barely mount an attack.

Bernier also turned away a penalty shot by Wayne Simmonds.

At least Lecavalier looked as advertised, his assist coming on the lone Flyers’ score off of a power play. The four-time All Star got to the puck in the corner and proceeded to make pretty below the goal line, skating behind the net until the Leafs were sufficiently dazzled, then delivering the biscuit to Schenn right in the middle of the Leafs’ defense for the home run.

I don’t know about you, but I could probably get used to seeing this No. 40 in Orange & Black.

>> Power play dooms Flyers in opening loss to Leafs [CSN]
>> Box Score [Yahoo!]

Previously: Are 2013-14 Flyers pulling in too many different directions?

Doug Pederson won't commit, leaning towards activating Nelson Agholor

Doug Pederson won't commit, leaning towards activating Nelson Agholor

For whatever reason, Doug Pederson refused to commit to it on Friday morning, but it certainly seems like Nelson Agholor is going to be active this Sunday. 

When asked about Agholor, Pederson cited Jordan Matthews’ ankle injury -- Matthews is questionable heading into the game – as a reason he’s “keeping [Agholor] in the mix.”

Does “in the mix” mean active? 

“Yeah, there’s a good chance,” Pederson said. “I have to find out how Jordan does today and see really. Just getting on Nelson, his mind has been great, his attitude has been really good, he’s been working really hard. So right now, nothing says not keeping him up, keeping him out. Everything is leaning toward keeping him active.”

Agholor was a healthy scratch against the Packers on Monday Night Football after a dreadful performance against Seattle, after which he admitted he was in his own head. All last week, Pederson said it was a possibility he’d keep Agholor down and then he did. Agholor watched from the sideline as the Eagles lost 27-13.  

When pressed on Friday about his failure to commit to playing Agholor, Pederson said he didn’t want to rush into anything, because something unexpected could come up. 

“If I can wait until the last second, I’m going to wait until the last second and just see,” he said.  

On the last question of Friday’s press conference, Pederson seemed to possibly tip his hand. He was asked if there are things he can do as a play-caller, if Agholor plays, to build his confidence, perhaps getting him the ball early in the game. 

“Yeah, there’s always way to do that, obviously, play call, play design, specifically to get him going in the game, could help,” Pederson said. “Get him the ball early. It might just be a screen, just getting him the ball quick, let him get settled into the game. Those are all things I consider, especially putting the openers together, the first 15 (plays), let’s say, focusing on certain guys, wanting to get them touches early. And he’s definitely one of those guys.”

The Eagles have elected to keep just four receivers active on game days all season, while some other teams keep five up. Pederson said the reason for that is special teams. Instead of having a fifth receiver, the Eagles keep up core special teams players like reserve safety Terrence Brooks or reserve corner C.J. Smith. 

With Matthews’ injury and with Agholor’s situation, Pederson might have to consider activating five for the first time this season on Sunday. 

“That’s something, obviously, I have to consider,” Pederson said. “It really depends on today and how well Jordan comes out of today. And see where he’s at. Again, it’s a short week and getting back out there yesterday, (Thursday) was, I don’t want to say it hurt him, it was good to put him out there. The decision could come from how well he does or doesn’t come out of today.”

Connor Barwin and Kurt Vile promote New Year's show in bizarre fashion

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Connor Barwin and Kurt Vile promote New Year's show in bizarre fashion

Kurt Vile and Connor Barwin are both beloved Philly dudes so it made sense when they hooked up a couple of summers ago for the Eagles defender's first MTWB benefit show.

It appears as if the duo have remained tight and they even joined forces again today to help promote Vile's show on New Year's Eve at the Fillmore over in Fishtown.

Let's just say it seems they were trying to be as bizarre as possible on purpose to get some attention.

Mission accomplished.

Kurt Vile, Connor Barwin & Jello Man Telling Jokes

Check out Kurt and his pals Connor Barwin and Jello Man getting amp'd up for the big New Years Eve show in Philadelphia. Still a few tickets left if you haven't gotten yours yet. Catch Kurt Vile & The Violators on Tour in a city near you: Tue-Dec-13 Dallas, TX Trees Wed-Dec-14 Austin, TX KGSR 26th Anniversary @ ACL Live at the Moody Theater Wed- Dec-28 New York, NY Terminal 5 Thu- Dec-29 Boston, MA Royale Fri- Dec-30 Boston, MA The Sinclair Sat- Dec-31 Philadelphia, PA The Fillmore Thu- Jan-26 Charlottesville, VA Jefferson Theater Fri- Jan-27 Saxaphaw, NC Haw River Ballroom Sat- Jan-28 Athens, GA 40 Watt Sun- Jan-29 Charleston, SC Music Farm Mon- Jan-30 Ponte Vedra, FL Ponte Vedra Concert Hall Tue- Jan-31 Orlando, FL Social to Beacham Wed- Feb-01 Ybor City, FL Ritz Ybor Sat- Feb-04 Mexico City, MEX Plaza Condesa February 4-8 Riviera Maya, MX My Morning Jacket's One Big Holiday Wd-Feb-27 Perth, AUS Perth Festival***SOLO*** Tue-Feb-28 Perth, AUS Perth Festival***SOLO*** Fri-Mar-03 Sydney, AUS Taronga Zoo ***SOLO*** Sat-Mar-04 Melbourne, AUS Melbourne Zoo***SOLO*** Thu-Mar-09 Brisbane, AUS Queensland PAC***SOLO*** March 10-12 Golconda, TAS A Festival Called Panama***SOLO*** March 11-13 Meredith, VIC Golden Plains Festival***SOLO*** Co-headline w/ Band of Horses 12/14 Lucy Dacus supporting 12/14 Woods supporting 12/28-31 Nathan Bowles supporting 12/28-31 Luke Roberts supporting 1/26-2/1 2/4-8 w/ My Morning Jacket, Gary Clark Jr., The Head and the Heart, Deer Tick Mick Turner supporting 3/3-9

Posted by Kurt Vile on Friday, December 2, 2016

Here's a fun old video featuring the two hanging before the aforementioned MTWB show: