Lets Get Weird: Flyers Refute Report of Ilya Bryzgalov Sleeping in Team Meeting

Lets Get Weird: Flyers Refute Report of Ilya Bryzgalov Sleeping in Team Meeting

As the playoffs continue to slip through their fingers, and
speculation swirls around the future of Ilya Bryzgalov, I suppose it’s only
natural for the witch hunt to intensify.

Sure enough a report has emerged that the Flyers’ goaltender
was benched for their game against the Islanders, and not because he was due
for a break after making 22 consecutive starts, not even because the team
wanted to get a look at Steve Mason. Allegedly it was because Bryz was caught
snoozing during a meeting.

The report originated on 97.5 The Fanatic, but several of
Bryzgalov’s teammates swiftly and adamantly refuted the story while meeting
with the media on Wednesday, including Mike Knuble who described the rumor as “asinine.”
Head coach Peter Laviolette denied as well.

The news comes amid a period in the season when everybody is
still trying to attach the specific significance to Mason’s arrival. There is
widespread belief it was a sign that a buyout could be coming for Bryz in the
offseason, while some believe Mason getting the call against the Islanders on
Tuesday was the newcomer’s big audition.

Bryzgalov spoke to reporters prior to last night’s loss about
the possibility the Flyers would seek amnesty on the rest of his nine-year, $51
million contract, but did not come off as hostile. He suggested that it’s not
necessarily what he wants, but those decisions are out of his control according
to Randy Miller’s story for the Courier-Post.

“You know, I have no control in
this,” he said. “I can’t read the people’s mind. I can’t project things what
they’re thinking, that’s why I’m not worried about things I can’t control. I
maybe want one thing and they want a different thing.”

Miller’s story is worth a read, as Bryz also touches on his
awful statistics, how his body is holding up after playing so many
games in a row, and even specifically the arrival of Mason. From what I
gathered reading it, Bryzgalov seems like a man determined to stand above the
fray, although it obviously hasn’t prevented some people from trying to drag
him down.

>> Kimmo: Bryz (BryZZZZ?) was not sleeping [Broad St. Bull]
>> Bryzgalov on potential buyout: 'To be honest, I don't care' [Courier-Post]

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Joel Embiid to play Monday vs. Nuggets; Jahlil Okafor questionable (illness)

Joel Embiid to play Monday vs. Nuggets; Jahlil Okafor questionable (illness)

Joel Embiid will play Monday night against the Nuggets at the Wells Fargo Center.

The reigning Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month is still unable to play back-to-back games. He'll likely be out Tuesday night when the Sixers travel to Memphis to play the Grizzlies.

The home crowd will get see Embiid but they may not get to see him paired with fellow big man Jahlil Okafor. Okafor is questionable on Monday with an illness. The pair played together for nearly 13 minutes in last Friday's blowout loss to the Magic. They each recorded a double-double.

Robert Covington, who sprained his left knee in the loss to Orlando and is now battling the flu, is out against Denver. Jerryd Bayless, who's missed the last four games while stilling battling a left wrist injury, is also out on Monday.

For the season, Embiid leads all rookies with averages of 18.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game in 13 games. 

Penalties the only consistent theme for Doug Pederson's Eagles

Penalties the only consistent theme for Doug Pederson's Eagles

CINCINNATI — There’s one thing the Eagles are very consistent at, and it’s nothing to be proud of.

The Eagles continue to be one of the most penalized teams in the NFL, and with 10 more infractions in their 32-14 loss to the Bengals on Sunday, they increased their 12-game total to 100 — second-most in the NFL this year.

Five times they’ve been called for 10 or more penalties, and that’s one shy of the most games in franchise history with double-digit penalties in a season.

And there’s four games to go.

The Eagles have been cited for penalties seven or more times in all but three games. They’re on pace for the third-most penalties in franchise history.

Earlier this year, the Eagles committed seven or more penalties in four straight games for the first time in six years. The last month, they did that again.

This is not a disciplined football team. Not remotely.

“The penalties are hurting us,” said Brandon Graham, who was called for a personal foul after a low hit on Andy Dalton Sunday. “You kind of get frustrated a little bit and sometimes a lot of stuff starts happening. But we have to clean that up.”

The Eagles are on pace for 133 penalties. The franchise high is 138, set in 1994 by a Rich Kotite team that lost its last seven games. The 2005 team — torn apart by the Donovan McNabb-Terrell Owens feud — committed 134.

The only team with more penalties than the Eagles this year is the Raiders with 112. They always lead the league in penalties and at least this year they’re winning anyway.

The Eagles aren’t. Their lack of discipline has contributed greatly to their current stretch of seven losses in a nine-game span.

For the Eagles, it’s been just another part of the season that’s gotten away from coach Doug Pederson and his players.

“Penalties have got to stop,” Pederson said Sunday night. “Obviously, the turnovers and things like that too. It’s just not characteristic of how we coach and how we play.”

But it’s how this team has played. Consistently.

Only against the Bears, Cowboys and Giants have the Eagles committed fewer than seven penalties. When they commit 10 or more, they’re 1-4

“Some of it is focus, and some of it is anticipating the snap count,” Pederson said. “Some of it is a little on the quarterback, because we’re using so many snap counts and cadences to get indicators from the defense to tip their hat a little bit.

“Guys are geared up. We’ve got to focus in on that, because it’s something we work on every single week. Obviously the silent count we work on every week.”

Here’s a breakdown of the Eagles’ 100 penalties:

12 — Jason Peters

8 — Jason Kelce

7 — Nolan Carroll

6 — Zach Ertz, Allen Barbre

5 — Jalen Mills, Fletcher Cox

4 — Dorial Green-Beckham, Brandon Graham, Carson Wentz, Malcolm Jenkins

3 — Nigel Bradham, Rodney McLeod, Najee Goode, Marcus Smith, Brent Celek

2 — Jaylen Watkins, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Isaac Seumalo, Destiny Vaeao, Trey Burton, Matt Tobin

1 — Kenjon Barner, Darren Sproles, Ron Brooks, Jordan Matthews, Wendell Smallwood, Vinny Curry, Kamu Grugier-Hill, Donnie Jones, Bennie Logan, Chris Maragos, Leodis McKelvin, Halapoulivaaati Vaitai.

And here’s a breakdown of the types of penalties the Eagles have been hit with:

22 — False start

16 — Offensive holding

10 — Unncessary roughness

8 — Defensive pass interference, offensive pass interference

7 — Defensive offsides

4 — Delay of game, illegal formation, defensive holding

3 — Roughing the passer, facemask, neutral zone infraction

2 — Chop block, defensive 12 men on the field, encroachment, illegal contact, running into the kicker

1 — Unsportsmanlike conduct, horse collar tackle, illegal block above the waist, illegal shift, offensive 12 men on the field, offensive offsides, illegal use of hands