Odds and Ends from Last Nights Highly Entertaining Flyers-Penguins Tilt

Odds and Ends from Last Nights Highly Entertaining Flyers-Penguins Tilt

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Bad news first: the cost of victory. Perhaps overshadowed
somewhat by the exuberance over the Flyers’ 6-5 win in Pittsburgh on Wednesday
night was the loss of Matt Read to an upper-body injury. Read left the game after
a hit by Penguins forward Chris Kunitz late in the first period and did not
return. Tim Panaccio suggests it may be a concussion, but information was
limited.


Not much to comment on until we learn more about the
severity other than it will be yet another hit to the perpetually reinvented
top line. Read leads the club with seven goals.

In other news, Scott Hartnell has been cleared to practice,
but is at least a week away. [Philly Burbs]

The Feats of Voracek

The good news is it didn’t appear Claude Giroux and Jakub
Voracek missed a beat without Read. Giroux assisted and Ruslan Fedotenko skated
on both of Jake’s even-strength goals after the departure. It’s beginning to
look like Voracek '));">might have been the right pairing for G all along.

Speaking of filling Jaromir Jagr’s spot, while Voracek’s
first and second goals were separated by an intermission, technically they were
scored 28 seconds apart. According to Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the fastest
time by a Flyer since Jagr scored two in 18 seconds last February 18. Okay,
Jagr’s run is far more impressive!

That’s a first career hat trick for Voracek though, preceded
by a personal-best four points on Monday. Not Jagr, not bad.

Sean Couturier shows
up

There’s a name you won’t see taking up a lot of column
inches this morning, nor will his line jump out at you in the box score, but Couturier
enjoyed what was quite possibly his finest outing of the season to date.

Cooter did finish with an assist, and registered six shots
on goal in the first period while helping to spark the Flyers’ offense after
starting in a 2-0 hole. He also created multiple turnovers – several of which
led to quality scoring chances – in addition to being back up to his old tricks
from last April’s playoff series, molesting Evgeni Malkin all game long, and
generally living under the reigning Art Ross Trophy-winner’s skin.

About the only complaint that was levied was his measured
approach to a one-on-one with Pens goaltender Tomas Vokoun in the first period.
Maybe next time don’t think too hard about it, kid.

File under ‘Most
Bizarre Goals Ever’

This is something I’m almost certain I’ve never seen before.
On the Flyers’ first goal, Vokoun gets a little too far away from home, but
luckily his teammates come to his defense… sort of and all of them.

Nicklas Grossmann eventually finds twine as Penguin after
Penguin stacks the crease, blocking shot after shot as the Flyers keep whacking
away. While all five black jerseys lie in the crease instead of, I don’t know, checking
somebody maybe, Vokoun looks on before sprawling to the ice in a most humorous
fashion himself. [Broad Street Hockey]

Flat out bizarre.

Crosby and Malkin are
like “crack addicts”

Something tells me this analogy isn’t going to make it into
the SATs. Mike Milbury made a rather off-color remark on NBC Sports during the
second intermission, comparing superstars Malkin’s and Sidney Crosby’s
aggressive offensive-minded approaches to people who simply can’t smoke enough
rock – an unfortunate choice of words in a politically correct society, because
somebody somewhere is already writing a letter. [Puck Daddy]

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Nerlens Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday vs. Pistons

Nerlens Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday vs. Pistons

NEW ORLEANS — Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to coexist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right foot fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."