Staying Alive: Flyers, Bryzgalov Strong in Rare Shootout Win

Staying Alive: Flyers, Bryzgalov Strong in Rare Shootout Win

General manager Paul Holmgren said the team needed to
compete better. The Flyers’ players responded on Friday night, grinding it out
against the New Jersey Devils for 65 minutes before picking up the unusual 2-1
shootout victory. Imagine that.

It was a gritty effort from the Flyers, who were far stronger
in their own end than they have been for much of the season. Fewer sloppy turnovers
meant fewer rushes, while there were none of the all-around collapses that
often lead to opponents skating freely with the puck through Philadelphia’s
zone. They were exceptional on the penalty kill as well, including on a five-on-three in the opening period that may have provided some of the momentum.

When there were breakdowns or the Devils won the battles, Ilya Bryzgalov
was up to the task. The cosmonaut made his share of incredible saves in this
one, seemingly gaining confidence as the game wore on. Bryz stopped 27 of 28
shots, the lone score coming off of a deflection. Then he shut the door in
the shootout, proving that he can actually win a one-on-one.

A good thing, because Peter Laviolette may have sacrificed
some offense for the sake of his defense. The Flyers had just the lone goal off a
beautiful hesitation pass from Simon Gagne to Max Talbot, who received the puck
on Johan Hedberg’s front porch with an empty net. Orange & Black had 22
shots total, but fewer in every period, and just three in the third.

It was enough though, and exactly the kind of effort they
needed to pick up their first win on New Jersey in eight tries going back to
last year’s playoffs. Speaking of which, they may have only gained one point on
the Devils, and actually were minus-one for the home-and-home series, but the first step was
turning their luck around. If they produce more efforts like this, the Flyers are not
dead yet.


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Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

USA Today Images

Union emotional after Maurice Edu's season-ending injury

CHESTER, Pa. — On the eve of his comeback after missing nearly 13 months with a left tibia stress fracture and other related injuries, Union midfielder Maurice Edu fractured his left fibula on Saturday, keeping him out for the 2016 playoffs and beyond.

“I was trying to take the shot on goal and my foot got stuck in the turf,” Edu said Sunday, in his blue Union-issued suit and supported by crutches. “My ankle rolled and twisted and it kind of snapped a little bit. I heard it crack, and a lot of pain from there. I got a scan afterward, and there was a break.”

There's no timetable his return.

Edu, 30, has spent over a calendar year fighting various injuries that have kept him out of game action. His trouble began on Sept. 30, 2015, when he played through the U.S. Open Cup final with a partially torn groin and sports hernia. It was during Edu’s recovery from those injuries that he developed a stress fracture.

"A little bit frustration. A lot of frustration, to be honest," he said. "But all I can do now is get back to work, focus on the positives and make sure that my situation isn’t a distraction from the team."

Edu’s teammates were equally devastated by the news. Edu, the Union captain when healthy, is popular and well-respected in the locker room.

"I feel so bad for him," said Alejandro Bedoya, who wore a dedication to Edu under his jersey on Sunday. "He’s one of my good friends, so I was looking forward to playing alongside him. I know how hard he’s worked to get back, and to see him go out like that, it’s heartbreaking. I’m sad for his loss and I hope he stays strong."

Edu, who has been with the Union since 2014, returned to training in July and played three conditioning appearances with the Union’s USL team, Bethlehem Steel FC. He was on the bench for the Union’s last three games and was set to make his first appearance in over a year against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, a game the Union eventually lost, 2-0 (see game story).

"We’re gutted for Mo," Union manager Jim Curtin said. "He was slated to start today. It’s real upsetting because he’s worked so hard to get back on the field. It’s been a tough 2016 for him, but I know he’ll come back stronger."

While he was visibly shaken by recent injury, Edu is driven to return.

"What happened, happened," Edu said. "I have no control over that. The only thing I do have control over is my next steps from here, how I prepare myself mentally and emotionally and how I continue to support this group."

Source: Sixers to waive Brandon Paul as roster deadline nears

Source: Sixers to waive Brandon Paul as roster deadline nears

The Sixers, who have an afternoon of cuts to make in order to get the regular season roster down to 15 before 5 p.m. on Monday, will waive guard Brandon Paul, according to a source.

Jake Fischer first reported the news. Paul has received interest from other NBA teams, per the source, and has not yet had talks about the D-League. 

Paul, 25, appeared in four preseason games for the Sixers. He averaged 7.3 points and 2.3 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from three.

Paul recently shared with his challenges to pursue an NBA career.

The Sixers' roster stood at 20 after they signed Temple alum Dionte Christmas.

Cat Barber, Shawn Long and James Webb III also are expected to be waived and spend time in the Development League. Elton Brand announced his retirement and was waived last week.