The Bruins Power Play Might Look Familiar

The Bruins Power Play Might Look Familiar

Two issues followed the Flyers throughout most of their hard-fought opening round series against the Sabres—uncertainty in net and an inffective power play. Both issues seemed to be resolved, temporarily, in their decisive game 7 victory, with Brian Boucher taking firm grasp of a goalie gig he may have deserved throughout the series, and Chris Pronger returning to give a boost to the man advantage. I wouldn't say the power play is necessarily out of the woods yet, but it looked better than it has in a while on Tuesday, and Pronger's role in that can't be discounted.

The Bruins, meanwhile, come to town having not scored a single power play goal in their seven-game series against Montreal (0/21).

The Canadiens actually scored more goals on Boston's power play than did the Bruins, tallying one shorty last night. I don't want to poke a sleeping bear here (get it?!), but with the Flyers about to face a very tough Boston squad, special teams could play a huge role in the series. At least coming into the action, the most recent trends favor the Flyers.

Who knows how long the Bruins PP woes will last though, or whether the Flyers will regress to the ineptitude that had fans screaming for them to decline penalties earlier in the series. Hell we don't even know if Pronger will hold up under increased even strength minutes and penalty killing time. 

To me, it's just interesting to take a look outside of our at times very myopic view of hockey, which focuses intently on the strengths and weaknesses of the Flyers without putting them into the larger context of the league. The NHL doesn't get quite the exposure other sports get, so we have to actively seek out what other teams are doing if we're to have any idea how the Flyers match up. That was borne out last series, when we thought the Flyers' goalie woes were something unique to this franchise and these players. While it definitely got a bit more circus-like here in those seven games, other teams were facing perhaps even more significant goaltending questions, either for a game or over the course of a series.

In the same light, it seemed almost impossible that a team could be struggling on the power play as much as the Flyers were down the stretch and into the first round. Then last night, the Bruins capped a series in which they failed to score even one goal on the man advantage.

All we can do at this point is hope that trend continues for Boston, and maybe even that our opportunistic penalty killers can capitalize on the Bruins' difficulty getting their power play started in the neutral zone. We could be in store for a bunch of one-goal games again this series, and special teams are bound to be a significant component.

For more on the Bruins struggles on the power play, check out this update from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe.

Jeremy Hellickson leaves final start of season with right knee sprain

Jeremy Hellickson leaves final start of season with right knee sprain

Updated: 9:15 p.m.

ATLANTA — Phillies pitcher Jeremy Hellickson left his final start of the season Thursday night with a right knee sprain.

Facing the Atlanta Braves, Hellickson had gotten one out in the fourth inning when he waved for athletic trainer Scott Sheridan to come to the mound. Hellickson left the field with Sheridan by his side.

Hellickson did not allow a run in 3 1/3 innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out four.

Hellickson finished the season 12-10 with a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts. The Phillies acquired the 29-year-old right-hander in a trade with Arizona last fall. 

Hellickson will become a free agent after the World Series. The Phillies could extend him a one-year salary offer of $17 million. If Hellickson accepts, he would return to the club in 2017. If he rejects the offer and seeks a multi-year deal elsewhere, the Phillies would get a compensatory pick between the first and second rounds of next year's draft. 

Former Eagles CB Byron Maxwell benched by Dolphins

Former Eagles CB Byron Maxwell benched by Dolphins

Dolphins cornerback Byron Maxwell is not starting tonight against the Bengals. Maxwell, who the Eagles traded this past offseason, was already seeing his playing time diminish. Now, he will sit in favor of Tony Lippett, who has not seen a single snap for the Dolphins this season.

The Eagles' big trade this offseason keeps getting better and better. They acquired the eighth overall pick in the draft in exchange for the 13th overall pick, Maxwell and Kiko Alonzo. Not only were they able to rid themselves of Maxwell’s awful contract, but they were able to get value for a player who is now not considered an NFL starter. 

The eighth overall pick that the Eagles acquired from Miami was flipped to the Browns among other picks to move up to No. 2. As you may know, that No. 2 pick became offensive Rookie of the Month Carson Wentz. 

At the time of the trade, Maxwell originally failed his physical because of a shoulder injury. It was reported that the shoulder was so bad he could not perform a simple pushup, but the Dolphins traded for him anyway.

The Byron Maxwell trade was the stepping stone for the Eagles to land their quarterback of the future, and this news can only make them feel better about the move. Howie Roseman had an incredible offseason cleaning up the mess Chip Kelly left behind, and Maxwell’s benching will certainly help his case for executive of the year.