The Flyers Are Probably Done, But How Many Times Have You Heard That Before? (And Other Notes)

The Flyers Are Probably Done, But How Many Times Have You Heard That Before? (And Other Notes)

There isn't have much to add to the sad tale of The Flyers Lose to the Islanders 4-1 on
Tuesday Night, the title of which alone is probably more than most folks
would care to read. We’ll simply caution in one small department: this wasn’t
necessarily the end.

How many times have the Flyers lost a "must win" this year and been left for dead?
Two? Three? A handful, give or take? Yet here we are, still talking about the

It’s not what anybody wants to hear right now, but then neither
is the statement Long Island has a better hockey club than Philadelphia. As of
today they do.

The Isles are getting hot at the right time, improving their
record to 7-1-1 over the last nine tilts, and since beginning the season 4-7-1,
they’ve been posting a 16-9-3 pace. That is a legit playoff team.

The Flyers of course do not look like a legit playoff team by any
means, but until additional contestants step up and seize the last couple of playoff
spots (or spot, singular) like the Islanders appear to have done, the
postseason is still up for grabs.

Unless the Flyers keep losing obviously. That will crush
their postseason hopes, too.

We thought they were finished on several
occasions already, but some of the competition hasn't quite been able to separate from the pack. Even though whatever remained of the Flyers' playoff chances was essentially cut
in half after this latest loss to New York, they remain the same number of points back of eighth place –
five – as they were entering Tuesday. So, ya know, they might jump right back
into the race with a few wins, because hey why not anything’s possible.

Then again, maybe the Flyers were out of the running this entire time.


• Steve
Mason started the game in net for the Orange & Black in a move some people
remarked could be a sign of a permanent change moving forward if it proved
successful. The fact that Ilya Bryzgalov played 22 games in a row had nothing
to do with it (not my words).

Anyway, Mason was okay in his first start for the Flyers,
stopping 28 of 31 shots in the loss, but fell victim to many of the same
problems as Bryz has. Poor backchecking allowed rushes to turn into odd-man scenarios, one
of which was even compounded by a little friendly fire from Erik Gustafsson.

Regardless of what the front office decides to do as it
pertains Bryzgalov, what is any goaltender supposed to do about this?

• In
a thrill that could probably best be compared to winning a buck off of a $20
scratch-off, the Flyers may have come up with the play of the night. Claude Giroux
found Jakub Voracek streaking into New York’s zone with a one-hopper from
deeeeeep in their own end, and Jake slipped the puck under Evgeni Nabokov as fellow
Islander Andrew McDonald crashed into him. Amazing pass, great finish, and
ultimately meaningless.

• In
other news, the Pittsburgh Penguins clinched the Atlantic Division. Cherry on


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Sixers teased in preseason finale with Jahlil Okafor back, Nerlens Noel out

Sixers teased in preseason finale with Jahlil Okafor back, Nerlens Noel out


MIAMI — Jahlil Okafor called it a “tease.”

He was talking about his oh-so-brief 2016-2017 debut, but he could have also been summarizing the Sixers' constant state of taking one step forward and one (injured) leg back.

Okafor, a 6-11 center and the NBA’s third overall pick in the 2015 draft, played 7:32 minutes on Friday and produced four points, one rebound, one assist, one block and one turnover. He had been held out in camp previously because of knee soreness.

His return was the good news for the Sixers.

But, before Friday’s 113-110 exhibition finale win over the Miami Heat even started (see Instant Replay), the Sixers announced that center/forward Nerlens Noel will have a “minor surgical procedure in the coming days,” (see story).

Sixers center Joel Embiid, who has missed the past two years because of foot surgeries, said he empathizes with Noel.

“It’s hard,” Embiid said. “Obviously we need Nerlens if we want to win. But that’s basketball. Things happen. You can’t control injuries.

“I feel bad for him because this is the beginning of the season. Everybody wants to play the beginning of the season. But I’m sure he is going to work hard to come back even stronger.”

On the positive side for the Sixers, there was the return of Okafor … even it felt like baby steps for him.

“I started to feel really good,” said Okafor, who had surgery on his right knee in March and experienced soreness on that same knee Sept. 30. “It was kind of like a tease to me because I really got going. I wanted to continue to play, but that’s why I have the medical staff to keep me disciplined.”

Sixers coach Brett Brown said before the game that he would keep Okafor to just six to eight minutes, and he was true to his word.

Okafor, who made the only shot he attempted from the floor and was 2 for 4 on free throws, did not play in the second half.

“The scoring piece to my game, that’s like riding a bicycle,” Okafor said. “I know I can score the ball. It was good to get back out there with my teammates and hear them cheer for me on the side.”

Okafor said he tried to convince Brown to let him extend past the script of no more than eight minutes.

“He was like, ‘Have your lawyer call my lawyer,'" Okafor said. “We will talk about the season home opener (on Wednesday night against Oklahoma City), and hopefully I can increase my minutes.”

Okafor said he didn’t want to put a number on how many minutes he thought he could’ve played in his season debut except to say he knew he could play more.

Interestingly, Embiid, who had 18 points and nine rebounds in 18 minutes, said he felt Okafor was a bit fatigued.

“I think he was a little bit tired,” Embiid said. “Obviously, he hasn’t played in a while. But just like me, he’s going to dig down. He is a proven scorer. He can do whatever he wants on the court.

“Once he gets back in shape, we as a team are going to be really good.”

Okafor was a minus-5 while he was on the court. But Brown said he was impressed by some of the less-hyped aspects of Okafor’s game.

“I thought he was really good defensively,” Brown said. “He sat in his stance and moved his feet. I thought he did a great job of fronting the post.”

Brown said the Noel injury was almost unfair.

“Clearly, it was a situation in the preseason where he would have played a lot,” Brown said. “The timing is unfortunate.”

Penn routs Yale, 42-7, behind Alek Torgersen's 4 TDs

Penn Athletics

Penn routs Yale, 42-7, behind Alek Torgersen's 4 TDs


NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Alek Torgersen threw four touchdown passes, three to Justin Watson, and Penn rolled to a 42-7 victory over Yale in the first night game in Yale Bowl history.

Torgersen completed 16 of 23 passes for 229 yards and rushed for 66 yards. Watson had 10 receptions for 166 yards with touchdowns covering 5, 41 and 35 yards.

Torgersen moved into a tie for second with 47 career TD passes and Watson moved into fourth in career receptions (161) and touchdowns (17) for the Quakers (4-2, 3-0 Ivy Leauge).

Tre Solomon rushed for 120 yards, seven shy of the career high he set a week earlier, on 15 carries, including a 3-yard touchdown run, for Penn, which won its fourth straight. Cameron Countryman had a 10-yard touchdown reception and Karekin Brooks had a 13-yard run for his first career touchdown.

Penn, which led 35-0 at halftime, finished with 508 yards and held the Bulldogs (1-5, 1-2) to 229.