Today Is and Feels Like Groundhog Day

Today Is and Feels Like Groundhog Day

The other day I asked why people are so negative about the
Phillies this offseason, and somebody suggested it was because of the pessimism
created by the Eagles, 76ers, and Flyers. Seeing as many fans are so specific with
their criticisms of the Phillies, I tend to think there is more to it than that
(although why you all hate Delmon Young so much is beyond me). The point that
the overall vibe surrounding Philadelphia sports is depressed right now is legit
however.

We’re certainly no better off than we were a year ago. The
Phillies limped to a .500 finish over the summer, missing the playoffs for the
first time since 2006. The Eagles finally fired Andy Reid after 14 seasons,
only to replace him with a college coach who has no NFL experience. The Sixers
traded for a superstar player that has bad knees and is yet to appear in a game
– at least they won on Friday night.

First winning streak of the season, yay!

And the Flyers were literally nonexistent for four whole
months, but have returned… apparently for the sole purpose of sucking any last remnants
of bliss from your life. Oh, and if they can have your last dollar too, they
wouldn’t mind that either.

Seriously, the Flyers are in last place after Friday – not just
in the Atlantic Division, in the entire Eastern Conference. They could hardly
mount any offense against the Capitals who have one of the worst defenses in
the NHL, they left Ilya Bryzgalov hanging out to dry yet again, and honestly
the next step here is we start whispering about whether it might be time for a
new voice inside that locker room.

We’re not having a lot of fun, are we?

This is where we’re at in the last 24 hours though. The Flyers
dropped to 2-6, the 76ers defeated the Sacramento SuperSonics (they're hardly even a team!), and a guy
wearing a Tom Brady jersey won the friggin’ Wing Bowl. Some progress report.

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Matt Rhule thanks Temple, Philadelphia in full page ad in Inquirer

Matt Rhule thanks Temple, Philadelphia in full page ad in Inquirer

On Tuesday, the Matt Rhule era at Temple ended.

Rhule bolted North Broad Street for Baylor University, from the lowly American Athletic Conference to the Big 12, a natural progression in college football.

And, in a classy move, Rhule took out a full page ad in the Philadelphia Inquirer thanking Philadelphia and Temple.

The full text of the ad.

On behalf of Julie and our children, I want to express our sincere gratitude to Temple University. The passion and pursuit of excellence at Temple allowed for our student-athletes to achieve success on the football field and to develop as young men off of the field. Temple and Philly will always be a part of us and we will be cheering on the Owls from afar.

As for Temple — to quote a common phrase Rhule used while at Temple — what's next?

We don't know yet, but we'll find out in the coming weeks.

Led by interim head coach Ed Foley, No. 24 Temple will face Wake Forrest in the Military Bowl on Dec. 27 in Annapolis, Maryland.

Best of NHL: Last-place Islanders take down rival Rangers

Best of NHL: Last-place Islanders take down rival Rangers

NEW YORK -- Andrew Ladd scored in the second period and Jaroslav Halak stopped 36 shots to lead the New York Islanders to a 4-2 victory over the crosstown-rival Rangers on Tuesday night.

John Tavares, Jason Chimera and Scott Mayfield also scored at the Barclays Center to help the last-place Islanders improve to 4-0-1 in their last five games.

Jimmy Vesey and Marc Staal scored for the Metropolitan Division-leading Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 28 saves. The Rangers have alternated wins and losses in regulation in their last eight games.

Halak beat Lundqvist for the ninth time in their last 10 matchups. Halak had won eight straight -- including the last five after joining the Islanders before the 2014-15 season -- before Lundqvist ended the streak in the Rangers' 5-3 win in the season opener Oct. 13 at Madison Square Garden. Lundqvist is now 1-6-1 in his last eight against the Islanders (see full recap).

Schwartz lifts Blues over Canadiens in OT
ST. LOUIS -- Jaden Schwartz got his second goal of the game in overtime, leading the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.

Paul Stastny also scored for St. Louis, which has won four of five. The Blues rallied from a 2-0 deficit and have a point in their last 13 home games.

Tomas Plekanec and Paul Byron scored for Montreal, which completed a five-game trip 2-3.

Goalie Jake Allen made 28 saves to improve to 13-3-3.

Schwartz lifted a backhander past goalie Al Montoya with 1:22 left in overtime.

Stastny and Schwartz scored in a 2:51 span in the third period to tie it at 2 (see full recap).

Blackhawks blank Coyotes to snap modest skid
CHICAGO -- Marian Hossa had two goals, Scott Darling made 22 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-0 on Tuesday night to snap a two-game slide.

Artem Anisimov and Dennis Rasmussen also scored to help Chicago maintain a three-point lead over St. Louis in the Central Division.

Darling made a handful of tough stops but wasn't heavily tested in his first shutout this season and third of his career. He started his third straight game in place of No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford, who had an appendectomy in Philadelphia on Saturday.

The 37-year-old Hossa scored his team-leading 13th and 14th goals in his 27th game -- surpassing his total of 13 last season in 64 contests (see full recap).