Video: The goal of the year may have been scored last night at the expense of the Flyers

Video: The goal of the year may have been scored last night at the expense of the Flyers

It hasn’t been the best week in the highlight reels for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Last Thursday, it was Nashville Predators’ goaltender Carter Hutton making the NHL’s potential save of the year at the expense of the Flyers.

Last night, it was Carolina Hurricanes forward Nathan Gerbe scoring perhaps the NHL’s goal of the year, once again at the expense of the Orange and Black

During the second period of the Flyers’ lifeless, 3-2 loss to the Hurricanes last night in South Philly, Gerbe had a clear breakaway on Flyers’ netminder Steve Mason after Luke Schenn – who was traded for a U.S. Olympian who is on pace for 33 goals this season – mishandled the puck at his offensive blue line.

Unimpeded by any Flyers defenders, Gerbe put the puck and his stick between his legs to get Mason off his angle and beat Mason with a gorgeous between-the-legs goal to put the ‘Canes up 2-0.

Wow.

Seriously, that was as pretty as it gets.

Let’s get this out of the way now: In no way, shape or form was this showboating by Gerbe.

It was a beautiful move that is becoming more and more common in today’s game.  Remember the Sharks' Tomas Hertl at the beginning of the season on former Flyer and then Ranger Marty Biron?

Biron actually retired a few days after that but I think Mason, who just signed a contract extension, won’t have to worry about that anytime soon.

Not only was Gerbe’s move beautiful, it was incredibly effective. Mason had no idea that was coming or what had just hit him.

Plus, the Hurricanes were only up 1-0 at the time in what was an important Metropolitan Division game for them as they try to climb back into the playoff race. Do you really think Gerbe would be showboating at that time in an important game? Please.

As for the game itself, it was much of the same of what we’ve all seen from the Flyers lately.

They fell behind 2-0 after sleepwalking through the first 40 minutes or so. They managed to tie it up in the third period but eventually fell victim to one of their defensive lapses as the ‘Canes grabbed a loose puck in front of the crease and Jiri Tlusty beat Mason late in the final stanza for the game-winning tally.

The Flyers will look to rebound tonight when they visit Columbus, Ohio for a date with the Blue jackets.

The Jackets come in red-hot and winners of seven in a row.

The teams split their first two meetings of the season. But the big difference between tonight and those first two meetings is that Philadelphia will finally have to play against its former netminder, reigning Vezina Trophy winner and No.1 goaltender in your hearts, Sergei Bobrovsky.

Bob missed the previous two games against the Flyers with a groin injury.

But the best part of all is that you’ll be able to watch it tonight with me and the rest of the 700 Level crew at Smith’s in Rittenhouse Square!

Shameless plugs!

Be there!

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."