In Memory of the Thrashers

In Memory of the Thrashers

After 11 NHL seasons, the fruits of which were a single Stanley Cup playoff appearance, Atlanta's professional hockey club will mercifully pack up their operation and move someplace north where people actually care. Because it's not polite to let a franchise die with a whimper, particularly one the Flyers have played four times every season since they entered the league in 1999, we thought a brief stroll down memory lane might be in order.

Spoiler alert: times were good.

Not unlike the majority of the NHL, Philadelphia experienced great success versus the Thrashers, compiling a 30-8-3-3 record against their southern rivals. Their sizable series lead over Atlanta was aided in large part by a 14-game winning streak that began on December 28, 2005, and lasted nearly four full years, finally ending November 28, 2009.

Not coincidentally, the Flyers' all-time winningest goaltender against the Thrashers is San Jose Sharks netminder Antero Niittymaki, who was between the pipes for the majority of the streak. Niitty was the goalie of record in 13 Philadelphia victories over Atlanta. You may remember this old gag, Niittymaki's certificate of ownership--a blogging crutch designed by Digi that I for one am sad to see retired.

Interestingly enough, Niittymaki never did surrender a game to the Thrashers. The Finnish goaltender picked up four more W's during a pit stop in Tampa Bay, driving his career record to a perfect 17-0.

Despite the Flyers' relative dominance over Atlanta, the Thrashers had gained the upper hand on the orange and black in recent years. They sneaked a series sweep in '09-'10, and last season took three of four, accounting for 63.6% of the franchise's all-time win total against Philly. For that reason alone, we aren't sorry to see them go.

Of course, they're not gone per se, just moved to a relevant hockey town, and re-branded so they finally resemble a professional sports team, and not like something that was whipped up in the Create-a-Team mode of NHL 11. Will the change in scenery spark a turnaround for the franchise though? I have no idea, but they can hardly do any worse.

Now if anybody has any Flyers-Thrashers memories they would like to share... no? Okay, carry on.

Best of MLB: Mike Trout (thumb) leaves early as Marlins crush Angels

Best of MLB: Mike Trout (thumb) leaves early as Marlins crush Angels

MIAMI -- Mike Trout sprained his left thumb stealing second base Sunday, and the Los Angeles Angels took a thumping without him, losing 9-2 to the Miami Marlins.

Trout yelled in pain as he rose after sliding headfirst in the fifth inning. He was examined by a trainer, stayed in the game, but was replaced in the sixth. X-rays were negative, and there was no immediate timetable regarding his return.

The reigning American League MVP was 0 for 2 when he departed with the Angels trailing 4-2. He finished 2 for 9 in the series to drop his average to .337 (see full recap).

Aaron Judge hit first-career grand slam in Yankees' win
NEW YORK -- Aaron Judge hit his first career grand slam and the New York Yankees took full advantage of Oakland's shoddy defense Sunday in a 9-5 victory over the Athletics.

Michael Pineda (6-2) tossed six innings of three-hit ball to win his third straight start. Aaron Hicks and Chris Carter each had an early sacrifice fly as the AL East leaders scored five unearned runs and took two of three in a well-pitched series.

Judge connected with two outs in the third for his 16th home run, tying Mike Trout of the Angels for the big league lead. The drive landed in the right-field seats, not far in front of The Judge's Chambers cheering section installed by the Yankees for the start of this 4-2 homestand.

Khris Davis hit his 15th home run for the A's, who committed two more costly errors to raise their season total to 49. They began the day with 10 more than any other team in the majors.

The fielding failures put starter Andrew Triggs (5-4) in tough situations. He went six innings and gave up one earned run (see full recap).

Miguel Gonzalez loses perfect game in seventh, but pitches White Sox to win
CHICAGO -- Miguel Gonzalez took a perfect game into the seventh inning, Todd Frazier hit a two-run homer and the Chicago White Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 7-3 on Sunday.

Melky Cabrera and Matt Davidson also connected, helping the White Sox take three of four in the series. David Robertson got two outs for his seventh save.

Gonzalez (4-5) allowed three runs and six hits in 7 2/3 innings while snapping a five-start losing streak. The right-hander struck out six and walked none.

Gonzalez retired his first 18 batters before Andrew Romine led off the seventh with a hard one-hop liner to shortstop Tim Anderson, who couldn't field the ball cleanly and was originally charged with an error. Alex Avila followed with a single into to right field, and Romine's ball was later changed to a hit (see full recap).

Gone but not forgotten: Joel Embiid remembers Harambe on 1-year anniversary of death

Gone but not forgotten: Joel Embiid remembers Harambe on 1-year anniversary of death

Gone, but not forgotten … as long as Sixers superstar center Joel Embiid has his way.

On the one-year anniversary of Harambe's death, Embiid remembered the slain gorilla on Instagram with the caption: "Gone but never forgotten #RIPHarambe."

The Instagram post was accompanied by a picture of Harambe along with a longer message and acquired over 22,700 likes within the first 37 minutes of its posting.

Gone but never forgotten #RIPHarambe

A post shared by Joel "The Process" Embiid (@joelembiid) on

There are some factual errors in Embiid's post, however. The picture stated that Harambe "would've been 18 today," which was posted Sunday.

Harambe's birthday was May 27, 1999. He would have been 18 years and one day old Sunday.

This was not Embiid's first participation in the Harambe Internet meme.

Regardless, the tragic killing of Harambe, a popular male gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, sparked outrage and then Harambe became an Internet meme.