The Morning Extras: Report Says Eddie Jordan On Hot Seat

The Morning Extras: Report Says Eddie Jordan On Hot Seat

The news came trickling in behind the Sixers' latest pathetic effort last night, a 107-96 loss in Indiana that featured all around sloppy play. The Inquirer's Kate Fagan quotes Ed Stefanski, who said the club will "seriously evaluate" whether Eddie Jordan is the right coach for this team. Sources also added the players "no longer believe in Jordan's coaching system or philosophies," and it's difficult to disagree. If there was supposed to be some semblance of an offense against the Pacers, I didn't see it.

The problem is, the Sixers would be falling into old habits if they fire their coach after one season. Ever since Larry Brown quit, they've dumped one coach after another, hoping answers, or perhaps more appropriately, miracles could come from their bench. Only one was given the opportunity to stay on for any amount of time and actually attempt to develop an identity for this club. Don't you think some consistency would help?

I honestly don't know if Eddie Jordan is a good basketball coach. It's been a brutal season, but the Sixers as they're currently constructed are no better than a .500 team anyway, no matter who is on the bench. Blaming the head coach while you try to win games with Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand as the corner stones of your franchise sounds like a bunch of nonsense.

What I do know is Jordan is already the sixth Sixers head coach since Larry Brown departed in 2003. They've had Randy Ayers, Chris Ford, Jim O'Brien, Maurice Cheeks, and Tony DiLeo, with only Cheeks staying on for more than one season. It sends the message to the players that they don't need to listen to the guy in charge, that if things don't work out right away, he'll get canned and the next one will come along. Then they start over again.

If firing Jordan is what they conclude is the right thing at the end of the season, it's hard to argue they would be wrong for doing so, but please, pick somebody and stick with them for awhile. This is a young team. There may be a few good players on this roster. They're never going to get the most out of them though unless they install a teacher who the players have confidence is going to be there beyond next season.

LINKS

7. The Phillies could be searching for outfield depth in 2011 depending on how the roster shakes out over the course of the next year. Could Pat Burrell return to give them some pop off the bench? [Beerleaguer]

6. The NBA's youngest player, Jrue Holiday, ranks eighth in an SI poll for rookie NBA point guards. They might be underselling Holiday, who has been one of the lone bright spots for the Sixers lately. He's dropped 20 points three times in the last five games, and he now leads the club in three point percentage. [SI.com]

5. Much has been made of Sports Illustrated ranking Ruben Amaro 19th out of 30 MLB general managers, but it's Ed Wade's 29th place finish that was curious. Well... not really. [Finger Food]

4. Simon Gagne continues to score at a feverish pace. Last night was his fifth goal in five games. He's had much more of a presence on the ice, and is getting himself in position to shoot the puck. If this is for real, look out. [Daily News]

3. Speaking of players who are finding their groove, there was a mini-scare last night when Dan Carcillo was cut by a skate. He turned out to be fine, and it's a good thing. The energy he brings combined with his newfound maturation are a big reason the Flyers are playing so well. [Broad Street Hockey]

2. Ryan Howard is trying to make defenses respect his ability to hit the ball the other way and eliminate the shift. You don't want to take the bat out of the big guy's hands, but he could cause a lot of damage if he did this even situationally. [Delco Times]

1. The Eagles are scheduled to have Colts defensive back and former first round pick Marlin Jackson for a visit today, amid reports proposing he could play free safety. Another theory about the team's interest calls it a pre-draft bluff. [Iggles Blog]

COMMENT OF THE DAY

In Philly the most popular players are:

1. The backup QB

2. The "6th starter" (in this case Kendrick trying to outduel Moyer)

3. The backup goaltender or the dream guy we dont have

- Bob

EXTRA POINT

Claude Giroux's 14th goal of the season last night was "nasty." (fixed)

kulp700level@comcast.net

NHL Playoffs: Penguins beat Senators in 2OT of Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final

NHL Playoffs: Penguins beat Senators in 2OT of Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final

BOX SCORE

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins are heading back to the Stanley Cup Final.

Chris Kunitz beat Craig Anderson 5:09 into the second overtime to give the defending champions a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Thursday night.

Kunitz scored twice, his first two of the playoffs. Justin Schultz added the other in his return from an upper-body injury, and Matt Murray stopped 28 shots on his 23rd birthday.

The Penguins are trying to become the first team since the Detroit Red Wings in 1998 to win back-to-back titles. They will host Western Conference champion Nashville in Game 1 on Monday night.

Mark Stone and Ryan Dzingel scored for Ottawa. The Senators rallied twice to tie it, with Dzingel making it 2-2 with 5:19 left in regulation.

Craig Anderson made 39 saves, but couldn't get a handle on Kunitz's shot from just outside the left circle. The Senators are 0-6 in Game 7s in franchise history.

The Senators forced a return trip to Pittsburgh -- where they lost 7-0 loss in Game 5 on Sunday -- by leaning heavily on Anderson in a 2-1 Game 6 victory, putting both teams at odds with history.

Ottawa came in 0-for-25 years in winner-take-all games, while the Penguins were 0-7 in Game 7s at home in series in which they also dropped Game 6.

Ottawa coach Guy Boucher told his resilient team to not get caught up in the big picture but instead focus on the small ones, a recipe that carried the Senators throughout a bumpy transition under their first-year head coach to the brink of the franchise's second Cup appearance.

The Penguins, trying to become the first defending champion to return to the finals since Detroit in 2009, came in confident they would advance if they could replicate their dominant Game 6, when they were undone only by Anderson's brilliance.

Pittsburgh has been nearly unflappable in the face of adversity under Mike Sullivan, going 12-2 in playoff games following a loss over the last two springs. He encouraged his team to "just play," code for fighting through Ottawa's neutral zone-clogging style and the bumping, grabbing and pulling that comes along with it.

A chance to play for their sport's ultimate prize on the line, the sheets of open ice the Penguins found so easily in Games 4-6 closed up. For most of the first 30 minutes, loose pucks hopped over sticks to spoil some scoring opportunities while Anderson and Murray gobbled up the rest.

Kunitz, relegated to the fourth line since returning from injury in the second round, picked up his first postseason goal in a calendar year when he completed a two-on-one with Conor Sheary -- a healthy scratch in Games 5 and 6 -- by slipping the puck by Anderson 9:55 into the second period.

The momentum lasted all of 20 seconds. Ottawa responded immediately with Stone -- who stretched his left skate to stay onside -- fired a wrist shot that handcuffed Murray.

Pittsburgh kept coming. Schultz, returning after missing four games with an upper-body injury, zipped a shot from the point through Kunitz's screen and into the net with 8:16 left in the third.

Once again, the Penguins could not hold the lead. Dzingel set up at the right post and banged home a rebound off Erik Karlsson's shot that hit the left post and caromed off Murray's back right to Dzingel's stick.

Notes
The home team is 21-20 in overtime Game 7s in NHL playoff history. ... Pittsburgh F Patric Hornqvist skated during warmups, but was held out of the lineup for a sixth straight game with an upper-body injury. ... Karlsson had 16 assists in the playoffs to set a team record. ... The Penguins are 10-7 in Game 7s. ... It was the fifth one-goal game of the series.

Howie Kendrick hit by pitch twice, removed from rehab start at Triple A

Howie Kendrick hit by pitch twice, removed from rehab start at Triple A

Howie Kendrick experienced a painful rehab start on Thursday night.

Rehabbing with Triple A Lehigh Valley, Kendrick was hit by a pitch twice before being removed after the sixth inning of the IronPigs' 8-4 loss to Indianapolis at Coca-Cola Park.

Both times Kendrick was plunked in the upper left arm, according to Tom Housenick of the Morning Call.

There was no update on if Kendrick was injured or taken out for precautionary reasons. Thursday marked Kendrick's second rehab start as he recovers from an oblique strain that has sidelined him since April 15.

The Phillies' leftfielder started at third base Thursday. At the beginning of his rehab assignment, Kendrick was expected to play four games and see time at third and first base, as well as in left field.

Kendrick made a throwing error at third on Thursday and finished 0 for 1 with a run scored. In his two games, he's 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.

Kendrick hit .333 with four doubles, a triple and five RBIs in 10 games with the Phillies prior to landing on the DL.

When he returns, he could see time at third base instead of left field if Maikel Franco continues to struggle (see story).