Odds and Ends from Last Nights Highly Entertaining Flyers-Penguins Tilt

Odds and Ends from Last Nights Highly Entertaining Flyers-Penguins Tilt

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Bad news first: the cost of victory. Perhaps overshadowed
somewhat by the exuberance over the Flyers’ 6-5 win in Pittsburgh on Wednesday
night was the loss of Matt Read to an upper-body injury. Read left the game after
a hit by Penguins forward Chris Kunitz late in the first period and did not
return. Tim Panaccio suggests it may be a concussion, but information was
limited.


Not much to comment on until we learn more about the
severity other than it will be yet another hit to the perpetually reinvented
top line. Read leads the club with seven goals.

In other news, Scott Hartnell has been cleared to practice,
but is at least a week away. [Philly Burbs]

The Feats of Voracek

The good news is it didn’t appear Claude Giroux and Jakub
Voracek missed a beat without Read. Giroux assisted and Ruslan Fedotenko skated
on both of Jake’s even-strength goals after the departure. It’s beginning to
look like Voracek '));">might have been the right pairing for G all along.

Speaking of filling Jaromir Jagr’s spot, while Voracek’s
first and second goals were separated by an intermission, technically they were
scored 28 seconds apart. According to Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the fastest
time by a Flyer since Jagr scored two in 18 seconds last February 18. Okay,
Jagr’s run is far more impressive!

That’s a first career hat trick for Voracek though, preceded
by a personal-best four points on Monday. Not Jagr, not bad.

Sean Couturier shows
up

There’s a name you won’t see taking up a lot of column
inches this morning, nor will his line jump out at you in the box score, but Couturier
enjoyed what was quite possibly his finest outing of the season to date.

Cooter did finish with an assist, and registered six shots
on goal in the first period while helping to spark the Flyers’ offense after
starting in a 2-0 hole. He also created multiple turnovers – several of which
led to quality scoring chances – in addition to being back up to his old tricks
from last April’s playoff series, molesting Evgeni Malkin all game long, and
generally living under the reigning Art Ross Trophy-winner’s skin.

About the only complaint that was levied was his measured
approach to a one-on-one with Pens goaltender Tomas Vokoun in the first period.
Maybe next time don’t think too hard about it, kid.

File under ‘Most
Bizarre Goals Ever’

This is something I’m almost certain I’ve never seen before.
On the Flyers’ first goal, Vokoun gets a little too far away from home, but
luckily his teammates come to his defense… sort of and all of them.

Nicklas Grossmann eventually finds twine as Penguin after
Penguin stacks the crease, blocking shot after shot as the Flyers keep whacking
away. While all five black jerseys lie in the crease instead of, I don’t know, checking
somebody maybe, Vokoun looks on before sprawling to the ice in a most humorous
fashion himself. [Broad Street Hockey]

Flat out bizarre.

Crosby and Malkin are
like “crack addicts”

Something tells me this analogy isn’t going to make it into
the SATs. Mike Milbury made a rather off-color remark on NBC Sports during the
second intermission, comparing superstars Malkin’s and Sidney Crosby’s
aggressive offensive-minded approaches to people who simply can’t smoke enough
rock – an unfortunate choice of words in a politically correct society, because
somebody somewhere is already writing a letter. [Puck Daddy]

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DeSean Jackson talks possible Eagles reunion, says Wentz 'killed it' as rookie

DeSean Jackson talks possible Eagles reunion, says Wentz 'killed it' as rookie

The connection hasn't been hard to make. And it's been made plenty of times over the last couple months. 

DeSean Jackson will become a free agent on March 9 and the Eagles are in desperate need of help at receiver, specifically someone who can stretch the field — just like their former second-round pick. 

So a reunion just makes too much sense. And it was a topic of conversation when Jackson joined Adam Schefter's ESPN podcast recently. 

"It definitely is a great story, I guess you could say," Jackson said. "Starting your career somewhere and obviously going to a division rival team and having the possibility of maybe going back. I mean you kind of just think about all of that, where you started from and maybe where you want to finish it. It’s just a lot of speculation of a lot of thoughts. It almost sounds good but you never really know until the final decision is made. 

"But I’m just a firm believer of you work hard, you put in the work, and continuously go out there and show everybody what you’re capable of doing. I think the sky is the limit for me. My agent, Joel Segal, he's in a great position. I’m in a great position. Really, I’m just going to let him be the expertise guy. He’s the one with all the experience. He’s been doing this for plenty of years. With the conversations we’ve been having, it’s great on our end. The best thing we need to do is stay under the radar, me continuously working out, and from there we’ll just sit back and see what teams are putting out there."

Jackson, 30, is probably in line for a big payday. And really, there's a pretty good chance he'll just end up going to whichever team offers him the biggest and best contract. But aside from money, Jackson, who is entering his 10th year in the NFL, said he wants to play for a team that gives him a chance to win. A big part of that is playing with a great quarterback. 

While he said Kirk Cousins is a great quarterback, having another one to catch passes from is important to Jackson. 

"I want to win," Jackson said. "Obviously, I haven't won a Super Bowl, so the team that can win, a team that has a great quarterback. And that's definitely what stands out to me."

Carson Wentz might not be a great quarterback yet, but he did have some impressive moments during his rookie season in 2016. And Jackson was watching. While Jackson first praised all the quarterbacks in the NFL, he then answered a specific question about Wentz. 

"Carson Wentz, he came in and had a heck of a year as a rookie," Jackson said. "I mean, I don’t think a lot of people saw that coming. You know, they had Sam Bradford who was there, who ended up getting traded to Minnesota, so he didn’t have no choice but to step up and be that guy. But that was a gutsy call for the organization to really believe in a young guy like that, just came out of college and give him that shot. I think he killed it. He was lights out, had heck of a year. He definitely showed me he can do it and he has all the intangibles of being a big-time quarterback in this league."

If Jackson does return to Philly, the question would be: Can Wentz reach his full potential while Jackson is still a dynamic player? 

Jackson, who turned 30 in December, said he still wants to play four, five or even six more years in the league. He thinks he can be a dynamic outside deep threat for three or four of those. 

Has he seen any drop-off in his speed? 

"Not at all," Jackson said. "I really feel like I could still (run in the) low 4.3s or 4.29 (in the 40-yard dash) like I did when I came out the combine." 

If Jackson's speed ever does diminish, he said he could play in the slot. He pointed to the end of Santana Moss' career as an example. While Jackson's planning ahead in case his speed vanishes, he is hoping it never does. 

If the reunion happens, the Eagles will be right there with him. 

Best of NHL: Trocheck's last-second goal lifts Panthers past Blues

Best of NHL: Trocheck's last-second goal lifts Panthers past Blues

ST. LOUIS -- Vincent Trocheck scored with just under 5 seconds remaining to lift the Florida Panthers to a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.

Jonathan Marchessault also scored and James Reimer stopped 26 shots to help the Panthers complete a 5-0 road trip -- their first perfect trip of at least that many games in franchise history.

Reimer has won five straight decisions and has not lost in regulation since Jan. 7 against Boston, going 6-0-1 since.

The Panthers moved into a tie with Boston for third place in the Atlantic Division, but have the edge because they have a game in hand on the Bruins.

Kyle Brodziak, playing for the second time after missing 10 games due to a broken foot, scored for the Blues and Jake Allen finished with 31 saves. St. Louis lost its second straight since winning six in a row (see full recap).

Coyotes use three-goal 1st period to beat Ducks
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Radim Vrbata capped Arizona's three-goal first period and the Coyotes held on for 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night.

Christian Dvorak and Jakob Chychrun also scored for Arizona, and starting goalie Mike Smith had 27 saves before leaving about 4 1/2 minutes into the third period after a collision in the net. Marek Langhamer helped kill a power play after being pressed into action for his NHL debut and stopped six of the seven shots he faced.

The Coyotes have won four of their last six.

Langhamer gave up Ryan Getzlaf's second goal of the night with 26.8 seconds to play, but thwarted two quality shots in the final seconds.

Jonathan Bernier gave up three goals on six shots in the first period for the Ducks. John Gibson came on to start the second and stopped all 14 shots he faced (see full recap).