Paul Holmgren Hasnt Even Thought About Firing Peter Laviolette (His Words)

Paul Holmgren Hasnt Even Thought About Firing Peter Laviolette (His Words)

Based on several of the Flyers’ recent performances, and with
their season hanging in the balance, there has been some hinting that head
coach Peter Laviolette’s job could be on the line. Not so it would seem – at
least that’s what Paul Holmgren is telling reporters.

The general manager met with the media on Thursday afternoon
following an awful 5-2 loss to the Devils. When pressed about Laviolette’s
status, Holmgren not only provided the obligatory vote of confidence, he shifted
the blame for the Flyers’ 12-15-1 record on to the players

There you have it. That should end any and all speculation,

Well, not exactly. That the idea hasn’t even popped into Homer’s
mind sounds completely disingenuous – not to say he wouldn’t dismiss the notion
out of hand, but he is evaluating this team on a daily basis, right? And
regardless, it’s a decision that could very well come from above his head if
owner Ed Snider grows tired of losing.

Holmgren downplayed the possibility of a big trade as well, which has to make
you wonder how he expects to get this situation turned around.

From Panotch:

“Nobody is really happy with the position we are in or the way we’ve
played,” Holmgren said. “Get better quickly. Hopefully, that starts
tomorrow. I’m not at that point, well, I’m not sure we’d ever make a big
trade. I think that’s just speculation.”

Of course, we hear lip service from general managers all the
time, and the Flyers could be saying and doing something very different next
week, so we’ll have to wait and see. For now anyway, it looks like Lavvy might be safe.

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Ben Simmons, Robert Covington react to Ersan Ilyasova trade

Ben Simmons, Robert Covington react to Ersan Ilyasova trade

On Wednesday, the Sixers traded Ersan Ilyasova to the Hawks in exchange for Tiago Splitter and a 2017 second-round pick, as well as the option to swap 2017 second-round selections (see story).

"I want to thank Ersan Ilyasova for his positive contributions to this organization both on and off the basketball court," president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said in a statement. "Ersan is a true professional whose daily examples of hard work, focus and consistency have helped facilitate the ongoing growth of our program and culture."

The Sixers took to Instagram to express their appreciation for Ilyasova’s leadership. Ilyasova quickly embraced the role of a veteran go-to when he was traded to the Sixers in early November. Both posts below exemplify his team-first mentality.

✊🏼 A true Pro @ersanilyasova7

A post shared by Ben Simmons (@bensimmons) on

Thanks for being a great teammate @ersanilyasova7. Wishing you the best in ATL

A post shared by Rob Covington (@atf_33) on

Best of NHL: Rickard Rakell, Ducks snap Bruins' win streak at 4

Best of NHL: Rickard Rakell, Ducks snap Bruins' win streak at 4

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Rickard Rakell broke a tie with his second goal with 2:34 to play, and the Anaheim Ducks snapped Boston's four-game winning streak under new coach Bruce Cassidy with a 5-3 victory over the Bruins on Wednesday night.

Rakell also scored in the second period for the Ducks and has 24 goals in his outstanding season. Ondrej Kase, Josh Manson and Andrew Cogliano also scored for Anaheim, and Jonathan Bernier made 26 saves in his first victory since Jan. 23.

Frank Vatrano scored the tying goal in the third period for the Bruins, who hadn't lost since Cassidy replaced Claude Julien on Feb. 7. Defensemen Brandon Carlo and Zdeno Chara scored early goals, and Tuukka Rask stopped 20 shots.

Anaheim beat Boston for the seventh straight time (see full recap).

Rare goal from Russell lifts Oilers over Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. -- Kris Russell's goal with 7:58 left was his first in more than a year and lifted the Edmonton Oilers over Florida 4-3 on Wednesday night to snap the Panthers' five-game winning streak.

Russell's goal was his first since Feb. 11, 2016, when he played for Calgary. He went goalless in his first 48 games with the Oilers.

Fellow defenseman Oscar Klefbom also scored for Edmonton, as did forwards Zack Kassian and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Connor McDavid, who came into the night leading the NHL scoring race, had an assist on Russell's goal.

Aleksander Barkov, Colton Sceviour and Jonathan Marchessault scored for Florida. Keith Yandle had two assists for the Panthers, giving him 400 points for his career.

Cam Talbot stopped 31 shots for the Oilers, who have won their last eight games at Florida -- last losing on the Panthers' ice in 2002. James Reimer made 31 saves for the Panthers, who just completed a 5-0-0 road trip (see full recap).