Peter Laviolette, Dan Byslma Talk Dynamics of Working Together

Peter Laviolette, Dan Byslma Talk Dynamics of Working Together

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette will be an assistant for Team USA in the upcoming 2014 Olympics, which is cool. He’s working underneath Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma, which is interesting to say the least.

I don’t need to tell you there’s history there. The Flyers and Penguins have a rivalry so bitter, it nearly extended into the benches at one point. The only thing that might’ve been holding Laviolette back from physically attacking Bylsma during a regular season game in April of 2012 was Craig Berube ironically enough, and afterwards Lavvy went on to describe the Pittsburgh coach as “gutless.”

So you can understand how a working relationship between the two could be a little... tense -- but then I suppose they probably wouldn’t be working together in the first place if that were the case. Both Laviolette and Bylsma discussed the dynamic, and not surprisingly are downplaying any resentment or hostility that might linger between them.

Per Frank Seravalli’s story in the Daily News:

"Immediately in June, when I found out about this position and this team, I went to Peter," Bylsma said. "We've already done [and handled the rivalry issue]. We've spent more time together and talking than this team has. We're not black-and-gold or orange-and-black here. That was immediate right away."

"Business is business in Philadelphia. And Penguins and Flyers is always fun," Laviolette said. "There's been lots of good conversations. This is not about somebody's ego or what's in it for me. I'm here for my country. I will do anything that Dan asks of me to try and help my country do something we haven't done since 1980."

I guess the only question is are they just pulling together over a common cause, or is there still a fire burning there? That whole feud, especially last year, was tcrazy intense. For all of the unhinged coaching moments we’ve witnessed in pro sports, that is still one of the angriest.

Both guys sound excited to go for gold this February though, which is great because Olympic hockey is awesome and the U.S. hasn’t stood at the top of the podium since 1980. Good read here from Seravalli that should get you pumped up for the winter games, and hockey in general. Flyers’ camp is right around the corner ya know, opening on September 12.

>> Laviolette eager to assist Bylsma at Winter Olympics [DN]

Previously: Laviolette Goes Ballistic On Penguins Bench

Steve Mason rediscovers himself in New York just before Flyers return

Steve Mason rediscovers himself in New York just before Flyers return

It had been a while since Steve Mason saw himself.

Walking into the Barclays Center on Sunday, the Flyers’ goalie was 0-6-2 with a 4.03 goals-against average and .844 save percentage over his last 10 appearances (see more recent Flyers numbers and stats).

A far cry from how Mason truly sees himself in net.

But heading into Wednesday’s rivalry clash with the Rangers, Mason will have something to build on, something he couldn’t say since Dec. 21 — the last time he had earned a victory. He’s fresh off his first win in over a month, a gigantic one for Mason considering all the key moments on Sunday the Flyers hope invigorate his confidence.

Without numerous clutch stops from their goalie, the Flyers don’t come back from two goals down to beat the Islanders, 3-2, in overtime. Mason made four saves  — three on four-time All-Star John Tavares — in just over a minute of a third-period power play. The Flyers ended up having to kill two New York man advantages in the final 10 minutes of regulation in order to force overtime.

The extra session is when Mason was just as good, if not better, stoning Tavares on a breakaway attempt that had game-winner written all over it. Mason made four saves in overtime after 13 in the third period.

“I was happy with the way that, personally, this game went for myself,” Mason said Sunday. “It’s been a tough stretch and this is more the type of game that I expect of myself. In recent games, the team was lacking the big saves and tonight it shows what kind of difference it can make.”

It was a massive performance heading into a massive three-game stretch against the Rangers, Maple Leafs and Hurricanes.

“Mase made some huge saves for us,” Simmonds said. “It allowed us to get back in that game.

“It’s not just Mase [with the] ups and downs. Everyone in here has been kind of fighting it and squeezing sticks pretty tight. That one felt good and I think Mase led the charge for sure.”

Mason understands just one game doesn’t turn around a season.

“It’s nice to feel good after a game,” Mason said. “At the same time, whether you’re winning or losing, you have to have a short mindset and get ready for the next one.”

That brings the Flyers to Madison Square Garden Wednesday to face the Rangers, who they’ve lost five straight games to dating back to last season. Mason hasn’t had much luck against New York this season, allowing seven goals in two losses with an .860 save percentage. However, in 2015-16, Mason put up a 1.74 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in five games against the Rangers.

“That’s going to be a tough game going into MSG,” Mason said Tuesday (see story).

The good thing: Mason was in New York two days ago, remembering what he can be.

Manute Bol's 7-foot, 17-year-old son dominates in HS season debut

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Manute Bol's 7-foot, 17-year-old son dominates in HS season debut

Bol Bol, the 17-year-old son of the late Manute Bol, is a top high school basketball prospect with offers from schools like Arizona, Kansas and Creighton. This highlight tape should give you an idea why.
 
Bol, whose father played in the NBA for parts of 12 seasons, including 215 games for the Sixers, now attends the famed Mater Dei High School in California and played in his first game of the season this past weekend. Listed as the No. 16 overall prospect in the 2018 recruiting class by Scout, Bol started his season off with a big 21-point, 10-rebound effort.
 
Take a look at the highlight tape from the 6-foot-11 Bol and expect to see him carry on his father’s legacy on the court at a major NCAA college basketball program soon.