Philly March Madness: (9) Wilbert Montgomery vs. (8) Jeff Carter

Philly March Madness: (9) Wilbert Montgomery vs. (8) Jeff Carter

Over the next few weeks at The700Level, we'll be posting poll matchups as part of our Philly March Madness competition. Examine the cases of the two fine Philadelphia athletes below, and cast your vote at the bottom as to which you think should advance to the next round. And as always, feel free to explain your selection and/or debate the choices in the comments section.


(9) Wilbert Montgomery

Part of the allure of growing up a Philadelphia sports fan is hearing the tales about the guys your dad was mesmerized by back in the day. Wilbert Montgomery was my dad's favorite Eagle, and for good reason. In perhaps the biggest Eagles win ever outside of the 1960 season, Wilbert ran for 194 yards while helping the Birds beat the hated Dallas Cowboys for the NFC Championship in 1980. And he did it on the home turf at Veterans Stadium in front of rabid fans that would remember it forever -- my dad included. "It was colder than hell, I had an army rain coat that went down to my shins. We got cardboard and put it under our feet to keep the cold away. We were standing behind the 300 level. When Montgomery ran up the middle for a touchdown, it was just unbelievable, the Vet went wild. We forgot about the cold real quick," my dad remembers with a smile.

Montgomery played eight seasons in Philadelphia and was an All-Pro twice. Wilbert was a quiet guy who put his team first. He still holds the team career rushing record with 6,538 yards and the single season rushing record with 1,512 yards in 1979. "When Wilbert is healthy, he is the finest player in the game," quarterback Ron Jaworski said of Montgomery. "Some backs might run better, some might catch a little better, but no one does everything as well as he does." Wilbert was traded on the downside of his career after the 1984 season for Garry Cobb and later won a Super Bowl as a part of Dick Vermeil's Rams coaching staff in 2000.

 
(8) Jeff Carter

Drafted 11th overall in the first round of the 2003 entry draft, ahead of teammate Mike Richards (24th), Jeff Carter is a guy who feels like he's been wearing orange and black forever. In reality, he's in his sixth season with the Flyers and is a scoring threat every time he's on the ice. He came into the league with tremendous pedigree, including All-Star-caliber play in the OHL and tremendous showings representing Canada in World Junior competition. Carter is currently in his fourth straight season with 29 or more goals, including 46 in 08-09. A seemingly unassuming guy, his game can get big in a hurry, whether it's with a huge hit or, more often, a goal. Carts has one of the best wrist shots in the game and showed heart while battling through injury on the Flyers' run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 00-10, scoring 5 goals in 12 playoff games. Carter and Richards led the Philadelphia Phantoms to a Calder Cup in 2005, and their fates continue to be linked, with each signed to the Flyers for the rest of the decade.

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Best of NHL: Blue Jackets crush Islanders, 7-0

Best of NHL: Blue Jackets crush Islanders, 7-0

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Unlike some other NHL teams coming off their bye week, there wasn't a spot of rust on the sleek Columbus Blue Jackets.

In their first game following a five-day break, the high-energy Blue Jackets blew out the New York Islanders 7-0 Saturday as backup goalie Joonas Korpisalo earned his first career shutout.

Josh Anderson and Nick Foligno each scored twice, and David Savard had a goal and three assists. Boone Jenner and Jack Johnson also scored to help the Blue Jackets end New York's three-game winning streak (see full recap).

Zibanejad scores in OT to help Rangers beat Devils again
NEWARK, N.J. -- The New York Rangers are finding ways to win, and the New Jersey Devils just aren't.

Moments after goaltender Antti Raanta stopped Kyle Palmieri on a breakaway, Mika Zibanejad scored 1:16 into overtime and the Rangers rallied to beat the Devils 4-3 on Saturday.

"I had to redeem myself after that letdown on the breakaway the other way," said Zibanejad, whose mistake gave Palmieri a chance to complete a hat trick. "Rants came up big and it's nice to see that puck cross the goal line once again and win the game."

The goal was Zibanejad's first in 16 games and it gave the Rangers their ninth win in 11 games (9-1-1). Struggling New Jersey got its fourth loss in five games (1-3-1) (see full recap).

Shaw's OT goal gives Canadiens 14th straight win over the Leafs
TORONTO -- Andrew Shaw scored 1:06 into overtime and the Montreal Canadiens beat Toronto 3-2 on Saturday night for their 14th consecutive victory over the Maple Leafs.

Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk had the other goals for the Canadiens, who increased their Atlantic Division lead to four points over Ottawa and five on Toronto. They are 3-7-1 in the last 11 games and 2-2-0 under new coach Claude Julien.

Carey Price stopped 32 shots for Montreal, including a breakaway by Auston Matthews in overtime. The 19-year-old Matthews scored twice to reach 30 goals in his rookie season, and Frederik Andersen was sharp with 25 saves for Toronto (see full recap).

Best of NBA: Noel scores 9 points, grab 10 boards in Mavs debut

Best of NBA: Noel scores 9 points, grab 10 boards in Mavs debut

DALLAS -- Harrison Barnes scored 19 points and Dirk Nowitzki had 18 points and nine rebounds as the Dallas Mavericks ended a three-game losing streak by beating the New Orleans Pelicans 96-83 on Saturday night.

The Pelicans fell to 0-2 since trading for DeMarcus Cousins and pairing him with Anthony Davis.

Davis had 39 points and 14 rebounds but scored only 12 in the second half. Cousins finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds.

Seth Curry scored 10 of his 13 in the fourth quarter to help Dallas pull away. His 3-pointer with 4:49 to play gave the Mavericks an 84-72 lead, and the Pelicans never got closer than six after that (see full recap).

Harden leads Rockets past Timberwolves in 142-130 shootout
HOUSTON -- James Harden had 24 points and 10 assists to lead the Houston Rockets to a 142-130 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves as both teams set season scoring highs in a Saturday night shootout.

Houston won for the sixth time in seven games, handing the Timberwolves their first road loss in more than three weeks.

Minnesota committed a season-high 25 turnovers that led to 38 points for the Rockets.

Playing against Houston's guard-heavy rotation, Minnesota went inside all night and outscored the Rockets 68-44 in the paint. Karl-Anthony Towns had 37 points and 22 rebounds, and Andrew Wiggins added 30 points (see full recap).

Bulls benefit as James sits with strep, beat Cavs 117-99
CLEVELAND -- Dwyane Wade scored 20 points and Jimmy Butler recorded a triple-double, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 117-99 victory Saturday night over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who played without LeBron James.

James missed the game with strep throat, and coach Tyronn Lue said he wasn't sure how long the Cavaliers would be without the four-time MVP. Cleveland struggled as it often does without its star - they are 4-19 without him since he returned to Cleveland in 2014, including 0-4 this season.

Chicago has won all three games against Cleveland this season. It took advantage of James' absence to win its fourth straight overall (see full recap).

George ejected, Heat stay hot with 113-95 win over Pacers
MIAMI -- Paul George had another frustrating night in Miami.

Hassan Whiteside scored 22 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, Dion Waiters added 22 points and the red-hot Miami Heat pulled away late to beat the Indiana Pacers 113-95 on Saturday night. Miami outscored Indiana 42-22 in the final 16 minutes, all with George watching from the Pacers' locker room after an ejection.

"It felt like a playoff-type game," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said (see full recap).