Preseason Hockey: Home of Fights, Flying Elbows, and the 11-Round Shootout

Preseason Hockey: Home of Fights, Flying Elbows, and the 11-Round Shootout

The Flyers played a "home game" up in London, Ontario, against the Maple Leafs of Toronto, Ontario on Thursday night. Panotch explains that there's good reason for the Flyers to feel at home in the John Labatt Centre despite the way they spell "center" differently than our own Wells Fargo version: Global Spectrum, a subsidiary of Comcast-Spectacor, manages the place. 

Moving on to the game, we have one of my favorite things about hockey—the fact that it's only the preseason doesn't preclude the players from laying nasty hits, dropping the gloves, or participating in ELEVEN-ROUND SHOOTOUTS. Video of a Zac Rinaldo battle with Luke Schenn after the jump. 

Not bad. 

The Flyers weren't able to hang in there on this one, although I think both teams are awarded five imaginary happy points for going more than ten rounds in a preseason shootout. Boosh got the start and played well through two periods, and Sergei Bobrovsky handled the third period and shootout action again. Bob Loblaw looked pretty solid between the pipes.* Marc-Andre Bourdon and Bill Guerin scored for the Flyers in regulation, and Jeff Carter, Guerin, and Joonas Lehtivouri scored in the shootout. Another fun moment came when James van Riemsdyk was awarded a penalty shot against Toronto goalie James Reimer. Despite stricter adherence to I before E decorum, Riemer was bested by Reimer on this one. 

Elsewhere on the tube tonight, CSN ran its Meet the Flyers program. Most interesting tidbit for me in this one was the inclusion of Guerin in the festivities. He even got a talking part. Much of the program was a taped event in front of a crowd at the Skate Zone, with brief player interviews, audience questions, and clips from last season. Guerin was featured in one of the on-stage Q&A's, sitting alongside Carter and wearing an organge Flyers T. It's a little harder to imagine Billy not making the club after seeing him featured in the intro show, but this is the NHL. 

Bonus: Some footage for Jon Kalinski's next Virtua commercial? Watch as he Mmm Bop's Christian Hanson. 

Let's not forget—let's not forget, Jon—that keeping your elbow up, and leaving the ice, for uh, domestic, you know, within the city—that ain't legal either. 

*I was going to shoehorn a What About Bob reference in here too, but I figure the Arrested Development, Big Lebowski, and 90s bubblegum refs were already pushing it. Looks like Bobrovsky could give us ample opportunity to shout "Bob. Bob!" in the near future though. 

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?

In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.

Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."

It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.

And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.

"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?

The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.

Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.

If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.

"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."

That makes one of us.

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.

Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.

He later made the announcement on Twitter.

Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.

Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.

"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."

Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.