QuoteStart: Buff Out, Manuel on Hitting, Stairs to the Booth, Superman on Sixers, Musser Calls

QuoteStart: Buff Out, Manuel on Hitting, Stairs to the Booth, Superman on Sixers, Musser Calls

Dwight Howard on whether he'd like to play for the Sixers. “This is a great team. They’re playing great basketball right now. For myself, it’s a blessing to be wanted by a lot of teams and cities. I feel honored. Right now, the only thing I can control is what I do with my team,” Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard said diplomatically. “The Sixers do look great. They’ve got some great fans behind them. But my job is to my team. And I’m going to continue to lead my team no matter what.” [John Finger, CSNPhilly]

Charlie Manuel on the Phillies approach at the plate this season:

"We're going to talk about how to hit in the count and when to
take and when not to. We're not talking about walks. We don't teach
nobody to walk. Hitting is offense." [Mandy Housenick, Allentown Morning Call]

Winnipeg coach Claude Noel on which Jets will miss tonight's meeting with the Flyers: "Byfuglien is close, but will not be a player (Tuesday). But he’s close and we’re hoping… soon," said Noel. " I’m not sure if it’s the next game or not, but it’s going to be close. Burmistrov, we’re going to keep him out for another day but he’s also close. "Other than that, everybody’s ready to go healthy-wise. We’ve just got to get our rust out. There was a lot of rust out there on the ice today. We had to get a special Zamboni out there to come in and clean it up." [Winnipeg Free Press]

"Long drive to left field, he buried it!" Andy Musser highlight video:
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Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien on the status of Nathan Horton, who hasn't played since being hit by Tom Sestito: "He is getting better," Julien said. "But for at least three days we won't be doing anything with him. He's still at the point where he hasn't ridden the bike yet, but he is getting better. When you have a concussion it's about headaches and everything else, and everything is going in the right direction right now." [ESPN]

Redskins Hall of Famer Darrell Green on Todd Bowles and Juan Castillo working together: "I think Todd will bring great value to an underachieving secondary," said Green, a Redskins great. "This may be the missing link, from a defensive standpoint. These are two good people. These guys have worked their butts off, and I pray nobody tries to pit them against each other. That wouldn't be fair to either of them." [Les Bowen, Daily News]

NESN's Sean McGrail on the addition of Matt Stairs to the Boston Red Sox broadcast team: “Matt brings incredible passion for the game of baseball and a great sense of humor,” said McGrail. “He adds a unique perspective since he has played with or against most of the current major league players, including one year with Adrian Gonzalez in San Diego.” Also, uh… Jenny Dell. [Boston Globe]

Get Ya on Yer Way
How's this for a creative cover?

Flyers' disallowed early goal costly for team struggling to score

Flyers' disallowed early goal costly for team struggling to score

It was just pouring out of Flyers swing forward Dale Weise after Thursday’s 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals.

A disallowed goal because of him.

A strong game in every respect from his teammates.

A realization that things never seem to change for Dave Hakstol’s club.

“We come out with a great start,” Weise said. “Get on the forecheck. The building is lively. We score what we think is a first goal which we haven’t done a lot this year.

“I’m not going to say it’s a game-changer. Whatever it was, it didn’t end the game. But that’s a pretty big part of the game.” 

Weise ended up grabbing Caps goalie Braden Holtby. He said he did so for support or he would have knocked him over since he was trying to position his stick.

Funny things is, Holtby apparently never felt the contact. When the Caps challenged Jakub Voracek’s goal on the first shift of the game, it was overturned.

“Yeah, I obviously didn’t see the interference part I just kind of followed the puck and next thing I know it was kind of out of the play so a little fortunate, a great call by our video coaches,” Holtby said.

Weise wasn’t sure what he did amounted to much because it happened before Voracek’s shot and not during the act of shooting that would have prevented Holtby from getting position.

“To be really honest with you I don’t think I really touched him that hard,” Weise said.

Goals are so hard to come by these days for the Flyers. To score one a half-minute into play in a huge rivalry game, with them so desperate for points, and then to lose the goal and the momentum early, it becomes a significant event in the overall outcome.

The Caps made the most of their chances. Just like Calgary did last week.

“Winning and losing is so thin in this league and when you’re playing a team like that who just has loads of offensive talent, you give them one, two opportunities and they score on it,” Weise said.

“For a team like us that doesn’t score very often, that’s tough. We are playing behind the eight ball every night. It’s frustrating. I’m not going to lie and say it’s not in our head when we get down because you can see the way we play.

“We’re gripping the sticks. I really liked our effort though. I thought we played hard the whole night. Full marks to our team but it’s just kind of the same story every night.”

It’s trite but the term “snake bit” has been used a lot lately in talking about the Flyers since their 10-game win streak ended.

“That’s a good way to put it,” Weise said. “Look at that one there. Touch the goalie, goal disallowed. [Ivan Provorov] hits the cross bar. We had a couple other chances in tight. Snake bitten, I don’t even know if there’s a word for how I feel right now.”

It doesn’t get any easier this weekend with the Flyers' playing in their first outdoor game in five seasons.

Another even more bitter rival: the Penguins at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field on Saturday night. Taking two from the Pens will require a supreme effort and maybe a little luck for a change. The Flyers have been real short on luck all season.

The Flyers' dressing room after games, of late, has the feel of a morgue sometimes. Over the last 10 games, the Flyers have seven losses (including overtime). In six of those losses, they have scored one goal or no goals.

“We got a pretty positive group in here,” Weise said. “We try our best to come in every day and be positive. It’s a tough situation right now. Every day we’re fighting for our playoff life so that’s in the back of everyone’s mind.

“It makes it more frustrating when you’re playing, so well. I thought we played a pretty good game tonight. That goal disallowed we come right back. They make it two nothing on the power play.

“We kept going. We played well. We had a lot of chances. Good start to the second period again. We came out strong but we just can’t seem to finish.”

Veteran defenseman Mark Streit said they're playing well, but losing doesn’t make up ground in the standings. The Flyers remain three points out of the wild card going into the weekend.

Of their remaining 22 games, 19 are against the Eastern Conference, so mathematically, they have a chance to recoup points.

“We keep telling that we’ve been playing pretty well but lose a lot of hockey games,” Streit said. “We just got to find a way ...

“We have to find a way to turn it around, to get the bounces, just to get a little bit lucky out there, and to get the ugly goal. It’s tough. It’s frustrating. But it’s also the bloody truth.” 

Joel Embiid reacts to Nerlens Noel trade on Twitter: 'Trust it'

Joel Embiid reacts to Nerlens Noel trade on Twitter: 'Trust it'

Nerlens Noel was traded to the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday morning and the move caught much of Philadelphia off guard. Jahlil Okafor was the player who was rumored to be most likely to be dealt, so when news of Nerlens broke, the emotions were flowing.

One person who didn't overreact was The Process himself, Joel Embiid, who called Nerlens his "best friend on the team."

"Gonna miss my best friend but I'm happy for him... He represented the process since he was here from the start.. One more time>>> Trust It," Embiid tweeted.

Nerlens was also spotted at the Sixers' training complex in Camden giving out some goodbye hugs.