Sens backup goalie on Emery’s fight: ‘It’s assault, isn’t it?’

Sens backup goalie on Emery’s fight: ‘It’s assault, isn’t it?’

Your last-place Flyers are back in action tonight in Ottawa—can you feel the excitement? Despite scuffling through the first five weeks of the season though, Philadelphia has managed to remain at the forefront of the NHL news cycle thanks to one Ray Emery.

Emery’s beatdown of Washington netminder Braden Holtby has sparked much debate and possibly an eventual rule-change that could effectively eliminate goalie fights. There’s a feeling around the league that the line has been crossed, and apparently that extends to rival goaltenders.

Senators backup Robin Lehner chimed in with his two cents before their tilt with the Flyers on Tuesday, likening what Emery did to a crime. Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun has more:

"I can't be down 7-0 and decide I'll take a guy that can't defend himself and pound him, I don't think," said Lehner, who will back up Craig Anderson in Tuesday's Ottawa-Philadelphia game at Canadian Tire Centre. "I think I should get suspended if I do it. It's assault - isn't it?"

Lehner has one fight as a pro and it occurred when he was with the Binghamton Senators on Oct. 20, 2012. His opponent? Syracuse goalie Riku Helenius.

“My rule has been, if I see the other goalie goes out to the corner, (my) team is a man (down),” said Lehner. “That’s what happened in my fight in the AHL too. I was into it and Helenius came down because it was 6-against-5. (It wasn’t) even numbers. Then you go.

“Holtby wasn’t interested. So he shouldn’t have gotten pounded. Simple, I think.”

Lehner talks a big game, but neither he nor Emery are starting tonight, and the chances the Sens have to pull Craig Anderson against the league’s worst offense (1.63 goals per game) are slim. It’s safe to say Lehner will avoid an “assault,” unless of course Emery decides to track him down in the parking lot afterwards.

I’m fairly certain the NHL would not need a new rule to slap him with a lengthy suspension for that kind of behavior. On that note, it’s been quiet on the rule-change front, which was said to be high on the agenda when general managers met over the weekend before Hall of Fame ceremonies.

[ Watch former Flyers head coach Fred Shero get inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame by son Ray ]

As for the Flyers, perhaps their four-goal outbreak against Edmonton over the weekend was a sign of things to come, particularly for Claude Giroux who finally found the back of the net for the first time in eleventy-billion games. Don’t look now, but Philly is 4-3-1 over their last eight, so at least there’s some improvement since beginning the season 1-7.

>> Senators goalie Robin Lehner on Emery: Assault is a crime, isn’t it? [Ottawa Sun]

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.