Sixers host Cavs, noted "Big Human" Andrew Bynum may or may not play

Sixers host Cavs, noted "Big Human" Andrew Bynum may or may not play

Sixers vs. Cavaliers doesn't exactly have much of an organic grudge match feel to it. The two play in different divisions, have rarely been particularly good at the same time, and have little shared history beyond the disastrous (for the Sixers, anyway) Brad Daugherty-Roy Hinson trade 27 years ago. The Cavs have been had good moments and bad moments this year and are expected to eventually do better, the Sixers have had good moments and bad moments and are expected to eventually do worse.

The only thing really giving this Friday night matchup is That No Longer That-Funny-Looking Kid With the Shorn Hair, Andrew Bynum, in his first time playing on the Wells Fargo Center since...well, whenever the Lakers played here in 2011-'12, I guess. Bynum of course was supposed to play for the Sixers last year, didn't, and has since signed a two-year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It sounds like a perfect time for Philly fans to indulge all their worst, most ESPN-baiting impulses, and boo the everloving crap out of Andrew Bynum any time he touches the ball, breathes, or otherwise allows his existence to be felt tonight at the WFC. And no doubt, some will do just that, still smarting at the $50 they wasted on a Bynum #33 Shirsey or the hours they wasted watching Bynum highlights on loop, just waiting for The Day.

I imagine that it won't be all that satisfying, though. If Bynum is a villain, he's not a very powerful one at the moment--despite him playing in four games this season, his knee issues have not abated, and his pre-game media quotes have been far more pitiable than infuriating. Indeed, an hour before gametime, it's not even sure that he'll play at all against the Sixers tonight.

For their part, Bynum's Sixer ex-teammates appear to sympathize.

Yeah. Hard to get too worked up at this point. Besides, as I talked about earlier, we're probably better off that things went the way they did. I'd still like to win the game and I'll still be pissed if Bynum somehow explodes for 25 and ten, but it's looking like the chances of that are pretty slim at the moment.

Anyway, Sixers are 3-2, and with a loss tonight, they'll have officially nullified their ridiculous 3-0 start, and perhaps starting the tankapalooza of a season we expected all along, just six games late. Long as Spence and Evan keep playing the way they have been, giving us all sorts of options with them as the season progresses, and long as MCW continues to progress in the ways we want him to, that's fine by me--though I am in the building tonight, so I wouldn't complain about an exciting win either.

7:00 tip from the WFC. Bynum lives, but not all that well. Let's not make it more than what it is. You'll make Evan sad.

Best of NHL: Ryan White scores in winning debut with Wild

Best of NHL: Ryan White scores in winning debut with Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Mikael Granlund beat two defenders to find open ice and wrap the winning shot around goalie Jonathan Quick just 12 seconds into overtime, giving the Minnesota Wild a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night.

Granlund's 20th goal of the season gave goalie Devan Dubnyk his NHL-leading 33rd win and the Wild their 15th comeback victory. They answered all four goals in regulation by the Kings, from Nick Shore, Tanner Pearson, Jake Muzzin and Marian Gaborik.

Jason Zucker's spinning wrist shot midway through the third period tied the game for the Wild, who also had goals from Nino Niederreiter, Jordan Schroeder and Ryan White in his debut. White and Martin Hanzal were acquired in a trade with Arizona the night before (see full recap).

Kucherov's hat trick carries Lightning past Sens
TAMPA, Fla. -- Nikita Kucherov scored three power-play goals in the second period and the Tampa Bay Lightning kept their fading playoff hopes alive with a 5-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Monday night.

Kucherov had the second hat trick of his career and added an assist in the third period. Jonathan Drouin assisted all three of his goals and Victor Hedman assisted on two.

A day after trading goaltender Ben Bishop to Los Angeles and just hours after trading forward Brian Boyle to Toronto, the Lightning improved to 6-1-2 over their past nine games.

The Senators, who won at Florida on Sunday night, are 6-6 over their past 12 games (see full recap).

Galchenyuk lifts Canadiens over Devils in OT
NEWARK, N.J. -- Alex Galchenyuk scored on a power play at 2:54 of overtime and the Montreal Canadiens rallied from a two-goal third-period deficit to beat the New Jersey Devils 4-3 on Monday night.

Max Pacioretty scored twice in the final 11:23 of regulation to tie the game and Alexander Radulov added a goal for the Canadiens, who won consecutive games for the first time since early January. Al Montoya had 34 saves for Montreal.

Kyle Palmieri, John Moore and Travis Zajac scored for the Devils, who have lost four straight games (0-2-2), the past two in overtime. Cory Schneider made 29 saves.

Galchenyuk beat Schneider with a shot from between the circles less than a minute after Damon Severson was penalized for hooking (see full recap).

NHL Notes: Capitals acquire Kevin Shattenkirk from Blues

NHL Notes: Capitals acquire Kevin Shattenkirk from Blues

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals have acquired defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk in a trade with the St. Louis Blues.

Washington sent a 2017 first-round pick, conditional 2018 second-round pick, forward Zach Sanford and minor leaguer Brad Malone to St. Louis in the deal that also sent former Capitals goaltending prospect Pheonix Copley to the Blues.

The teams announced the deal Monday night.

Shattenkirk, 28, is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer. He has 42 points on 11 goals and 31 assists this season and has 66 goals and 218 assists in 471 NHL games (see full story).

Senators: Alex Burrows acquired from Canucks
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Ottawa Senators are gearing up for a push to the postseason, acquiring forward Alex Burrows from Vancouver for prospect Jonathan Dahlen.

The trade gives the Senators a skilled pest with plenty of playoff experience at forward.

Burrows, 35, has played 822 regular-season games with the Canucks, with 193 goals, 191 assists and 1,066 penalty minutes. He has added 19 goals and 15 assists in 70 playoff games.

He had four straight seasons of at least 25 goals from 2008-09 to 2011-12 playing largely with the Sedin twins. His best offensive days are behind him -- he has nine goals in 55 games this season -- but he will still bring an edge to a Senators team that is pressuring Montreal for the top spot in the Atlantic Division (see full story).

Wild: Parise, Pominville out with mumps
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild forwards Zach Parise and Jason Pominville have been diagnosed with mumps and must miss at least three games.

The Wild announced Monday, shortly before faceoff against Los Angeles, that Parise and Pominville have the highly contagious virus along with other members of the organization. The veteran wings have been placed in isolation for a five-day period, meaning they'll at least miss games Tuesday at Winnipeg and Thursday at Columbus.

The Wild said players and staff were recently provided with a measles-mumps-rubella vaccination.

Vancouver played Saturday night without five players because of the mumps or symptoms associated with the virus.

With Parise and Pominville out, forwards Martin Hanzal and Ryan White made their well-timed debuts Monday after being acquired Sunday in a trade with Arizona.