There was no confusion over our rooting interests in this one. With Finland facing off against Germany at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, we had current Flyer Kimmo Timonen and former Flyers Antero Niittymaki, Lasse Kukkonen, and Joni Pitkanen all suiting up for Suomi. Niitty, who was the MVP of the 2006 games in Torino, where Finland won silver, was on the bench backing up Nik Backstrom.
Kimmo was pretty visible out there on the ice though. He moved the puck well all night, ran the powerplay from the point, and scored two goals on the man advantage.
The first was on a back-door play with Kimmo streaking in unscathed; the second was a sharp wrister from the point. Great to see him pick up that scoring touch and key a 5-0 rout on the strength of 4 powerplay goals on 6 attempts. On the sixth opportunity, the Fins briefly rotated Kimmo into the slot in hopes of getting him the hat trick, but they couldn't get the puck in to him.
Teemu Selanne, with an assist on Timonen's second goal, became the all-time points leader in Olympic play with 37 (20 goals, 17 assists). After watching the Finnish Flash tear it up in the NHL and various international tournaments for a long time, it's fitting to see him earn that distinction. Up next for Finland is a rematch with Team Sweden, who beat them for the gold in Torino.
The Sixers made some roster tweaks on Wednesday night.
The team waived forward Carl Landry and center Tibor Pleiss, while officially announcing the signing of guard Anthony "Cat" Barber.
The Sixers were expected to cut Pleiss, who was acquired last Friday in a trade with the Jazz. On July 21, Barber and the Sixers reportedly agreed to a partially guaranteed deal.
Landy, a 32-year-old veteran, played one season with the Sixers after being acquired last summer in a trade with the Kings, a deal in which he was essentially a toss-in as it revolved around bringing Nik Stauskas to Philadelphia. Landry, who was under contract for 2016-17 at $6.75 million, battled injury to start 2015-16 and ended up playing in 36 games (12 starts), averaging 9.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.
Barber, 6-foot-3, 173 pounds, will fight for a roster spot at point guard during training camp. The 22-year-old went undrafted in June after declaring following his junior season at NC State in which he averaged 23.5 points per game, seventh most in the country and best in the ACC.
Ben Simmons' fellow NBA rookies may not think too highly of him, but when the best basketball player on the planet is giving him pointers, he must be doing something right.
On Tuesday, a photo of Simmons and LeBron James dribbling side by side started making the rounds on Instagram. That's right. The Sixers' number-one overall draft pick and franchise savior is apparently training with the four-time league MVP and reigning world champion.
Those workouts continued on Wednesday, when 12-time All-Star Dwayne Wade posted a photo of himself, Simmons and James, as well as Richard Jefferson and Jordan McRae. That's some good company for a first-year player to keep.
What does all of this mean for Simmons and the Sixers? Hard to say, but it can't be a bad thing that the rookie point-forward is spending time with a pair of future first-ballot Hall of Famers. Surely he must be learning something.
That's good news for the Sixers, who hope that Simmons can even come close to living up to the lofty comparisons some have drawn to James already.
Tommy Joseph is back in the starting lineup … as he's expected to be for most of the final month of the season. Joseph bats fourth behind third baseman Maikel Franco.
Joseph did not start Tuesday night in the Phillies' 3-2 loss to the Washington Nationals. The 25-year-old is hitting .251 with 17 home runs and 34 RBIs.
The slugger has a significantly higher average against left-handed pitching than righties, despite clubbing 12 of his 17 homers against right-handed pitchers.
Joseph has yet to faced Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez.
In other lineup notes, Tyler Goeddel gets the start in left field and will hit eighth, while A.J. Ellis gets his second start as a Phillie. He'll catch Adam Morgan.
Here is the full lineup:
1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Odubel Herrera, CF
3. Maikel Franco, 3B
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Aaron Altherr, RF
6. Freddy Galvis, SS
7. A.J. Ellis, C
8. Tyler Goeddel, LF
9. Adam Morgan, P
For more on tonight's game, read Steven Tydings' game notes.