Flyers in Carolina: Lavvy & Leighton's Revenge?

Flyers in Carolina: Lavvy & Leighton's Revenge?

Less than two seasons after leading the Carolina Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup win that still bothers me (ugh: Carolina, Anaheim, and Tampa Bay have each won more recently than the Flyers...), Peter Laviolette was canned by the team after missing the playoffs in two straight seasons. Now, he's trying to resurrect his coaching career and ya know, maybe hoist another Cup with Philadelphia. Obviously, things haven't really been going so well. 

Coming off a win on Wednesday, the Flyers could really use another tonight in Carolina to prove to themselves that winning can be the norm and not the fluke. The game should also have some added incentive for Lavvy, as well as Michael Leighton, who was recently waived by the 'Canes and picked up by the Flyers to take a ride on our goalie carousel back up Brian Boucher until Ray Emery can return. With Boosh still needing time to mend a gash on his finger, Leighton will get the start tonight. 

Leighton was solid against Tampa on Wednesday, and hopefully the revenge factor will have him fired up against his old team. Maybe if he gets another W, he can finally get a new mask instead of using his taped up Hurricanes piece. Hard to believe a backstop with his staying power doesn't keep a few white ones in his gigantic hockey bag. 

The Flyers currently find themselves in the unenviable position of looking up in the standings at the Islanders. But, with only a point separating them and a game between the two on Long Island tomorrow, the Flyers can really shovel out with a pair of wins over the weekend. After that it's the next team up the standings, the Rangers, before the battle at Fenway Park. Three straight wins on the way to Boston, then another defeat of the Bruins in Beantown, would be exactly the statement this team desperately needs to make to save this season.  

Carolina is struggling mightily, currently DFL in the NHL and 10 points behind the Flyers. They have a goals differential of MINUS FORTY-SIX. With everything Lavvy has personally vested in this game, if his new team can't leave lowly Carolina with a win, there will be hell to pay. 

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

Joel Embiid adjusting to new challenges in 1st NBA training camp

GALLOWAY, N.J. -- With Joel Embiid's excitement to be on the court following two years of injuries comes the reality of his lengthy setback.

Embiid is participating in his first NBA training camp this week. While he has impressed with his natural abilities and improved skills, Embiid is facing challenges as he gets accustomed to the league.

"Everything is kind of off right now as far as catching the ball or shooting," Embiid said after practice Wednesday. "I've still got to get in the flow of the game."

Embiid has yet to play since being drafted in 2014. For the past two years he has worked out individually and in controlled settings. Practices, even in training camp, are different. 

"You see all the time when you realize he hasn't played basketball for a long time," Sixers head coach Brett Brown said. "He's trying to gather his feet and find his balance, he's trying to figure out stuff in real time speed on defensive assignments and rotations."

On Wednesday, Embiid went through practice without any minute restrictions and was feeling healthier from the cold and virus he had been battling (see story). Teammates have praised his physical presence and eagerness to compete. He makes an impact with his 7-foot-2 presence alone, but there is more he wants to improve. 

Embiid is adjusting to the speed of the game. He has been facing challenges with getting the ball in the post and spoke to the coaches about his frustrations. The staff explained they are focusing on pick-and-roll defense and getting out to run during training camp, but he will get that desired location in game situations. 

“You continue to see the size of Joel Embiid,” Brown said. “He's a big man and he's got a mindset to back up his physical gifts. He really wants the ball. He wants to get deep catches. He wants to dunk on people.”

Embiid always has been realistic about his transition to his rookie season. He has pointed out many times that he is a fast learner, and is anxious to soak up new knowledge and apply it to the court.

"It's really frustrating," he said. "But like I've said, you've got to trust the process, which I've been doing."

Tonight's lineup: Cody Asche starts in place of injured Roman Quinn

Tonight's lineup: Cody Asche starts in place of injured Roman Quinn

With Roman Quinn's season over with an oblique strain, Freddy Galvis moves up to second in the Phillies' lineup Wednesday night against the Braves.

Quinn's showing in the majors this month was a microcosm of his pro career to this point — he showed his speed with four steals and several infield hits, posted a .373 OBP in 69 plate appearances, but suffered another injury. Health has always been his roadblock.

With Quinn out, Cody Asche gets a start in left field against Braves right-hander Mike Foltynewicz, who he's homered off of. The presence of Quinn and Aaron Altherr has limited Asche's playing time — he's started only three games since coming back from Triple A on Sept. 10.

Asche bats seventh, a spot ahead of Aaron Altherr, who is 7 for 52 (.135) in his last 18 games and has four extra-base hits in his last 133 plate appearances.

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Odubel Herrera, CF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Ryan Howard, 1B
6. Cameron Rupp, C
7. Cody Asche, LF
8. Aaron Altherr, RF
9. Adam Morgan, P

Matt Kemp, who sat last night, returns to the Braves' lineup.

1. Ender Inciarte, CF
2. Adonis Garcia, 3B
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
4. Matt Kemp, LF
5. Tyler Flowers, C
6. Dansby Swanson, SS
7. Mallex Smith, RF
8. Daniel Castro, 2B
9. Mike Foltynewicz, P