Flyers v. Red Wings Gamethread: Trading places edition

Flyers v. Red Wings Gamethread: Trading places edition

(after the jump, a photo-chop experiment)

A few Sundays ago, I sat at a gate in JFK waiting for a plane to take me on my two week Italian honeymoon... aaand also a text-score update of the Flyers/Rangers game.  The afternoon prior, Philly had used some late game heroics to tie and eventually win with seconds to spare against a very good B'hawks squad.  A statement game?  Only if they could build upon it.  My phone vibrated with the bad news: 3-1 Rangers, have a good trip.  I would be lying if I said that I thought about the Orange and Black often overseas.  How could they compete  with Michelangelo's David, or the Coliseum, or my wife?   Upon calling home late in our 2nd week from Rome, my mother answered the phone and immediately asked, "Did you hear about the Flyers?"  And as you already know, the news was not good.

In my absence, the Flyers lost (including the Rangers game) 6 out of 7 games.  Their leading goal scorer, Jeff Carter... broke his foot.  Their (2nd) starting goaltender, Michael Leighton, is done for season after suffering a high ankle sprain.  I returned to see them lose to the Pens, tease us  with a win against the Devils, and suffer two more loses to the Isles and Canadiens.  

A few months ago, the Detroit Red Wings were in trouble.  Whispers around the league were going back and worth, wondering if this would be the year that glorious post-season streak would come to an end.  But now, they are becoming some sort of bizzarro version of the Flyers.  They have their star players, Zetterberg and Datsyuk producing, and saw the return of Tomas Holmstrom.  Their goalie, Jimmy Howard, is a rookie sensation that is stealing games for them.  And they currently just ended a 7 game winning streak that took them from outside the playoff picture to nipping at the Predlies' heels in 5th place.  Isn't hockey funny?

Today, the Red Wings could put some serious hurting on the Flyers' playoff hopes.  Couple that with the home and home against the Rangers, the team we are currently tied for 8th with... and I feel for all those south Philly ulcers that will be flaring up over the next week.  To think that the Flyers could go from being "paper" crowned Stanley Cup champions to not even making the playoffs is just mind boggling.  That they are heading into the playoffs with a consummate back up goalie and "insert college goalie name here" just seems surreal.  Go Flyers.

An experiment

A few weeks ago, I was talking to MattP about how the Flyers have such a good uniform and logo (ironic after reading Andrew's prev. post) that its a bit hard to envision them wearing anything but what they currently have.  So I took on the task of experimenting with stock NHL photos and trying to photo-chop them to make a new look for the Flyers.  The all solid scheme is one that is p'wned by the Detroit Red Wings, and most recently used by the Phoenix Coyotes.  The Red Wings also have a very similar logo, only facing in the opposite direction.

I began with a photo of Nic Lidstrom in the solid Detroit red.  It started off a bit rough.  As I changed the main colors to orange, I still hadn't touched the white detail and it created a  a very "creamsicle" look that was jarring.  But as the simple white of the Wings changed over to the bold black of the Flyers, the look grew on me.  I don't get "pumpkin" or "traffic cone" from what's shown here.    What do you think...?  Is this something you could legitimately see the Flyers wearing in a future game?

Eagles Injury Update: Logan, Ron Brooks, McKelvin questionable

Eagles Injury Update: Logan, Ron Brooks, McKelvin questionable

Bennie Logan will miss practice again on Friday, but after sitting all week, will still be listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Vikings.

While it seems unlikely Logan will be able to play, head coach Doug Pederson said the starting defensive tackle will be a game-time decision.

“The chance to possibly work him ouct game day and just see where he’s at,” Pederson said. “It’s groin strain, so we just have to be careful with it and be smart with it and how we handle him.” 

If Logan can’t play, reserve Beau Allen would get just his third career start. 

“I’ll tell you, Beau was honestly one of the bright spots last week,” Pederson said. 

Along with Logan, Ron Brooks (calf), Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) and Mychal Kendricks (ribs) will also be listed as questionable, according to Pederson. 

Pederson said Allen Barbre (ankle), Jason Kelce (foot), Jordan Matthews (knee tendinitis), Rodney McLeod (shoulder) and Marcus Smith (groin) should all be fine for Sunday’s game. 

McKelvin missed last week with the same hamstring that kept him out for Weeks 2 and 3 and forced him to leave the Lions game early. He has practiced in full all week. 

If Brooks, who was limited on Thursday, can’t play, the Eagles would be without their slot corner. That means Malcolm Jenkins would play the slot in the nickel package and Jaylen Watkins could come on the field as a safety.

While Kelce should be OK for the game, he did miss Wednesday’s practice with plantar fasciitis in his foot. 

Will that bother Kelce for the rest of the season? 

“It’s just a nagging deal,” Pederson said. “It’s kind of a sore … Again, I don’t know much about it. You can refer to it as a stone bruise, whatever you want to refer to it as. I talked to him yesterday. He was fine yesterday. We’ll just manage him and make sure he’s getting treatment and the proper medication and everything to try to keep it to a minimum.”

Penn at Yale: Quakers try to keep rolling, stay atop Ivies


Penn at Yale: Quakers try to keep rolling, stay atop Ivies

Penn (3-2, 2-0) at Yale (1-4, 1-1)
Yale Bowl, New Haven, Conn.
Friday, 7 p.m., NBCSN

It’s once again time for Friday night lights for Penn, which plays its second of three nationally televised Friday matchups tonight. Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

Scouting Penn
The Quakers won their third straight game and stayed perfect in the Ivy League with an easy 35-10 victory over old friend Al Bagnoli and Columbia last week. Junior running back Tre Solomon, the Ivy League’s leading rusher, was the star of the game, rushing for a career-high 127 yards on nine carries, catching five passes for 30 yards and even throwing a 23-yard TD pass on a late trick play. 

Quarterback Alek Torgersen threw for 241 yards and three touchdowns, one going to star junior Justin Watson and two more going to sophomore Christian Pearson, who’s emerging as another dynamic explosive receiving weapon. Linebacker Colton Moskal led the best defensive effort of the season with eight tackles, 1.5 sacks and 1.5 tackles for a loss. Moskal, a Syracuse transfer, currently ranks fourth in the Ivies in tackles with nine per game.

Scouting Yale
The Bulldogs lost their first three games (including a surprising one to Cornell in their Ivy opener), snapped their slide vs. Dartmouth, and then fell back to its losing ways last week at Fordham. Yale’s defense has particularly struggled, allowing 44 points to Fordham after previously surrendering 55 points in a loss to Colgate and 63 in a loss to Lehigh. 

The Bulldogs’ scoring defense currently ranks 118 out of 122 teams in the FCS (40.4 points per game) and 117th in total defense (487.8 yards per game). But their defense does have two of the top tacklers in the Ivies in Hayden Carlson and Foyesade Oluokun. And led by the tandem of Dale Harris and Alan Lamar, Yale leads the Ivies in rushing offense, averaging 184.8 yards per game — two-tenths of a yard more than Penn.

Series history
Yale leads the overall series 47-35-1, but Penn is 18-6 in the programs’ last 24 meetings dating back to 1992. The Quakers prevailed in last year’s matchup but hasn’t won at the Yale Bowl since 2010.

Storyline to watch
The historic Yale Bowl was erected more than 100 years ago but this will be the first true night game in the history of the stadium. That will only add to the mystique for the Penn players, who beat Yale in a night game at Franklin Field last season and love Friday night games because it reminds them of their high school days. But Yale players certainly figure to be up for the unique matchup, too. 

What’s at stake?
A win would keep Penn atop the Ivies with either Princeton or Harvard, the two other unbeaten frontrunners who face off the following day. 

Alek Torgersen, Justin Watson and Tre Solomon should have a field day against Yale’s leaky defense. Penn 42, Yale 27.