Geno Malkin's Aversion to Popcorn, Scottie's Girl, JVR for J-Bo? and Lupul's Reality TV Appearance

Geno Malkin's Aversion to Popcorn, Scottie's Girl, JVR for J-Bo? and Lupul's Reality TV Appearance


Just my luck that as soon as I leave to spend a few days in the desert on a horse with no name, key members of the Flyers Rat Pack resumed their blog-worthy behavior.

In reverse order of the title, the most fun story to hit my inbox this week is Joffrey Lupul's brief appearance on the VH1 celeb-reality show "Sober House." If you haven't seen this gleeful trainwreck of fallen stars, it's the follow-up to Dr. Drew's "Celebrity Rehab," which was noteworthy for Steven Adler's drug-addled rambles, Special Agent Angelo Pappas' constant altered—yet not chemically—state, and the holy-shit hotness of a model turned addict (shocking twist!) named Amber Smith.

As related by the Puck Father, from whom we jacked the above pic, Smith went to a party with another hockey player named Kip Brennan, and the storyline is that once he abandoned her (remember, hockey players can do whatever they want and women will still love them), the old urges kicked in for Amber. She hit up the booze, and made the casual acquintence of one Mr. Joffrey Lupul, the swift opportunist who swooped in when Brennan was off doing god knows what. Apparently Amber still left with her date, but give Loops an gold star for the effort.

Here's a video of the segment.


Not to be outdone, Scottie Upshall's apparently in a relationship with a looker by the name of Melanie Collins, a tidbit we learned from the site Busted Coverage. The two spent the All-Star Break vacationing in the Virgin Islands. That's her on the right. Well done, sir. 

Next up, Wyshynski also posted a great interview with the NHL's leading scorer, Evgeni Malkin of the Pens. One of the questions PD's Russian correspondent asked pertained to the survey ESPN.com recently conducted, in which Philly was said to have the most disruptive fans:

Not long ago ESPN had a survey where 24% of players surveyed said that the Philadelphia Flyers have the most disruptive fans. Have you ever been, even a little, afraid of Flyers fans? 

I
agree with the players [who named Flyers fans]. I can't say that I am
afraid of them though. Although I do remember one game in Philadelphia
last year when we had popcorn thrown to our bench by Flyers' fans,
other garbage. Thank god there were no bottles thrown. And their fans
also jump on the glass behind the bench, or behind the glass. People
don't behave that good there. I have never seen anything like this
anywhere. And this survey showed that other players noticed it too. I
am surprised by those fans. But I understand that they are just
supporting their team. 


Geno apparently missed Lupul getting hit by a pizza box after scoring the back-breaking game winner in Washington, as well as a fan throwing a plastic beer bottle at Jeff Carter after the game. But yeah, that stuff only happens in Philly.

Do you just see them as being strange? Or do they unsettle you or put you under pressure in any way?

No,
they don't put me under pressure. It's just not very nice when there is
popcorn thrown on the bench, and it doesn't feel good to go out and
play hockey after such things. No pressure, but such things are not
enjoyable and are unfounded.

Listen everyone. Let's try to knock it off with the tomfoolery behind the bench. It's not very nice to play hockey amidst such conditions for the Malkins of the world.

All joking aside, Malkin's an amazing talent who is great for the sport, and Puck Daddy really put together an interesting and in-depth Q&A here. Head over to Yahoo for the rest of the interview, which also discusses the effects of the hit Mike Richards put on Geno in last season's conference finals, perceptions of Sidney Crosby, and the $1,000 Malkin put the board to motivate his teammates.

What Would Bouwmeester Cost?
Finally (via The Fourth Period) the Ottawa Sun quotes league sources as saying the Flyers remain interested in beefing up their blue line by adding Jay Bouwmeester of the Panthers. The price would obviously be high, and the sources referenced a possible package of James vanRiemsdyk and Scott Hartnell, again mentioning Paul Holmgren's displeasure over JVR's play at World Juniors. That'd be a hell of a price to pay for J-Bo, who becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, but any deal for him would likely involve at least one of the Flyers' many talented forwards. They simply won't have room for everyone, and they're looking thinner every day on defense. How would you react to that trade, were it to go down?

Sixers-Nuggets 5 things: Defense needs to improve to stop skid

Sixers-Nuggets 5 things: Defense needs to improve to stop skid

The Sixers (4-16) close out their four-game homestand against the Denver Nuggets (7-13) at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night (7 p.m./CSN and CSNPhilly.com).

Let's take a closer look at the matchup:

1. Missing the stop sign
Apparently, tis the season for giving up points.

The Sixers' defense folded again in their latest loss, a 107-106 defeat to the Boston Celtics on Saturday night. The Sixers have allowed 107.8 points per game this season (25th in the NBA) and 109.1 during their six-game losing skid.

The Sixers let All-Star Isaiah Thomas do the damage on Saturday as he scored 37 points to become the fifth point guard to reach the 30-point plateau against them this season.

On the other side, the Nuggets' defense has actually been even worse. They rank 27th in the league with 109.5 points allowed per game.

2. Hello again
With Joel Embiid also making his debut this season, Dario Saric was always going to play second fiddle when it came to rookies on the Sixers' roster. That has certainly been the case now that Embiid has been putting up dominant numbers while Saric has been up and down.

However, Saric was on the same level as his fellow rookie against the Celtics. The Croatian broke out of a recent slump to notch a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds, which both matched career highs.

That performance also included this highlight-reel moment when Saric destroyed Jonas Jerebko's ankles (see video).

“I prepared a little bit more for this game,” Saric said (see story). “After I have some bad rhythm of five or six, maybe, games. Now I concentrate more. I try to give my best, try to play my best, try to think before everything happens.”

3. Clean the glass
The Sixers will need a similar effort from Saric on the boards if they want to compete with the Nuggets.

Denver is the No. 1 rebounding team in the entire NBA with 49.6 rebounds per game. The Nuggets attack the glass on both ends, too, as they are tops in defensive rebounding and No. 2 in offensive rebounding.

The offensive boards are also a main reason Denver sits third in second-chance points with 15.6 a night.

None of that bodes well for a Sixers team that rates just 20th overall in rebounding.

4. Injuries
Jahlil Okafor (gastroenteritis) is questionable. Robert Covington (knee/illness), Jerryd Bayless (wrist), Nerlens Noel (knee) and Ben Simmons (foot) are out for the Sixers.

Nikola Jokic (wrist) and Gary Harris (foot) are out for the Nuggets.

5. This and that
• The Sixers lost both meetings with the Nuggets last season by a combined four points.

• Monday's game will feature both players who won the NBA's Rookie of the Month awards in Embiid and Nuggets guard Jamal Murray. Embiid is averaging 18.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 23.2 minutes per game. Murray is putting up 9.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 21.7 minutes a night.

• In seven career games against the Sixers, Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried has averaged 7.6 points and 6.9 rebounds. Those are actually his lowest and third-lowest marks, respectively, against any NBA team.

Villanova takes over No. 1 ranking in AP Top 25 poll

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USA Today Images

Villanova takes over No. 1 ranking in AP Top 25 poll

For the second time in school history — both in the last 10 months — Villanova is No. 1 in the country.

The 8-0 Wildcats received 57 of 65 first-place votes in the AP poll, moving ahead of previous No. 1 Kentucky, which lost 97-92 to UCLA on Saturday. (UCLA moved up to No. 2; Kentucky dropped to No. 6.)

Villanova had a pair of Big 5 games last week, beating Penn by 25 at the Palestra and St. Joe's by 31 at The Pavilion.

Dating back to last season, Villanova has won 14 straight games and a national championship. Jay Wright's team has won 19 of its last 20.

The Wildcats have been led by seniors Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins. Hart opted to forego the NBA draft and return to school after winning the title and, so far, the decision has paid off. His shooting percentages are up significantly and if he keeps it up, his draft stock will reflect that improvement. Hart is shooting a career-best 58 percent from the field and is up to 43 percent from three. As productive as Hart was last season, his long-distance shooting had dropped from 46 percent as a sophomore to 36 percent as a junior.

Hart is averaging 17.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists. Jenkins is averaging 14.5 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists. Jenkins has carried the confidence of his championship-winning three over into this season. He's shooting 45 percent from three and 94 percent from the line. 

Villanova plays twice this week, vs. La Salle (4-2) on Tuesday and vs. ACC-leading Notre Dame (8-0) Saturday.

Temple receives votes
Temple (6-2) was unranked but received three votes. Based on the votes received by other teams, it makes Temple the de facto No. 36 team in the country.

The Owls have won five in a row, including victories over then-No. 25 Florida State, then-No. 19 West Virginia, and two Big 5 wins last week over St. Joe's and Penn.

Temple faces George Washington on Wednesday and DePaul Saturday.