Hartnell Gets Two for Dashing

Hartnell Gets Two for Dashing

The NHL has suspended Scott Hartnell for two games after his hit on the Bruins' Andrew Alberts last night. Marking the fourth time a Flyer has been suspended in this young season, the reaction around the league has been harsh. Maybe I'm on the side of the fan spectrum that has an unhealthy passion to see rough play, but I really didn't think it was as bad as it's being made out to be. It was Alberts' decision to play the puck from his knees and put himself in a vulnerable position; if he stayed on his skates, no one would have anything to say. So what was Hartnell supposed to do, peel off and let Alberts shuffle the puck back into the zone? It was a hit on a vulnerable player, and maybe he deserved a penalty (and the major for boarding was only given after it was clear Alberts was banged up bad). But this nonsense about the Flyers being out to hurt people is just bullshit.

It's not the worst criticism though, to be compared to the Broad Street Bullies, as Hartnell would agree. Tim Panaccio quotes him as follows:

"I think we got that reputation. I don't know if it s back in the day
or what's happening right now. We've got that badge on our shoulder as
kind of a rough and tough team and we have to welcome that. Even if I
do get suspended, I am still going to finish my checks."

Atta boy. What else can you do? This is hockey.

Also, Simon Gagne might be out another month while still recovering from a concussion. There were no suspensions after that hit. Alberts won't even miss a game.

Nerlens Noel on Sixers' frontcourt logjam: 'I don't see a way it can work'

Nerlens Noel on Sixers' frontcourt logjam: 'I don't see a way it can work'

CAMDEN, N.J. — Nerlens Noel is standing his ground.

After saying that the Sixers' entering the season with three starting-caliber centers (himself, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid) "doesn't make sense," Noel didn't back down from his stance during the team's annual media day.  

"I don't see a way it can work," Noel said Monday. "It's just a logjam. You have three young, talented centers that can play 30-plus minutes a night." 

The Sixers attempted to play with two bigs in Noel and Okafor last season but had little success. Now that Embiid is finally healthy, the fit to the puzzle doesn't figure to get any better.

Reports swirled during the offseason that the Sixers were looking to trade either Noel or Okafor to add backcourt help to the woeful franchise, but nothing came to fruition.

"Things need to get situated," Noel said. "I think things obviously need to be moved around, someone needs to be moved around. It's just a tough situation. I can't really say too much because I have no say in the matter, so obviously that's for who can handle the situation in the right manner.

"I've gone through a whole lot. Probably the most, arguably, that any player has gone through in the NBA in losing. It's a tough situation to still be in. Year by year, to see things get more difficult to show your value. Year by year, it's always been something. It's really at a point where it's just a lot."

Bryan Colangelo said he understands Noel's viewpoint. However, the Sixers' president said he is in no rush to trade any of the centers and will wait the situation out.

"It’s not disappointing. It’s understandable," Colangelo said. "I think Nerlens actually did a pretty good job sizing up what we have, which is a lot of depth and a lot of talent at that position."

Despite each of the three centers being early in their career, Noel, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, doesn't want to hold off to see if the trio can actually mesh on the floor.

"I can't say I do really understand that (wait-and-see approach)," Noel said. "If you have a group of players, I just don't think it makes too much sense to just still come into the season with such a heavy lineup at the center position. I don't know what there is to wait and see."

Noel made sure to express that he has no issues with Okafor and Embiid and said they are some of his closest friends on the team. But when asked whether he was happy to be a Sixer, Noel deflected.

"I feel good," he said. "I'm all right, I'm in a good place right now."

Sure sounds like it.

Darren Sproles' TD from Wentz set to Sonic the Hedgehog music


Darren Sproles' TD from Wentz set to Sonic the Hedgehog music

You may fondly remember the time Darren Sproles took a punt return to the house last season and a wonderful Twitter user set the video to the Super Mario Bros.' star music, yes?

It was great.

Now that Sproles' put on the jets again yesterday in the Eagles win over the Steelers, the same @pacdude on Twitter has done it again.

This time it's the theme music from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Please enjoy.