Preseason Hockey: Home of Fights, Flying Elbows, and the 11-Round Shootout

Preseason Hockey: Home of Fights, Flying Elbows, and the 11-Round Shootout

The Flyers played a "home game" up in London, Ontario, against the Maple Leafs of Toronto, Ontario on Thursday night. Panotch explains that there's good reason for the Flyers to feel at home in the John Labatt Centre despite the way they spell "center" differently than our own Wells Fargo version: Global Spectrum, a subsidiary of Comcast-Spectacor, manages the place. 

Moving on to the game, we have one of my favorite things about hockey—the fact that it's only the preseason doesn't preclude the players from laying nasty hits, dropping the gloves, or participating in ELEVEN-ROUND SHOOTOUTS. Video of a Zac Rinaldo battle with Luke Schenn after the jump. 

Not bad. 

The Flyers weren't able to hang in there on this one, although I think both teams are awarded five imaginary happy points for going more than ten rounds in a preseason shootout. Boosh got the start and played well through two periods, and Sergei Bobrovsky handled the third period and shootout action again. Bob Loblaw looked pretty solid between the pipes.* Marc-Andre Bourdon and Bill Guerin scored for the Flyers in regulation, and Jeff Carter, Guerin, and Joonas Lehtivouri scored in the shootout. Another fun moment came when James van Riemsdyk was awarded a penalty shot against Toronto goalie James Reimer. Despite stricter adherence to I before E decorum, Riemer was bested by Reimer on this one. 

Elsewhere on the tube tonight, CSN ran its Meet the Flyers program. Most interesting tidbit for me in this one was the inclusion of Guerin in the festivities. He even got a talking part. Much of the program was a taped event in front of a crowd at the Skate Zone, with brief player interviews, audience questions, and clips from last season. Guerin was featured in one of the on-stage Q&A's, sitting alongside Carter and wearing an organge Flyers T. It's a little harder to imagine Billy not making the club after seeing him featured in the intro show, but this is the NHL. 

Bonus: Some footage for Jon Kalinski's next Virtua commercial? Watch as he Mmm Bop's Christian Hanson. 

Let's not forget—let's not forget, Jon—that keeping your elbow up, and leaving the ice, for uh, domestic, you know, within the city—that ain't legal either. 

*I was going to shoehorn a What About Bob reference in here too, but I figure the Arrested Development, Big Lebowski, and 90s bubblegum refs were already pushing it. Looks like Bobrovsky could give us ample opportunity to shout "Bob. Bob!" in the near future though. 

Eagles-Redskins predictions by our (cough) experts

Eagles-Redskins predictions by our (cough) experts

The Eagles (5-7) come into Sunday's game against the Redskins (6-5-1) on a three-game losing streak.

The Redskins exposed the Eagles' defense the last time these two teams met almost two months ago on Oct. 16.

Here are our (cough) expert predictions for this Week 14 matchup.

Dave Zangaro (4-8)
After losing three straight games, I couldn't pick the Eagles against just about any team in the NFL. Maybe Cleveland. Maybe Chicago. 

But against Washington? Nah. Can't do it. 

Sure, I know Washington comes into the Linc on a two-game losing streak, and they're clearly not a top team in the NFC. It just doesn't matter. Kirk Cousins is a decent quarterback and Washington clearly has enough weapons to shred the Eagles like they did for 493 yards in the first meeting. 

For the Eagles' offense, Carson Wentz hasn't looked good in a long time and this week he enters with a few of his skill position players banged up. 

This looks like another loss to me. 

Washington 26, Eagles 20

Derrick Gunn (5-7)
The Eagles are an embarrassed, desperate team, and a win over the Redskins could lift the weight of what has been a downward spiral. Ryan Mathews and Jordan Matthews returned to practice this week, but can they jolt this offense back to life? Carson Wentz has played like a rookie the last three games, and the once stout defense has crumbled.

So here come the Redskins, losers of two in a row but still very much in the playoff conversation. The Redskins' defense is beat up and could be missing several key players, but unfortunately for the Eagles, Washington's offensive weapons are relatively healthy, except for tight end Jordan Reed, who's listed as questionable with an AC joint sprain. Matt Jones and Robert Kelley pack a punch out of the backfield. 

Quarterback Kirk Cousins has been in a zone. Over their last six games, Cousins has averaged 352.6 passing yards, plus he's thrown 12 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. 

The Eagles remember what Washington did to them back in Week 6, but I feel their revenge motives will fall short.

Redskins 27, Eagles 17

Ray Didinger (5-7) 
With all the talk this week about effort and players dogging it, I fully expect the Eagles to come out focused and fired up at home Sunday. Here's the problem: I just don't know if they are good enough to win the game. Motivation is one thing, but talent is another and right now, the Eagles are lacking in that area.
 
The players have been called out by their coach, by the media and by the fans so if they have any pride at all they will come out and play hard against the Redskins but I look at the matchup of this Eagles' secondary against the Washington receivers — especially a hot DeSean Jackson (25.3 yards per catch the last three games) — and I don't see a happy result.
 
Redskins 24, Eagles 17

Corey Seidman (5-7)
Close game, better performance from Carson Wentz and an awakening in the run game, but not enough defensive talent to shut down what Washington will try to do deep with DeSean Jackson and Jamison Crowder, over the middle with Jordan Reed and short with Pierre Garcon.

Redskins 31, Eagles 27

Andy Schwartz (5-7)
It's simply come to this. I can't pick the Eagles to win a game the rest of the season until they do.

I want to think the offense will benefit from the return of Ryan Mathews and Jordan Matthews. And I want to think the defense will play with desperation and break out of its "slump" and make some big plays.

But I won't believe it until I see it.

Redskins 24, Eagles 16

Shayne Gostisbehere suffers bone bruise on right hand in win over Stars

Shayne Gostisbehere suffers bone bruise on right hand in win over Stars

Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere took a shot off his right hand in the second period Saturday and has a bone bruise. 
 
The Flyers will watch it because sometimes the swelling prevents wearing a glove comfortably the next day.
 
Ghost, who has five points – all assists – over his past six games, was hit with a puck in the second period of a 4-2 win over the Stars. He went to the bench and tried to shake it off, but left for the dressing room shortly after a Flyers power play began in the period’s final three minutes.
 
He participated for part of the power play, then left the ice and did not return until the start of the third period.
 
“It was good by then,” he said. “Obviously, it hurt a bit.”
 
The Flyers play in Detroit on Sunday night. 
 
Ghost has 16 points (four goals) in 29 games this season. X-rays were negative, he said, adding he was not worried about the hand, which was badly swollen after the game.