Would Philly Be Forsberg's "Destination of Choice"?

Would Philly Be Forsberg's "Destination of Choice"?

Last weekend, the Flyers played back-to-back road games, and we're currently in the middle of 4 long days off, followed by back-to-back games this weekend in Jersey and Toronto (where, incidentally, the league offices are located and schedules are written, but I digress). The '07-'08 Flyers are a good team on the brink of being great. The primary issue holding them back has in my opinion been spotty work on the defensive end, but another roadblock is that their best scorer has spent more time in Keith Jones' bathtub  than on the ice this season. Gagne's return is thought to be imminent, but with recurrent symptoms being unpredictable, the Flyers may look to add another scorer at the trade deadline—or they may court the league's most popular free agent.

It's been a while since we've heard anything of substance about ol'
Blue Eyes, and the last news included conflicting reports about his
phantom foot.  However, Glen MacNow reported on his show tonight that Forsberg may still be interested in returning
to the NHL this season. TSN in Canada says that he has acknowledged
particular fondness for the three franchises he's played for, and also
that "sources close to the Flyers believe Philadelphia to be Forsberg's
destination of choice."

Earlier in the season, when the Flyers couldn't be stopped, there might
have been worry that adding a player of Forsberg's caliber could cause
chemistry problems. But the Flyers have fallen off somewhat and are
currently hovering above .500, so there's room for improvement. Also,
although Forsberg is one of the best to ever play the game, he's not
the type to make waves in the locker room or make enemies of teammates.

The reports are definitively unsubstantiated, but it's not out of the
question to think he could return to Philly this year. He's likely have
to take another number though. The 21 is taken.

>>Forsberg potentially preparing for return [TSN]

Temple cracks Top 25 in final CFP rankings, will play in Military Bowl

ap-temple.jpg
The Associated Press

Temple cracks Top 25 in final CFP rankings, will play in Military Bowl

After winning its first American Athletic Conference championship Saturday, Temple learned its postseason fate Sunday and it does not involve a New Year's Six bowl game.

The Owls will play in the Military Bowl on Dec. 27 in Annapolis, Maryland. Their opponent will be announced at 4 p.m. Temple also finished No. 24 in the final College Football Playoff rankings and No. 23 in the AP poll.

At 10-3, Temple has its first back-to-back 10-win season in program history. It's also the first time the Owls have been ranked in consecutive seasons. Head coach Matt Rhule now has 28 wins as Temple's head coach, tying him with Bruce Arians' for the sixth-most in school history.

Flyers-Predators 5 things: Going for longest win streak since 2014

Flyers-Predators 5 things: Going for longest win streak since 2014

Flyers (13-10-3) at Predators (11-8-4)
6 p.m. on CSN and CSNPhilly.com

The Flyers have won a season-high four games in a row. They'll try to make it five Sunday night when they visit the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena for the second game of a back-to-back set.

Let's take a look at five things you need to know.

1. Streaking like 2014?
Not only do the Flyers have a chance to extend their season-best winning streak, but they're also looking to win their most consecutive games since March 15-22, 2014, when they also won five straight.

The Flyers have put up strong showings in the back ends of back-to-backs, going 4-1-1 thus far.

“You just have to have the work ethic night in and night out," Steve Mason said Saturday after the Flyers' 3-1 win over the Blackhawks. "And, I think we were struggling to find that. There are games when we were swarming and giving teams no other option, and other nights we were chasing the puck.

"We have another tough test going to Nashville to play. So, we’re going to have to follow up with another great effort.” 

2. A Provorov encore?
Ivan Provorov's confidence has to be at his highest of the season.

In Saturday's win, the 19-year-old blueliner scored two goals in a 31-second span to double his goal total through the first 25 games.

Provorov said he thinks defense first, but the offensive production is a good sign.

“Score one goal in a game, it’s a good feeling. Score two in one shift, it’s unbelievable,” Provorov said.

“Every time you score, it’s like a confidence booster."

3. Predators finding stride
After losing eight of their first 11 games, Peter Laviolette's Predators have gotten on track, going 8-3-1 since.

Nashville ranks in the top half of the league in goals per game (3.00 — tied for fifth), goals against per game (2.61 — 15th), power-play percentage (22.6 — sixth) and penalty-kill percentage (84.5 — 10th).

Last time out, the Predators blew a 4-1 lead in the third period for a 5-4 overtime loss to the Devils on Saturday, so they should be extra focused.

4. Keep an eye on ...
Flyers: On Saturday, Brayden Schenn scored just his second goal in his past 18 games. Schenn can be streaky so maybe he feeds off that goal. He's also a career plus-4 against the Predators, with two goals and three assists in eight games.

Predators: Let's go P.K. Subban, who isn't exactly a favorite among Flyers fans. He's off to a nice start in his first season in Nashville with six goals and 10 assists, and eight points (three goals, five assists) in his last eight games.

5. This and that
• Flyers goalie Steve Mason is 7-7-5 with a 2.42 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in 20 career games against the Predators.

• Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne is 3-2-2 with a 2.91 goals-against average and .906 save percentage in seven career games against the Flyers.

• Claude Giroux is four assists away from passing Rick MacLeish (369) and Eric Lindros (369) for fifth on the Flyers’ all-time list.