Staying Alive: Flyers, Bryzgalov Strong in Rare Shootout Win

Staying Alive: Flyers, Bryzgalov Strong in Rare Shootout Win

General manager Paul Holmgren said the team needed to
compete better. The Flyers’ players responded on Friday night, grinding it out
against the New Jersey Devils for 65 minutes before picking up the unusual 2-1
shootout victory. Imagine that.

It was a gritty effort from the Flyers, who were far stronger
in their own end than they have been for much of the season. Fewer sloppy turnovers
meant fewer rushes, while there were none of the all-around collapses that
often lead to opponents skating freely with the puck through Philadelphia’s
zone. They were exceptional on the penalty kill as well, including on a five-on-three in the opening period that may have provided some of the momentum.

When there were breakdowns or the Devils won the battles, Ilya Bryzgalov
was up to the task. The cosmonaut made his share of incredible saves in this
one, seemingly gaining confidence as the game wore on. Bryz stopped 27 of 28
shots, the lone score coming off of a deflection. Then he shut the door in
the shootout, proving that he can actually win a one-on-one.

A good thing, because Peter Laviolette may have sacrificed
some offense for the sake of his defense. The Flyers had just the lone goal off a
beautiful hesitation pass from Simon Gagne to Max Talbot, who received the puck
on Johan Hedberg’s front porch with an empty net. Orange & Black had 22
shots total, but fewer in every period, and just three in the third.

It was enough though, and exactly the kind of effort they
needed to pick up their first win on New Jersey in eight tries going back to
last year’s playoffs. Speaking of which, they may have only gained one point on
the Devils, and actually were minus-one for the home-and-home series, but the first step was
turning their luck around. If they produce more efforts like this, the Flyers are not
dead yet.

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Fletcher Cox among Eagles not at OTAs; Doug Pederson updates position battles

Fletcher Cox among Eagles not at OTAs; Doug Pederson updates position battles

The Eagles had near-perfect attendance as they kicked off their Organized Team Activities (OTAs) on Tuesday morning, but there were a few notable absences.

Fletcher Cox, Jason Peters and Donnie Jones are not with the team.

"Obviously as you guys know too, it's a voluntary offseason program," head coach Doug Pederson said. "I've been in touch with all three of those guys, so we've communicated for the reasons for them not being here. But no worries with them going forward."

This is the second year in a row that Cox has missed the start of OTAs. Last year, he was waiting on his big contract, which came after the minicamp in June.

Cox, who signed a mega contract less than a year ago, send out an Instagram story on Monday in Philipsburg, Netherlands Antilles.

"The reason is satisfactory, but again it's a voluntary program," Pederson said. "I would love for everybody to be here. That's just me personally, I would love everybody to be here. But I know it's not always going to work out that way.

"Fletcher is one of the leaders on the football team and guys like that, you do expect to be here, but I get the rules, we abide by the rules and he's one of the guys too, at the end of the day, I'm gonna hang my hat on and go to war with."

As far as the guys who are with the Eagles this week, Pederson revealed some of the starters at positions in question (see OTA storylines).

Second-year guard Isaac Seumalo will begin OTAs as the team's starting left guard, taking Allen Barbre's place. Pederson did say Barbre is getting over a calf injury.

"This gives [Seumalo] an opportunity to work in there so we can get Allen," the head coach said. "Allen's a guy, as you guys know, one of those versatile offensive linemen who can play guard and tackle, so when we get Allen back we want to work him not just at guard but also at tackle."

Jason Kelce, who has been the center of plenty of rumors and whispers this offseason, is still going to take first-team reps at center, while Stefen Wisniewski and Seumalo will also get some reps at center.

And second-year player Jalen Mills and free agent pickup Patrick Robinson will start the camp running with the ones at corner (see players to watch at OTAs).

This first round of OTAs runs three days: May 23-25.

The Rockies Twitter account tweeted whole game in 'Rocky' quotes

The Rockies Twitter account tweeted whole game in 'Rocky' quotes

If you watched Monday night's Phillies loss at the hands of the Colorado Rockies, you probably weren't very entertained -- unless you're a Rockies fan.

But if you followed the game on Twitter and happen to follow the Rockies' account, you may have been slightly more entertained.

Slightly.

They tried something we haven't seen from an opposing team just yet. They tweeted throughout the game using only quotes from the Rocky movie franchise.

Now, you can debate how successful of a move this was but you have to at least give them some points for creativity. And it's not like this was a playoff game with high stakes. This was a relatively boring Monday night game in the middle of May.

You can read our recap of the Phillies' 8-1 loss right here. Or here's how the night transpired on Twitter: