Today it's one of the best rivalries in the NHL, but back in 1985, Flyers vs. Penguins wasn't really so much of a fair fight. The Penguins would finish in last place in the Patrick division for the third straight time in the '84-'85 season, posting just 24 wins, which was still their most in three years. It wouldn't last forever--the Penguins already had the most important piece of their rebuilding process in place in the anointed Next Great One Mario Lemieux, who scored an even 100 points in his rookie season. But on March 10th, 1985, the Pens were absolutely no match for the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Flyers kept things even enough in a high-scoring first period, netting three goals while giving back two of their own. But in the second, the offense exploded, with an astounding seven different Flyers connecting against Pittsburgh goalie Brian Ford, who was astoundingly left in the game until the final period. Serving a major in the second for the above fight with the Pens' Bob Errey, Rich Sutter came back in the third to add insult to injury, scoring the Flyers' last goal of the game. Final score: Flyers 11, Penguins 4.
The Flyers steamrolled through the East that season, posting a league best 53-20-7 record, and going an impressive 11-3 thorugh conference play in the post-season. In the finals, however, they met the dynastic Edmonton Oilers--they of Gretzky and Kurri and Messier and Coffey and Fuhr--and fell in five games. Disappointment and tragedy quickly followed, as Vezina-winning goalie Pelle Lindbergh died in a car accident shortly into the following season, and the team ended up losing to the Rangers in the first round of the playoffs.
What is there to say about the Philadelphia Phillies?
In doing my usual postgame perusal of the Internet after their 7-2 loss on Wednesday night, I visited Phillies.com to see what kind of "highlights" they could have possibly posted from another crushing defeat at the hands of the Colorado Rockies.
Thankfully, the first thing that caught my eye was a video titled, "Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby."
It was not Larry Andersen in the Phanatic's arms. Nor me.
And that's the Phillies season in a nutshell.
"You gotta question the parenting skills here," John Kruk said on the telecast. And he's right! What kind of parent would raise their kid to be a Philly sports fan?!?
The Phillies now have the worst record in all of baseball. They're 4-20 in their last 24 games. It's their worst start to a season since 1960.
Even the Phanatic doesn't have enough popcorn to mask all the pain.
If you want to read about the upbeat approach Pete Mackanin is taking, go give this a gander.
"In a long season, these things sometimes happen," Mackanin told reporters. "I remember Atlanta, the first half last year, was terrible. They had a real good second half. I believe we just need to get something going. We're going to put something together. I believe that."
That makes one of us.
The future of Villanova basketball just got brighter.
Brandon Slater, a 6-foot-6 wing and highly touted 2018 recruit, told Scout.com on Wednesday night that he has verbally committed to the Wildcats.
He later made the announcement on Twitter.
Among the 2018 recruiting class, Slater, a product of Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Virginia, is ranked in the top 30 by Scout.com and top 50 by ESPN.com. He's slated as a four-star talent by both media outlets.
Per ESPN, Slater had offers from Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse, USC and Virginia Tech. He is Villanova's first commitment for 2018.
"Going up there it just feels like a second home," Slater said, via Evan Daniels of Scout.com. "It gives me a good vibe. It's nothing like all the other schools. I just feel like a Villanova guy. It feels like PVI. It's already home."
Slater and Villanova head coach Jay Wright expressed their excitement on Twitter.