Voracek-Schenn-McGinn Line Keys Flyers in 3-2 Victory

Voracek-Schenn-McGinn Line Keys Flyers in 3-2 Victory

With a laughably short training camp and all of the ensuing
injuries, it should come as no surprise Peter Laviolette has had some trouble
coming up with lines that united to form consistent, instantaneous chemistry for the
Flyers. It sure is beginning to look like the head coach may have found
something in one unexpected configuration however.

The youthful grouping of Jakub Voracek, Brayden Schenn, and
Tye McGinn has exhibited tremendous promise of late, arguably performing better
than any trio the Flyers have tried all season. For starters, look no further
than their collective contribution to Tuesday night’s 3-2 victory over the
Winnipeg Jets – two big goals, including the game winner.

Schenn and Voracek in particular seem to be creating a bond, combining
to light the lamp for the second time in three games. On Saturday it was Brayden
feeding Jake. This time Voracek was able to return the favor, finding Schenn perched
right on Winnipeg’s front porch to open up the scoring. Voracek deserves credit
for extending the play, but both of them were crashing the net on this series, which
is a positive sign for everybody.

McGinn actually wasn’t on the ice for goal number one, but he
would be out there on the ice with his mates when it wound up mattering most. Philadelphia
was nursing a 2-1 third-period lead when Voracek was able to force the puck
into the Winnipeg zone, then quickly regain possession and send it toward center. McGinn was crashing, as he is wont to do, and the disc deflected off of
some part of his person into the goal.

Seeing as the Jets were able to add an empty-netter in the
tilt’s closing minute, that final tally proved quite important. Plus McGinn
beat the crap out of somebody!

At the end of the day, both Schenn and Voracek finished a
+2. Brayden is now +4 with two goals and two assists in the last three games,
while Jakub takes over the team lead in points with 10. McGinn merely has goals
in back-to-back games, but there’s no denying he’s been a presence out there.
What’s more, not one of three is older than 23 years old.

A pairing of the three seems only natural going forward.
Obviously they’re experiencing some success right now. Schenn and Voracek
appear to play well off of one another – not entirely surprisingly given both
were top-seven talents in the draft for their previous organizations. Add a
big, physical partner like McGinn who is willing to station himself in front of
the goaltender and do the dirty work, and it sounds like a recipe for good
hockey.

Kimmo Timonen added his second goal of the season, a power
play tally assisted by Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds, while Ilya Bryzgalov
stopped 24 of 26 shot attempts in the win.

For now Philadelphia closed the book on their road woes, and
are keeping pace in the Eastern Conference with 13 points and a 6-7-1 record.
However, it’s probably safe to say the Flyers are going to need more from other
areas than one young line if they want to keep the good times rolling.

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Phillies prospect Victor Arano out at least a month with elbow injury

Phillies prospect Victor Arano out at least a month with elbow injury

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Phillies received some good and bad news on pitcher Victor Arano.

He was diagnosed with a sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Surgery was not prescribed, which is good news.

The bad news, he’s been shut down for at least a month.

Arano’s injury was treated with a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection.

The 22-year-old from Mexico said he first started feeling some tenderness in the elbow during a stint in the Arizona Fall League. He experienced some swelling in the elbow after reporting to camp earlier this month.

Arano is an intriguing prospect. He was acquired from the Dodgers as part of the package for starter Roberto Hernandez in August 2014. He impressed team officials in spring training 2015 and really took a big step forward after moving to the bullpen last season. He pitched 79 2/3 innings in 46 games at Single A Clearwater and Double A Reading and recorded a 2.26 ERA while striking out 95 and walking just 19.

Arano’s stuff has been compared to that of Edubray Ramos, who jumped from Double A to Triple A to the majors last season.

The injury means Arano will have to start the season on the disabled list.

In other health news, pitcher Jake Thompson graduated to a bullpen mound on Wednesday. He had been slowed by a sore wrist, but is fine now. Thompson proved that by winning the longest drive at Tuesday’s annual team golf outing.

Thompson lines up to open the season at Triple A.

Give and Go: How much credit does Brett Brown deserve for Sixers' improvement?

Give and Go: How much credit does Brett Brown deserve for Sixers' improvement?

With the team at the All-Star break, our resident basketball analysts will discuss some of the hottest topics involving the Sixers.

Running the Give and Go are CSNPhilly.com producer/reporters Matt Haughton and Paul Hudrick.

In this edition, we analyze the job head coach Brett Brown has done this season.

Haughton
Brown's performance has already resulted in more wins than any other season under his leadership, but it continues to be a complex judgment.

He's still tied to an extremely young roster, which lends itself to the high number of turnovers, mistakes coming out of timeouts and defensive breakdowns. 

However, he has managed to get several players to show growth in their games and make sure the Sixers remain balanced even with Joel Embiid's emergence. That can also be attributed to Brown's emphasis on state of play and not state of pay.

He turned to T.J. McConnell ($874,636 salary) at starting point guard over Sergio Rodriguez ($8 million) because the second-year pro has proven to be a better fit and has routinely moved Gerald Henderson ($9 million) from starter to reserve.

Then of course, there has been Brown's handling of the Sixers' mashup at center. The coach has found each guy minutes when he can and, according to the players, been up front about all potential minutes and trade scenarios.

Perhaps Brown's finest job this season has come in a role he thought was over: team delegate. Once Sam Hinkie exited and Bryan Colangelo proclaimed he would be more open with information, Brown certainly had to think his days of standing in front of the media to explain every single thing going on with the franchise were over. Think again. 

Still, Brown's been there each day, answering just about every question thrown his way from injuries to trade rumors. If nothing else, he deserves to be commended for dealing with that ... again.

Hudrick
It's amazing what a few NBA-caliber players can do.

After accumulating a 47-199 record over his first three seasons, Brown has led the Sixers to a 21-35 mark so far this season. Sure, much of the credit for the team's success has to do with adding legitimate NBA talent (and a legitimate NBA star in Embiid). With that said, you're finally starting to see Brown's fingerprints on the Sixers.

A protégé of Gregg Popovich's with the Spurs, Brown preaches defense and ball movement. The Sixers' defense has been a catalyst for their success this season. As Brown says in his Bostralian accent, the defensive end is where the Sixers' "bread is buttered." 

With unselfish players with decent court vision like Dario Saric and Gerald Henderson added to the mix, the Sixers don't look like a total disaster in the half court. They're ninth in the NBA at 23.5 assists per game. They haven't finished higher than 15th in the league in any of Brown's three seasons. 

When you consider what Brown has gone through and how he's managed to keep everything positive, it's incredible. Hinkie pegged Brown as his guy, knowing that Brown was an excellent teacher and had the right attitude to deal with losing. You have to be encouraged by what you've seen out of Brown and the Sixers this season.