WATN: Donald Brashear

WATN: Donald Brashear

It was a sad day in Flyers history when Donald Brashear was released last off-season, but it almost seemed necessary at the time. The Flyers lost in the playoffs last season because they were still too big, slow, and prone to penalties; the league had gone to the burners, with obstruction calls handed out like rally towels and games won and lost on special teams.

Still, it was odd to imagine the Broad Street Bullies offspring not dressing an enforcer. I’d hoped it would be Darien Hatcher, since god knows he can’t play defense anymore, but that didn’t happen either. Earlier this season, the team re-acquired Todd Fedoruk, but he hasn’t been the same since he got his face rearranged (which wouldn’t have even happened to Brashear). After they dropped a club record 10th straight last night, I think it’s pretty clear: the Orange and Black lack punch.

Follow the link to ESPN Motion to see Donald Brashear doing what he does best against the Canadiens last night… pummeling a guy who’d scored a sweet goal against the Caps. He’s just the kind of parachute a team needs when a game starts to freefall, which the Flyers know a lot about this year.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Jim Young

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

The Phillies season in one video: 'Phanatic tries to comfort crying baby'

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.

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

Highly ranked 2018 recruit Brandon Slater verbally commits to Villanova

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.