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[#] Fri Jan 27 2017 09:55:52 EST from katefrese

Subject: The best photos from the Flyers win against the Maple Leafs

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January 26, 2017: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs featured photo gallery

Scroll through Kate Frese’s photos from last night’s Philadelphia Flyers / Toronto Maple Leafs game.



http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2017/1/27/14408946/the-best-photos-from-the-flyers-win-against-the-maple-leafs


[#] Fri Jan 27 2017 10:26:21 EST from Charlie O'Connor

Subject: Flyers 2, Maple Leafs 1: 10 things we learned from third period domination

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For the second straight night, the Flyers entered the third period tied with their opponent and they outplayed them in the final stanza to earn a win.

Morning Observations is a feature where we break down the previous night's game with an analytical eye.

#1: Third period won the game again for Flyers

On Wednesday night in New York, the Flyers were essentially taken to the cleaners by the Rangers for the first 35 minutes of the contest, and only kept the game deadlocked at 0-0 due to an especially stellar performance by goaltender Steve Mason. But after a solid finish to the second period, Philadelphia came out firing in the third, finally winning the shot attempts battle and scoring two goals to come away with a victory. Last night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs followed a similar formula. After two periods, Philadelphia had a 41.68% score-adjusted Corsi and certainly hadn’t played their best hockey. But yet again, they hit the locker room tied (this time 1-1) and would have one period left to change the direction of the narrative.

Their third period against Toronto was even better than the one versus the Rangers. On Wednesday night, the Flyers basically just broke even for the first time and got some lucky bounces — it may have been their best stanza of the night, but that wasn’t saying a lot. Philadelphia straight up blasted Toronto in the third, however. They won the 5v5 shot attempts battle 32-11, taking five more attempts in the final twenty minutes than they did over the first forty. In fact, the domination was so thorough that the Flyers finished ahead in all of the full-game play-driving metrics, including score-adjusted Corsi (53.96%) and Expected Goals (56.23%). And most importantly, all of that pressure eventually resulted in the gamewinner, a blast from fourth liner Roman Lyubimov with just minutes remaining that eluded Curtis McElhinney to give the Flyers the win. A well-earned win, even if they did almost all of that earning in about 33% of the game.

#2: Flyers a 0.500 team at the All-Star break

There will be no meaningful hockey games this weekend, as the NHL takes off for the All Star festivities in Los Angeles. For the Flyers, it’s an odd time for the break to fall, (considering that they just concluded their bye week) but ASG still functions as the unofficial “midway” point of the year, so it’s a good time to assess where the team stands. To be sure, had the ASG break come last weekend, fans would be rightfully disgusted with their team, but this week certainly changed things. Finally, the results started to match up with the solid underlying metrics that Philadelphia had posted in January, and now the team hits the break on a three-game winning streak.

At the 50-game mark, the Flyers have 25 wins and 25 losses (19 defeats in regulation, 6 in overtime/shootouts), making it totally fair to call them a mediocre team. Philadelphia’s strength remains the power play, which has been the best shot creation PP in the NHL this season, and while the penalty kill is far from elite, it’s definitely improved versus last year. Evaluating the team’s 5v5 play is more complex. On one hand, the Flyers are a 50.88% score-adjusted Corsi team, solidly in the middle of the pack. On the other, they’ve struggled in terms of scoring chance differential (48.17% xG), even if they’ve begun to close that gap in recent weeks. The elephant in the room remains the goaltending, however, which is why it was so encouraging to see both Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth deliver strong performances prior to the break. If one (or both) can right the ship, it’s difficult to see this team missing the playoffs.

NHL.com Report & Highlights | Corsica.Hockey Game Recap Page | HockeyStats.ca Recap | NaturalStatTrick Recap | HockeyViz.com | BSH Recap | Meltzer’s Musings

#3: Couturier line came out on top versus Matthews

A line consisting of Sean Couturier, Matt Read and Nick Cousins certainly doesn’t have any dead weight, but it also doesn’t scream “scoring line,” which is why it was something of a surprise when head coach Dave Hakstol put the three players together. But while goals might be a bit difficult considering the line’s lack of a true finisher, it does have all of the characteristics of a high-end shutdown unit. That’s exactly how Hakstol employed them last night, sending Couturier and company head-to-head with Toronto’s young phenom Auston Matthews, who rightfully is the odds-on favorite for the Calder Trophy. A whopping 10:45 of Couturier’s 15:01 minutes at 5v5 were spent against Matthews, and with the help of his linemates, he schooled the rookie.

When on the ice with Matthews, Couturier’s line won the score-adjusted Corsi battle handily, finishing at 70.05 percent. They also led in scoring chances 8-2, and high-danger chances 4-0. That’s especially impressive because the rookie has turned the high-danger slot area into his personal residence this year, racking up shot after shot there at 5v5. This time, however, he could not break into that region of the ice, primarily because the Couturier line usually had the puck and were cycling constantly. It’s obvious that Matthews is already an elite player in the NHL even at 19, but on this night, the “veteran” Couturier got the better of him.

#4: Slow-down pace by Flyers

The last time these two teams faced each other, it was a wild 6-3 decision that featured constant rushes up and down the ice and general chaos from start to finish. This game, on the other hand, was played at a far more measured pace. Even in the first two periods, which were largely controlled by the Maple Leafs, the two teams combined for just six high-danger chances, a far cry from Toronto’s preferred high-octane, trade-chances style.

Philadelphia has struggled to contain quick teams in the past, but even when the Maple Leafs were winning the territorial battle last night, they were forced to do it in a methodical way. That was a result of strong attention to detail on the part of the the Flyers’ five-man units. There were very few bad pinches by defensemen, the forwards backchecked consistently, and turnovers high in the offensive zone were rare. According to Corey Sznajder’s live tracking, Toronto finished the game with a 37.0% controlled offensive zone entry rate at 5v5, which surely is far below where a skilled team like the Leafs would like to finish.

#5: Provorov had a few bad moments, but on the whole was dominant

Since late November, it’s become very difficult to accurately evaluate the performance of rookie defenseman Ivan Provorov using statistical measures. That’s because he’s been attached to the hip to Andrew MacDonald, who has almost certainly served as a major drag on his on-ice shot differentials. Surely Provorov deserves a degree of blame for his declining metrics, but whether that is 20% or 2% is difficult to pinpoint. What is undeniable is that Provorov has rarely posted no-doubt-about-it dominant statistical performances since he’s been paired with MacDonald, which is why last night’s game felt like such an anomaly. Despite spending over ten minutes matchup up against Auston Matthews, Provorov finished with a stellar 68.98% score-adjusted Corsi, +32.48% relative to his teammates.

Provorov didn’t have a perfect game. He took a double-minor high sticking penalty in the first period, and had one especially egregious unforced turnover in the defensive zone where he mishandled the puck and gave it right to a Maple Leafs player. But aside from those few missteps, Provorov was masterful. He racked up seven offensive zone entries, four of which came with possession of the puck. He also engineered ten successful defensive zone exits (out of 13 attempts), and five of them came with possession. Finally, he was successful in rush coverage as well, forcing dump-ins on three of the five occasions when he was targeted. Considering his performance in these actions that would seem to have a positive impact on driving play in the right direction, it’s no surprise Provorov graded out so well from a Corsi standpoint. Rather than wait for MacDonald or even the forwards to push the puck in the right direction, Provorov simply did it himself.

#6: Penalty kill again stood out

For the second consecutive night, Philadelphia’s oft-criticized penalty kill units came up big for the team. The Flyers didn’t take many penalties — just the double-minor on Provorov and a kneeing call on Radko Gudas — but Toronto’s stellar power play doesn’t need many opportunities to make its mark on a game. Instead, Philadelphia shut them down cold, allowing just two shots on goal and zero high-danger scoring chances.

Unsurprisingly, it was the skilled forwards like Giroux, Couturier and Read who proved to be the best shot suppressors (all finished with Corsi Against Per 60 rates below 70), but only MacDonald and Provorov finished over 100 in that stat, hinting that the PK was a true team effort. The best part was the willingness on the part of the forwards to move the puck up ice, even if the aim was not necessarily to score. Responsible transition rushes on the PK can waste a lot of time, so long as those involved are sure not to get caught behind a counter-rush due to a turnover. Last night, the Flyers struck that perfect balance between aggressiveness and safety, and it helped to drive their strong results.

#7: Bellemare line bounced back in a big way

On Wednesday night, the fourth line of Bellemare, VandeVelde and Lyubimov suffered the ignominy of not generating one shot attempt at 5-on-5 while the trio was together. Instead, they spent the bulk of their shifts holding on for dear life in the defensive zone, helping to prevent goals but little else. So of course, just 24 hours later, that line would become arguably Philadelphia’s most effective trio against the Toronto Maple Leafs, because hockey is a strange sport. Receiving just under ten minutes of 5v5 ice time, the entirety of the line finished with score-adjusted Corsis over 64%, and even contributed the game-winning goal courtesy of a Roman Lyubimov shot from the left faceoff circle.

I asked Hakstol after the game how impressed he was to see his fourth line bounce back after such a tough showing in New York. But Hakstol disagreed that the Bellemare had struggled versus the Rangers, noting, “I thought they were excellent [against New York]. Sometimes you don’t see what they contribute in the stats. I thought they were excellent last night, and followed that up again tonight.” Considering Hakstol’s comment on Saturday regarding the fact that the team took 85 shot attempts against the Devils, my guess is that he looks at some variation of Corsi charts in the aftermath of games, but based on this answer, it seems like those didn’t sway his opinion of the Bellemare’s line and their play on Wednesday. I personally find it hard to accept that a line that generated no tangible offense in a game at 5v5 could post an excellent performance, but I can certainly agree that the trio was awesome last night.

#8: Give the Couturier line some time to score

This was the third straight game that saw the line of Sean Couturier, Matt Read and Nick Cousins dominate from a play-driving standpoint and yet fail to light up the scoresheet. Against the Maple Leafs, the circumstances were a bit different, as shutting down the Matthews line was goal #1, but every line is expected to chip in offensively given the opportunity, regardless of role. And you can just hear the grumbling beginning — “there’s no scorer on this line, it’s empty possession.” My response to that would be that it’s too soon to tell one way or the other, but what we do know is that this line is having no trouble creating high-quality scoring chances.

Last night, the trio combined for 1.22 individual Expected Goals at 5v5, implying that at least one of the forwards should have scored a goal against the Leafs. In addition, they racked up five HD chances on the night, as getting to the slot was no problem for them. The fact that the line has not yet scored might just be a case of some bad luck, especially considering how they’ve won the territorial battle handily in three straight games together. My guess is that high volume and high-danger chances will eventually win out over the assumed poor finishing talent of the line over the long-term.

#9: Top line isn’t clicking right now

The classic Flyers’ top line of Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Michael Raffl has now been back together for three games, correlating perfectly with the team’s recent winning streak. So that means that the top line must be firing on all cylinders, correct? Unfortunately, it’s not the case. Since the top unit was reunited, Claude Giroux has just a 42.42% Corsi For percentage, and his linemates are right around that rate as well. Luckily for the Flyers, the Couturier line has been driving play well enough to make up for the top line’s struggles, but they won’t hold a 65% Corsi forever. Giroux and company simply need to get going after the all-star break, as there’s just too much talent on that line for it to post sub-50% performances.

#10: Mentally-fragile just a narrative?

In the wake of the Washington defeat two Sundays ago that saw the Flyers allow four straight goals in the third period after carrying play over the first 40 minutes, it was proposed that Philadelphia was simply a fragile team at the moment. During the first half of January, it seemed like one mistake would become three in the blink of an eye, leading to losses in games that the Flyers otherwise dominated. That’s a far cry from the team that we saw this week, who showed the ability to shake off underwhelming 40 minute stretches and deliver its best results with the game on the line.

Does that mean that the bye week “reset” served its purpose? Maybe, although the late second period meltdown in last Saturday’s Devils game argues against that theory. Maybe the team just needed one win and that changed the whole mentality of the club. Or maybe the concept that the Flyers were fragile was just a false narrative, born bad cluster luck, and skater mistakes never being bailed out by the goaltenders. Regardless of the explanation, the Flyers seem to have this issue in the rearview mirror now.



http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2017/1/27/14406760/flyers-2-maple-leafs-1-10-things-we-learned-from-third-period-domination


[#] Fri Jan 27 2017 15:16:06 EST from Travis Hughes

Subject: NHL All-Star Skills Competition rosters: Wayne Simmonds to participate in 3 events for Metro team

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He’ll be shooting from center ice in the new “Four Line Challenge.”

Wayne Simmonds makes his return to Los Angeles as an All-Star this weekend, and in addition to playing for the Metropolitan Division squad in Sunday afternoon’s three-on-three tournament against teams from the other three NHL divisions, Wayne will participate in three events at the All-Star Skills Competition.

Simmonds will represent the Flyers in the NHL Skills Challenge Relay, the NHL Four Line Challenge and the NHL Shootout events on Saturday night.

NHL Skills Challenge Relay

The Skills Challenge Relay is a timed relay event involving seven skaters and one goalie from each team, and it consists of four relays with five challenges each: (1) One Timers, with three shooters and one passer per team; (2) Passing, with one passer per team; (3) Puck Control, with one skater per team; (4) Stick-Handling, with one skater per team; and (5) Goalie Goals, with one goalie per team.

Simmonds will take part as a shooter in the one-timers portion of the relay, alongside Metropolitan Division teammates Seth Jones and Alex Ovechkin. He’ll be taking passes from Ryan McDonagh of the Rangers.

Here is the full breakdown of the event:

The team with the faster time in each head-to-head heat will earn one point, and the team with the fastest overall time will also earn one point.

The Four Line Challenge

This is a new event this year — replacing the always-entertaining Breakaway Challenge where players were allowed to show off their personality — and it seems ridiculously difficult. Shooters from each team will line up at one of four shooting positions: the near blue line, center ice, the far blue line and the far goal line. From the near blue line, shooters will attempt to score in the top two corners of the net, with each being worth one point. From center ice, shooters will attempt to score in any corner of the net, with goals in the lower corners worth one point and goals in the top corners worth three. From the far blue line, shooters will attempt to score in any corner or the five hole, with top corner goals worth three points and anything along the ice worth one. From the far goal line, shooters will aim for the five hole for goals worth 10 points. Goalies can be subbed in for this last shooting position, and if a goalie scores it is worth 20 points.

Simmonds will be in the center ice shooting position for the Metropolitan team.

NHL Shootout

The final event of the evening will be the NHL Shootout, and every player participates for goals worth one each.

Here are the official breakdowns from the NHL for the other events:

NHL Accuracy Shooting

Two shooters from each team will participate, with two additional players serving as passers. This event will consist of four head-to-head match-ups, with one shooter from each team per round. The goal is to hit four 15-inch diameter targets located in each corner of the net. The teams will be situated at opposite ends of the rink, and will alternate attempts. The shooter to hit all four targets in the fastest time wins.

Points Available: 6 -- The winner of each match-up scores one point; the player who hits all four targets in the fastest time scores the bonus point for his team. If a player breaks Daniel Sedin’s record of 7.3 seconds, they score one bonus point for their team.

NHL Fastest Skater

Two players from each team will test their speed, facing off against an opponent in a two-skater race. The race track for the head-to-head match-ups is the border of the rink split in half lengthways. Timing devices will record each skater to determine the winner of each match. If a race ends in a tie, each of the teams will be awarded one point. The skater with the fastest time in the head-to-head match-ups will skate a full lap of the outside border of the rink, in the direction of their choosing, in an attempt to break Dylan Larkin’s record (13.172 seconds). If, at the completion of the event, two skaters are tied for the fastest overall time, both skaters will skate a full lap of the rink in an attempt to break the historical best record.

Points Available: 6 – The winner of each match-up scores one point; the team with the fastest skater scores a bonus point; if the fastest skater is successful in breaking Dylan Larkin’s record of 13.172 seconds, an additional bonus point will be awarded to his team.

NHL Hardest Shot

Two shooters from each team will test their slap shot skill in a head-to-head match-up. Each player will attempt two shots, with teams alternating after each player. One puck will be placed 30 feet from the center of the net. Each shot will be calculated in miles per hour (mph), with the highest speed of their two shots recorded.

Points Available: 6 – The winner of each match-up scores one point; the team with the player who has the hardest shot scores one bonus point; if a player breaks Zdeno Chara’s record of 108.8 mph, they score one bonus point for their team.



http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2017/1/27/14417742/nhl-all-star-skills-competition-rosters-wayne-simmonds-rosters


[#] Fri Jan 27 2017 16:32:21 EST from Ari Yanover

Subject: Steve Mason gets new gear for a young goalie who had his equipment stolen

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Mason’s doing good on and off the ice this week!

Hockey is an expensive sport - especially if you’re a goalie.

Which is why it was probably all the more devastating when Jake Mattice, a grade 8 student in Belleville, Ontario, had his goalie equipment stolen from his dad’s car. Who does that? Steals a kid’s gear? That’s low.

Via Quinte News, enter: Steve Mason, who has been playing pretty well with his own gear as of late, to help save the day.

Mason is also from Ontario - though not quite Belleville distance - and was one of thousands who caught news of the theft. Considering how Mason is someone who tends goal for a living, he obviously saw a way he could help, and has ended up getting Mattice new equipment.

The gear isn’t expected to get there until Feb. 4, but hopefully Jake will get the chance to break it in and show it off as soon as possible! From one goalie to another, this is an awesome story.



http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2017/1/27/14419592/steve-mason-gets-new-gear-for-a-young-goalie-who-had-his-equipment-stolen


[#] Sat Jan 28 2017 06:32:16 EST from Adam Hermann

Subject: The Linc: How involved is Jeffrey Lurie going to be in 2017?

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His move to block the Jets from interviewing John DeFilippo begs the question.

Eagles news and notes 1/28

How Jeffrey Lurie pulled rank and blocked John DeFilippo from leaving - Inquirer

In blocking DeFilippo, Lurie understood the importance of keeping the quarterback room intact and avoiding anything that could potentially disrupt Wentz's development. It should be noted, however, that the Raiders didn't stop DeFilippo from taking the Browns job after just one season with Carr.

And Carr did just fine after DeFilippo left.

But Lurie's block was not only extremely rare for an owner, but it potentially undermined Pederson. The only other coaching move the Eagles made this offseason was to fire wide receivers coach Greg Lewis and replace him with Mike Groh.

Roseman reiterated, when asked about Lewis, that Pederson has final say over his staff. But in light of the DeFilippo situation, could Lurie have forced the dismissal of the receivers coach? Again, everything is seemingly in play, especially as it relates to Wentz.

Lurie had sharp coaches in place during Donovan McNabb's early years - Andy Reid, of course, and Brad Childress. And Reid and team president Joe Banner surrounded him with a strong offensive line and running game. But there was the perception that the Eagles failed to win a Super Bowl, particularly from 2000 to 2003, because they lacked top-flight receivers.

Lurie, per sources familiar with his thinking, is prepared to give Wentz the skill-position players he lacks. It's little surprise that the Eagles know they need to upgrade at receiver and running back. Roseman and vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas said as much here. The question is to what lengths will they go?

Eagles Stay Or Go Part 12 - CSN Philly

Jaylen Watkins

Exclusive rights free agent

Roob: After playing just 16 snaps in the first five games, Watkins averaged 34 snaps per game the rest of the year in a variety of roles. Watkins, a fourth-round pick of the Eagles' back in 2014, did some good things this year and finished the season with 51 tackles, all but one in those last 11 games. He’s got some versatility and certainly never lacks effort. Whether he stays or goes depends on how thorough the Eagles’ secondary housecleaning is. I think the Eagles like Watkins. Gut feeling.

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: Being an exclusive rights free agent basically means the team can have you back for cheap and you can’t even talk to another team. That’s probably fine for Watkins, who isn’t coming off a great season as he still learns to play safety. He’s probably still a decent depth piece but will have to earn his way back onto the roster.

Verdict: STAYS

Terrell Watson

Roob: Watson, another undrafted free agent who got to play late in the season, got nine carries and even scored a touchdown in the season finale against the Cowboys’ scrubs. But is he a difference-maker? Doubt it. The Eagles have to rebuild this running back group and a guy like Watson doesn’t really figure into the overhaul they’re seeing. Training camp body? Yep. Final roster? I don’t see it.

Verdict: GOES

Dave: Watson was added to the active roster for the final game of the season and the running back even punched in his first career touchdown. He’s an undrafted kid from Azusa Pacific, but he’s big at 6-1, 240. If the Eagles want to keep a change-of-pace, bruising running back, maybe Watson has a shot. Just haven’t seen nearly enough of him to know what he is.

Verdict: GOES

Eagles’ Roseman looking to surround Wentz with select talent - Daily News

Roseman bragged that he hasn't even looked at the quarterbacks (and that's a good thing, at least at the Senior Bowl, there is no one here who will see the first round of the draft unless he's watching it on TV). Now Roseman, the de facto general manager, and player personnel vice president Joe Douglas face a task at least as daunting as the one Roseman undertook in 2016, when he maneuvered from 13th in the draft to eighth and then to second in order to select Wentz.

Now, the Eagles need to procure crucial ingredients to build a long-term contender around their 24-year-old quarterback. In this draft, with picks in every round, plus an extra fifth-rounder that becomes a fourth if Cleveland is awarded an anticipated compensatory pick, they want building blocks, guys who will someday stand smiling with their arms around Wentz during a Lombardi Trophy presentation.

Roseman has acknowledged the brass has given Wentz input into assessing and addressing needs. It's his team, after all. They can't just text or call the QB randomly, now that they're in a "dead" period under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, but before the team went away for the offseason, there was a dialogue.

"We met with him the day after the season . . . we talked to him a little bit about our team and us going forward and some of the things we're looking at," Roseman said. "We're not allowed to talk football with him" right now.

A Day In The Life: Joe Douglas - PE.com

This is my 17th Senior Bowl number and, wow, that feels a bit weird to say. When I’m driving down I-10 and I see the signs for the Mobile exit, I can’t help but feel excited. The city does such a great job of hosting the event and you get excited to see the very best that college football has to offer from every level of competition and you get amped up to see them compete.

Whenever I come down here, it’s hard to not think about some of my first trips to the event. My first couple of years down here I was a young personnel assistant, so I did a lot of the grunt work because that’s what you’re used to doing in that role. Whether it’s picking guys up at the airport or taking the head coach and coordinators to and from practice, you’re used to doing a lot of the little things to support the rest of the staff. Those days were tough but still a lot of fun looking back at them.

When we come to the Senior Bowl, our number one goal as a staff is to pinpoint the best players during the week of practice; the guys that are top-level competitors that really shine at their position group. We’re also trying get a feel for all of the top prospects as people to see what they’re all about and get a sense of their competitive nature, their mentality and their intelligence.

My favorite day is Tuesday, the weigh-in day. You get up, you’re pretty antsy, and you head over early to file into the big conference room with the rest of the league. The best part about going down to the Senior Bowl is seeing people that you used to work with or that you would see out on the road as an area scout. There’s a lot of good people in this league. Tuesday morning before the weigh-in is the first opportunity to catch up with old friends, and later on you try to get together with them and talk a little ball in between practices.



http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2017/1/28/14422402/the-linc-how-involved-is-jeffrey-lurie-going-to-be-in-2017


[#] Sat Jan 28 2017 06:32:17 EST from Dave Mangels

Subject: Mock draft round up: Mixon it up

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And #RaiseTheCat

The Senior Bowl is on Saturday, which unofficially kicks off draft season. With that comes mock drafts, fast and furious. Yesterday we looked a few, and since then a few more have come out. It’s crazy. Since we can never get enough of them, let’s take a look.

Matt Miller, Bleacher Report

1st - WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan

2nd - RB Joe Mixon, Oklahoma

Miller doesn’t give any write ups, but at least he gives two picks. Davis in the 1st, a lot of people can get behind that. Mixon in the 2nd.... where ever Mixon goes he’s going to generate controversy after video of him punching a woman went public in December. Mixon is talented, but the headlines he’s going to create could easily have teams leery of taking him that early.

Bucky Brooks, NFL

Teez Tabor - CB, Florida: The Eagles need a long, rangy corner capable of playing bump-and-run or Cover 2 in Jim Schwartz's scheme.

Brooks is right, as is any mock drafter who gives the Eagles a CB in the 1st round. It’s a short and long term need for the Eagles. But this mock has some curious selections. Corey Davis isn’t taken in the 1st round, DeShaun Watson falls all the way to 27th to the Chiefs, while Jabrill Peppers goes 5th overall. This doesn’t seem very realistic.

Luke Easterling, USA Today

Note: This is a Senior Bowl and Shrine Game only mock.

WR Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky

Another Hilltopper who is gaining steam in recent weeks, Taylor was arguably the best receiver on either squad this week. He’s big enough, fast enough, and athletic enough to be an NFL starter.

This is a fun one, what if teams only drafted guys from the All Star games? Of the players on the board, this one makes a lot of sense. Taylor has speed the Eagles need at WR, and he’s got a lot of upside. He could be a real target for them in the draft in the middle rounds, so in this mock he’s definitely a strong option.

And since this is all in good fun, let’s #RaiseTheCat in honor of the Sixers on ESPN tonight and throw in an NBA one because why not.

8. Sixers: ​Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky | Freshman

Monk is a version of Smith that's been updated for the modern NBA: less dunks and playmaking, but more pull-up threes. That may make him more valuable, and his shooting alone gives him a high floor in the NBA. For a team like Philly, he'd be perfect playing off Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. He can create his own shot, or if Ben Simmons is initiating offense, he'll be able to catch-and-shoot just the same. Think about the way CJ McCollum operates in Portland—including some iffy defense—and that's what Monk could bring to the table in the next few years.

I’m game.



http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2017/1/27/14415936/philadelphia-eagles-mock-draft-round-up-joe-mixon-taywan-taylor


[#] Sat Jan 28 2017 06:32:17 EST from Dave Mangels

Subject: Eagles Senior Bowl interviews

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The team searches for depth at DL

Senior Bowl practices wrapped up yesterday. Throughout them, teams spend time with players, ranging from informal chats before and after practices to formal sit downs. The Eagles have met with at least 15 players during the week in Mobile:

OT Zach Banner, USC (Jimmy Kempski)

DE Keionta Davis, Tennessee-Chattanooga (Kempski)

RB Matthew Dayes, NC State (Kempski)

DT Ryan Glasgow, Michigan (Charlie Campbell)

CB Damontae Kazee, San Diego State (Turron Davenport)

DE Tanoh Kpassagnon, Villanova (Kempski)

C Tyler Orlosky, West Virginia (Campbell)

LB Carroll Phillips, Illinois (Kempski)

C Ethan Pocic, LSU (Kempski)

DE Derek Rivers, Youngstown State (Kempski)

WR Artavis Scott, Clemson (Davenport)

DE Dawuane Smoot, Illinois (Kempski)

WR Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky (Kempski)

DT David Tomlinson, Alabama (Kempski)

DE Jordan Willis, Kansas State (Kempski)

A few take aways from this.

Like their Shrine Game interviews, the Eagles have clearly targeted WR, DE and DT. All make sense: they have obvious need at WR, they need to add to their pass rush, and even if they are able to retain Bennie Logan, they need DT depth with Taylor Hart converting to OT.

The lack of CB interviews shouldn’t alarm anyone: most of the top prospects aren’t there: Marlon Humphrey, Adoree Jackson, Sidney Jones, Marshon Lattimore, Teez Tabor and Quincy Wilson are underclassmen while Cordrea Tankersly declined an invite. And, as always, there is the caveat that this is only a list of players the Eagles were seen to have interviewed.

Meeting with Pocic and Orlosky is also obvious in the wake of them reportedly moving on from Jason Kelce this offseason. Along with Ohio State’s Pat Elflein, Pocic and Orlosky are the top tier of center prospects. Though the Eagles like Isaac Seumalo at center, with Allen Barbre also not safe and at the very least on the last year of his contract, doing full diligence on options at interior line in the draft makes sense.

Another thing to keep in mind is that with eight picks in the draft and the Senior Bowl having most of the top seniors in it, while you can be sure a couple of players from the game will be Eagles, they haven’t been as reliant on the Senior Bowl as they were under Andy Reid.

From 2010-2012, the Eagles took six players each year that were Senior Bowl participants. Since then, only nine combined: one in 2013, four in 2014, and two each in 2015 and 2016.

Current Eagles Vinny Curry, Brandon Graham, Jordan Hicks, Jordan Matthews, Jalen Mills, Marcus Smith, Jaylen Watkins, and Carson Wentz all played in the game. As did former Eagles draft picks/UDFAs Nate Allen, Brandon Boykin, Jamar Chaney, Kurt Coleman, Riley Cooper, Nick Foles, Alex Henery, Chas Henry, Josh Huff, Emil Igwenagu, Jaiquan Jarrett, Lane Johnson, Trevard Lindley, Curtis Marsh, Casey Matthews, Marvin McNutt, Eric Rowe, Chris Polk, and Danny Watkins.



http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2017/1/27/14403778/philadelphia-eagles-2017-senior-bowl-interviews


[#] Sat Jan 28 2017 06:32:18 EST from Ben Natan

Subject: Jalen Robinette Has a Star Skill Set

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The Air Force wide out's potential is obvious. Can he put it together to become a a major NFL contributor?

Air Force loves winning with the ground game, ironically enough. The Falcons threw the ball only 150 times last year while running it over 800 times. That's right, Air Force ran the ball 5.5 times more than they threw it. On their 150 passes, they only completed 68 attempts. So, it is a bit strange that we are looking at a receiver from a team that didn't even complete 70 passes all year.

Oh. I see.

Despite being in one of the nation's most run heavy offenses, senior wide receiver Jalen Robinette miraculously had a 950 yard season. How? Well when Air Force does throw the ball, they are usually taking shots downfield and luckily for the 6-3, 218 pound receiver (and Air Force), he is pretty damn good at taking advantage of those downfield shots.

Robinette was the go-to guy for the Falcons. Robinette accounted for over half of Air Force's catches, 55% of their yards through the air and about 43% of their passing touchdowns. Those catch and yardage figures are skewed by the offense he comes from, but they are both easily the best market share numbers in the class, an impressive feat regardless. Robinnette was incredibly efficient too. On his 35 catches, he averaged a mind boggling 27.4 yards a catch and scored on a healthy 17.4% of his catches. Robinnete was nothing but big plays during his career. In his four years, he never averaged less than 18 yards per catch and over his last two, averaged over 24 yards per catch both years. He is an incredibly dangerous big play threat who had three 75 yard catches this passed season. That is preposterous.

The Air Force passing offense is unsurprisingly simple and due to defenses selling out to stop the run. They use a lot of long developing ISO-Routes and ask receivers to get open with their athletic ability primarily. Robinette is so much faster than his competition and wins inside leverage against the coverage. He catches the pass with bodies around him and immediately transitions to a runner, breaking a tackle to run in for a touchdown. Plays like these show how incredible of an athlete Robinette is and makes it easy to see why his name has been getting more and more steam recently.

Again, defenses are so focused not he run that Robinnete is singled up deep with the cornerback who has no chance against Robinette's speed and size. Robinette adjusts to a poor pass and immediately keeps running for the score.

With Robinette, physicality is trained into his brain through the disciplines of the Air Force offense. When a receiver is asked to be an integral part of the blocking hundreds of plays throughout the season, usually they won't have issues catching the ball with bodies around them. 

Robinette has no fear going over the middle despite that safety coming in hot and catches the ball against contact. He does an excellent job shielding the cornerback with the ball in the air and extending his arms to come down with a pass. His ball skills are arguably his best asset.

Once again, Robinette does a great job adjusting with the ball in the air and comes down with it despite a defender being draped on him. He is just an incredibly strong player and that is evident during and after the catch.

That puny cornerback has no chance to tackle Robinette on the curl and Robinette simply turns, breaks the tackle and accelerates for the score. In the Mountain West, there are so few cornerbacks who match with his size and athletic ability.

The big concern with Robinette is mostly the learning curve. He is coming from a very simplistic offense that utilizes lots of linear routes that just ask Robinette to be the better, bigger athlete, which he often is. His ball skills and physicality are encouraging for his translation to the NFL, but the step up in complexity and competition will be a difficult adjustment to make.

NFL Comparison: It is hard to make a clear comparison given what Robinette is asked to do, but it is hard not to see his ceiling being somewhere near Martavis Bryant. Robinette is a huge, strong receiver with great speed for his size and is a threat to score any time the ball is in the air and can run well after the catch. Of course, failure to adjust properly to the NFL could put him closer to Stephen Hill, but that is going to be the coaching challenge.

I am very interested to see his Combine to see if he is really a great athlete, or just was made to look like one by Mountain West defenders. A strong Combine from Robinette could confirm him as the high upside pick of the year. There is no offense he directly translates to, but I bet the Eagles could be a big fan of his strong hands, big size and ability to run after the catch. Robinette should be a mid round pick due to his rawness, but with good coaching, he has the potential to be one of the better receivers to come out of this class.



http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2017/1/27/14411942/2017-nfl-draft-scouting-report-jalen-robinette


[#] Sat Jan 28 2017 06:32:19 EST from Adam Hermann

Subject: The Linc: Joe Douglas has been learning in preparation for this offseason

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Time to put it all to work.

Eagles news and notes for 1/27

Eagles' Douglas adjusting to new focus - Daily News

MOBILE, Ala. – The Eagles have been touting Joe Douglas' role in the 2017 NFL draft, but they haven't said as much about Douglas influencing free agency.

That's because Douglas has worked his whole career in college scouting, the team's 40-year-old, first-year player personnel vice president acknowledged Wednesday. When it comes to veteran players and how they might fit into the Eagles' plans and salary cap, the lead role definitely belongs to de facto general manager Howie Roseman.

"I've really tried to focus this year on diving into the pro side, getting to know the league as well as I could, getting to know our team as best I could," Douglas said Wednesday, in an afternoon session with reporters at the Senior Bowl.

"It's definitely been an adjustment – for so long, just strictly worrying about college, and going on (campus) visits. It's definitely been a challenge . . . I'm learning a lot from Howie as far as the agent side of the business, the salary cap, the trade side," Douglas said. "I've been in on a ton of those meetings. I'm just learning a lot."

Douglas stressed that the draft board, though his responsibility, will be informed by everyone on the scouting and coaching side who puts in work evaluating players.

Roseman said earlier this month that Douglas has "got a way of looking (at) and evaluating players, that is different than what we've done in the past, and quite frankly, we needed that."

Eagles Stay Or Go Part 11: Stephen Tulloch to Joe Walker - CSN Philly

Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Cap hit: $596K

Roob: Vaitai overcame a shaky first game against the Redskins and really put together some solid tape before injuries ended his season prematurely. Where does he fit in? Too early to say. He could conceivably move in at right tackle when Jason Peters finally retires or moves on and Lane Johnson – presuming he’s not serving another suspension – swings out to left tackle. Or could be that he’s just earmarked to be a back-up tackle for the next eight years. But either way, Vaitai showed enough to show that he belongs here in some role.

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: Had Lane Johnson not been suspended, Vaitai probably would have spent his rookie season on the bench. Instead, the fifth-round pick was thrown into the fire and nearly melted. But he was able to withstand a terrible first game and proved to himself and the team that he belongs in the league. With him and Isaac Seumalo, the Eagles drafted two linemen who can grow in Philly.

Verdict: STAYS

Joe Walker

Cap hit: $555K

Roob: A darkhorse, but one that I think has a shot. Joined the Eagles as a seventh-round draft pick out of Oregon of all places last year and spent the year on injured reserve with a torn ACL suffered in the Steelers preseason game. Walker played well before he got hurt, has some size, seems to be very good against the run. Walker is one of those guys who probably won’t ever be a starter, but considering the Eagles’ lack of depth at linebacker, has a chance to not just make the team in the summer, but stick around as a backup linebacker and a special teamer. He’s a longshot but I say he stays.

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: It’s a shame Walker ruptured his ACL last preseason because the seventh-rounder had a really good training camp and was going to be the team’s backup and play a role on special teams. He’s been in Philly as he heals from the ACL injury and will spend the offseason here. If he can recover fully, he should be able to compete for that role again.

Verdict: STAYS

Building A Corps - Iggles Blitz

You never who is going to become a stud WR. Antonio Brown wasn’t supposed to be nearly this good when he came out. Julian Edelman was beyond a long shot. Jordy Nelson was well-regarded, but not to the level of player he’s become.

You draft players like that with the idea that they will be part of a WR corps. If they become even more, that’s great. You just can’t count on that.

The Eagles may try to sign Alshon Jeffrey in free agency. Or they may get Mike Williams or Corey Davis in the draft. Those are the only really high level WR targets I know of for now. That doesn’t mean the Eagles have to get one of those guys. They can focus on building a WR corps.

Sterling Sharpe was an elite WR in the early 1990s. Brett Favre loved him. Sharpe suffered a serious neck injury and had to retire. Green Bay won the Super Bowl without him. Their WRs were Robert Brooks, Antonio Freeman, Don Beebe, Terry Mickens and Desmond Howard. Andre Rison was added during the season in a trade.

Brooks was very good, but not an elite Jerry Rice/Herman Moore/Michael Irvin level of player. Brooks and Freeman were 3rd round picks that developed into key players for the Packers and helped them to win a Super Bowl and almost a second one.

There are no elite receiver prospects here in Mobile, but there are some good players. You can make an argument the Eagles should draft a couple of them to build up the overall set of WRs.

WR Picture And How To Improve There - PE.com

MOBILE, Ala. -- The offseason mantra for the Eagles is very clear, and it is repeated often: Surround quarterback Carson Wentz with the right pieces. Make Wentz, who was so very impressive in his rookie season, the best he can be in Year 2 and beyond. What that means, exactly, remains to be seen, but it no doubt includes making the wide receiver positions more productive.

It’s no secret that the Eagles didn’t get enough from the wide receivers in 2016. Jordan Matthews worked hard and caught 73 passes, but he scored only three touchdowns as he battled an ankle injury late in the year. Nelson Agholor, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2015, didn’t take the hoped-for step forward and produced 36 catches, 365 yards, and two touchdowns. Dorial Green-Beckham, acquired in a late-summer trade with Tennessee in exchange for backup offensive lineman Dennis Kelly, contributed 36 receptions, 392 yards, and two scores.

Neither Rueben Randle nor Chris Givens, signed to one-year, low-risk, hope-for-reward contracts late in free agency, made it out of the preseason. Rookie receivers Paul Turner and Bryce Treggs showed they were still a ways away from contributing at a high level in the NFL, if at all.

So the Eagles enter this offseason knowing that, as they add pieces around Wentz both on offense and, truthfully, on defense, wide receiver is also on the want-to-improve menu. Some of that improvement has to come from within with new wide receivers coach Mike Groh overseeing the position. It’s certainly also likely that, in some way, shape, or form, the Eagles add some significant pieces.

Again, how they do it remains one of the offseason’s great stories to follow. Free agency, the draft, trades … isn’t everything on the table for the Eagles?

Eagles top cornerback prospect out at Senior Bowl - Inquirer

MOBILE, Ala. – Tre'Davious White is perhaps the top cornerback prospect at the Senior Bowl this week, but the LSU product missed practice on Thursday and will not play in Saturday's game after injuring his ankle on Wednesday.

The Eagles still had two practices to evaluate White, who excelled for NFL personnel this week. The injury occurred in front of Eagles executive Howie Roseman, who was seen watching White being evaluated on the sideline.

"He's been ultra-productive," Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas said of White. "He's tough as nails. He plays nickel, he plays outside. He has ball skills. And you can stack his production level up with any cornerback coming out in this draft."

White was a four-year starter at LSU and was a first-team all-American as a senior. Pro Football Focus rated him as the top cornerback in college football, when he played both inside and outside.

"I feel like I have some of the best feet in the country," White said. "I've won way more battles than I've lost."

Douglas also praised White's leadership, noting that White wore the coveted No. 18 that LSU gives to players who are supposed to be the epitome of what they want their program to represent. Eagles defensive tackle Bennie Logan wore the number when he played for LSU.

White is close with Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills, who was a college teammate. Mills said that his finger-wagging after successful plays is a tribute to White.



http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2017/1/27/14407472/the-linc-joe-douglas-has-been-learning-in-preparation-for-this-offseason


[#] Sat Jan 28 2017 06:32:20 EST from Adam Hermann

Subject: Report: Eagles part ways with player personnel executive Rick Mueller

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A little housekeeping.

According to a report from the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane, the Eagles have parted ways with Rick Mueller, who was a player personnel executive with the team for parts of the last five years.

From McLane, the move isn’t yet official, but it more than underway, according to his sources:

While Mueller remains under contract with the team, he no longer has an office at the NovaCare Complex and has begun search for a new job, the sources said.

Mueller has not responded to a recent request for comment. An Eagles spokesman said that he was "still employed here."

Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman re-hired Mueller last offseason after he was returned control over the team’s personnel decisions.

This move comes on the heels of the team vaulting vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas into a more involved role this offseason in advance of free agency and April’s draft.

According to the team’s site, Mueller “coordinated all aspects of the pro scouting department, including preparation for the free agency signing period, advance scouting of upcoming opponents and evaluation of all players in the NFL and other professional football leagues.”

It would seem, with Douglas stepping up, Mueller’s responsibilities were rendered redundant.

Mueller’s NFL career began in 1994 with the Jaguars as a college scout. He served as director of player personnel with the Saints for six years, from 2000 to 2006. He joined the Eagles in 2012 as a player personnel executive, and was named director of pro personnel in 2014, where he served for a year before being let go as part of the Chip Kelly regime change in Kelly’s third and final year with the Eagles.



http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2017/1/26/14399958/report-eagles-part-ways-with-player-personnel-executive-rick-mueller


[#] Sat Jan 28 2017 06:32:21 EST from Adam Hermann

Subject: The NFL’s next-gen stats are available to the public, which is cool

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Numbers!

All throughout the 2016 season, NFL.com writers were tweeting out statistics about play length, maximum speed, and other numbers that simply weren’t available to the common sports viewer like you or me.

Today, that’s changed.

The NFL’s “next gen stats,” including things like the league’s fastest ball carriers (DeSean Jackson was third in the league at a peak speed of 22.6 MPH, which DEAR GOD), charts that show the trajectory of wide receivers’ routes throughout an entire game, and much more.

If you’re an NBA fan, and you’ve been able to play around with SportVU technology on the NBA site over the past couple years, this is very much akin to that stuff. Some of it is immediately accessible and valuable. Some of it is probably just noise. And some of these stats are probably going to take a little more time to figure out how to properly work into discussions of value and strategy.

But that’s one of the fun parts of the NFL, and sports in general, in 2017: we’re figuring out new ways to consume things, to understand things, and to evaluate things.

So jump in, mess around with those sliders, and look at numbers telling you how fast these athletic freaks are compared to your average human self.

Oh, and don’t forget to look at the air distance and air yards NFL.com has so graciously compiled, because it proves how completely and utterly useless the argument in favor of air yards was by football commentators who will remain nameless.

A sampling...

But, you know, let’s keep telling quarterbacks to just launch the ball down the field with reckless abandon and not consider literally everything else at work in the offense.

Hopefully, with these new, super fancy statistics, we can help people avoid sounding like such dummies in the future.



http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2017/1/26/14399050/the-nfls-next-gen-stats-are-available-to-the-public-which-is-cool


[#] Sat Jan 28 2017 06:32:22 EST from Dave Mangels

Subject: Mock draft round up: Eagles need a lotta more cornerbacks

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Or do they take a WR?

This week’s spin around the mock draft community is a deep dive, in that a few mock drafters are feeling feisty and giving two or three round mocks. That’s the good stuff.

Chad Reuter, NFL

1st - CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State

Desperate for help in the secondary, the Eagles find the draft's top corner waiting to be picked.

2nd - RB Alvin Kamara, Tennessee

3rd - WR DeDe Westbrook, Oklahoma

Let’s take a moment to notice that Chad Reuter does not write for Reuters. Opportunity missed.

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again, it’s a deep draft for cornerbacks. But with Mike Williams, Corey Davis, Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette of the the board, it’s a no brainer to take the #1 corner. Kamara gives the Eagles a runner/receiver to add to the stable of running backs, and Westbrook is a high risk, high reward speedster.

Dieter Kurtenbach, Fox Sports

1st - WR Mike Williams, Clemson

The Eagles need a cornerback and they need wide receivers. The wide receiver class isn’t as deep as the cornerback class — OK, it's not even close — so the Eagles can wait on helping out the secondary. They can’t get another player like Williams if they pass on him here.

2nd - CB Cameron Sutton, Tennessee

The Eagles need a cornerback desperately, and Sutton has first-round talent. That was an easy one.

Look this guy, using logic. Mike Williams will excite a lot of people. Sutton, with Desmond King and Adoree Jackson on the board, might not.

Eddie Brown, San Diego Tribune

1st - WR Mike Williams, Clemson

Carson Wentz, meet your new BFF. After suffering a scary, season-ending neck injury early last season, Williams looks as good as new. He is athletically in the same class as former Clemson stars Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins, despite being 6-foot-3, 225 pounds.

2nd - CB Garon Conley, Ohio State

3rd - RB Alvin Kamara, Tennessee

Wait, is Kamara available in the third? Chad Reuter and Eddie Brown should work that out. At least Brown isn’t mocking a 3-4 LB to the Eagles anymore.

Despite? Williams would be the second tallest WR on the roster behind Dorial Green-Beckham (Jordan Matthews is also 6’3”). Watkins and Hopkins are 6’1”.

Dan Kadar, SB Nation

CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State

Lattimore is a player who will rise throughout the draft process thanks to his sheer athleticism and foot speed. He’s not going to push a lot of receivers around, but his timing is excellent and he’s fast to locate the football.

Only one round in this mock. Boo this man.

If this mock were to play out (don’t worry, none of these will), taking Lattimore in a deep draft for cornerbacks when Corey Davis is on the board will spark some heated discussion. It’ll probably spark some in the comments here. The Eagles need a playmaker at corner, and he fits the bill, but we’re going to need some info on his finger wagging to really sell this as an Eagles pick.



http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2017/1/26/14397092/philadelphia-eagles-mock-draft-round-up-marshon-lattimore-mike-williams


[#] Sat Jan 28 2017 12:25:34 EST from Travis Hughes

Subject: NHL Skills Competition 2017: Start time, TV schedule and live stream

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Wayne Simmonds of the Flyers will compete in three events.

LOS ANGELES -- Wayne Simmonds and his fellow Metropolitan Division All-Stars will look to knock off competitors from the Atlantic, Central and Pacific Divisions at tonight’s NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Staples Center.

Simmonds, the lone Philly player rep at the weekend’s festivities, will participate in three events: the Skills Challenge Relay, the Four Line Challenge and the shootout. Everybody participates in that final event, a gigantic shootout that operates basically like one at the end of a regular season game. In the Skills Challenge Relay, Simmonds will be taking one-timers as part of the event’s first challenge. In the Four Line Challenge -- a new event this year -- Simmonds will shoot from center ice and attempt to score goals in any corner of the net.

In total, there are six events, each with varying point values. The team with the most points at the end of the competition will be declared the winner.

The Skills Competition can be seen on NBCSN in the United States, or streaming via NBC Live Extra or the NBC Sports app. In Canada, the event can be seen on CBC or Sportsnet. The Competition begins at 7 p.m. ET.

NHL Skills Challenge Relay

The Skills Challenge Relay is a timed relay event involving seven skaters and one goalie from each team, and it consists of four relays with five challenges each: (1) One Timers, with three shooters and one passer per team; (2) Passing, with one passer per team; (3) Puck Control, with one skater per team; (4) Stick-Handling, with one skater per team; and (5) Goalie Goals, with one goalie per team.

Simmonds will take part as a shooter in the one-timers portion of the relay, alongside Metropolitan Division teammates Seth Jones and Alex Ovechkin. He’ll be taking passes from Ryan McDonagh of the Rangers.

Here is the full breakdown of the event:

The team with the faster time in each head-to-head heat will earn one point, and the team with the fastest overall time will also earn one point.

The Four Line Challenge

This is a new event this year — replacing the always-entertaining Breakaway Challenge where players were allowed to show off their personality — and it seems ridiculously difficult. Shooters from each team will line up at one of four shooting positions: the near blue line, center ice, the far blue line and the far goal line. From the near blue line, shooters will attempt to score in the top two corners of the net, with each being worth one point. From center ice, shooters will attempt to score in any corner of the net, with goals in the lower corners worth one point and goals in the top corners worth three. From the far blue line, shooters will attempt to score in any corner or the five hole, with top corner goals worth three points and anything along the ice worth one. From the far goal line, shooters will aim for the five hole for goals worth 10 points. Goalies can be subbed in for this last shooting position, and if a goalie scores it is worth 20 points.

Simmonds will be in the center ice shooting position for the Metropolitan team.

Here are the official breakdowns from the NHL for the other events:

NHL Accuracy Shooting

Two shooters from each team will participate, with two additional players serving as passers. This event will consist of four head-to-head match-ups, with one shooter from each team per round. The goal is to hit four 15-inch diameter targets located in each corner of the net. The teams will be situated at opposite ends of the rink, and will alternate attempts. The shooter to hit all four targets in the fastest time wins.

Points Available: 6 -- The winner of each match-up scores one point; the player who hits all four targets in the fastest time scores the bonus point for his team. If a player breaks Daniel Sedin’s record of 7.3 seconds, they score one bonus point for their team.

NHL Fastest Skater

Two players from each team will test their speed, facing off against an opponent in a two-skater race. The race track for the head-to-head match-ups is the border of the rink split in half lengthways. Timing devices will record each skater to determine the winner of each match. If a race ends in a tie, each of the teams will be awarded one point. The skater with the fastest time in the head-to-head match-ups will skate a full lap of the outside border of the rink, in the direction of their choosing, in an attempt to break Dylan Larkin’s record (13.172 seconds). If, at the completion of the event, two skaters are tied for the fastest overall time, both skaters will skate a full lap of the rink in an attempt to break the historical best record.

Points Available: 6 – The winner of each match-up scores one point; the team with the fastest skater scores a bonus point; if the fastest skater is successful in breaking Dylan Larkin’s record of 13.172 seconds, an additional bonus point will be awarded to his team.

NHL Hardest Shot

Two shooters from each team will test their slap shot skill in a head-to-head match-up. Each player will attempt two shots, with teams alternating after each player. One puck will be placed 30 feet from the center of the net. Each shot will be calculated in miles per hour (mph), with the highest speed of their two shots recorded.

Points Available: 6 – The winner of each match-up scores one point; the team with the player who has the hardest shot scores one bonus point; if a player breaks Zdeno Chara’s record of 108.8 mph, they score one bonus point for their team.

NHL Shootout

The final event of the evening will be the NHL Shootout, and every player participates for goals worth one each.



http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2017/1/28/14424646/2017-nhl-all-star-skills-competition-events-time-tv-schedule-watch-online


[#] Sat Jan 28 2017 17:01:06 EST from Travis Hughes

Subject: Wayne Gretzky is going to coach Wayne Simmonds and the Metropolitan All-Stars

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LOS ANGELES -- John Tortorella of the Columbus Blue Jackets was supposed to be the head coach of the Metropolitan Division All-Stars here this weekend. He opted out, however, to care for his son’s — an Army Ranger on deployment — ailing dog.

So the Metro team needed a replacement, and ... well, who better than one of the greatest to ever play the game. Wayne Gretzky will fill in for Tortorella behind the bench for the All-Star Game, coaching the Metropolitan Division.

The NHL made the announcement Saturday afternoon prior to the All-Star Skills Competition at Staples Center.

Gretzky, of course, is a bit infamous as a hockey head coach. He served behind the bench for the Phoenix Coyotes — a team he at the time co-owned -- from 2004 until 2009, and in those four seasons he compiled a 141-161-24 record. The Coyotes never made a playoff appearance in those years.



http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2017/1/28/14426308/wayne-gretzky-is-going-to-coach-wayne-simmonds-and-the-metropolitan-all-stars


[#] Sat Jan 28 2017 19:36:31 EST from Travis Hughes

Subject: What happens when Chris Pronger goes into a corner with Justin Bieber?

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Pain.

Justin Bieber had a pretty big night at the NHL All-Star Celebrity Shootout, scoring a goal and notching an assist. In fact, that assist was on a goal scored by Eric Lindros, which is pretty much the weirdest thing ever.

Goal scored by Eric Lindros. Assisted by Justin Bieber. Those words were spoken over the Staples Center public address system today. I ... I don’t know.

But it wasn’t all good for Bieber. He went into the corner with Chris Pronger at one point, and yeah ... Pronger let up on him.

But oh my god look at this picture:

Pronger’s menacing smile is incredible. I miss him.



http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2017/1/28/14427050/what-happens-when-chris-pronger-goes-into-a-corner-with-justin-bieber


[#] Sat Jan 28 2017 20:37:47 EST from Travis Hughes

Subject: 2017 NHL Skills Competition results: Live updates from Los Angeles

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Wayne Simmonds and the Metropolitan Division take on the Pacific, Atlantic and Central Divisions here in L.A.

LOS ANGELES — Follow along below for live updates from the 2017 NHL All-Star Skills Competition.

Skills Challenge Relay: Metro gets two points, Central defeats Pacific.

Central: 1:44.03. Ryan Suter literally couldn’t lift a one timer off the ice and he hit the 30 second limit without scoring once. But Jonathan Toews picked him up with an excellent time in the passing accuracy portion, P.K. Subban nailed the puck control and Devan Dubnyk only needed a few cracks to hit the net from the opposite end of the ice. Maybe Dubynk should have taken Suter’s part.

Pacific: 2:03.12. Ryan Kesler handled one-timers fine and Cam Fowler handled the puck well. But Johnny Gaudreau messed up stick handling, Drew Doughty couldn’t hit the little passing accuracy net for his life, and Mike Smith couldn’t make up the difference with a quick goalie goal.

Atlantic: 1:39.69. Kyle Okposo hit the 30 second limit, but Frans Nielsen made up some time with an excellent shooting accuracy round. Nikita Kucherov was about flawless in the puck control section, but Auston Matthews messed up at least four times in the stick handling section. Carey Price, in all his brilliance, nailed the first attempt at the goalie goals to give the Atlantic the overall lead.

Metropolitan: 1:21.70. Flawless execution on the one-timers from Seth Jones, Alex Ovechkin and Wayne Simmonds. John Tavares had the fastest time on the passing. Justin Faulk nailed the puck control, and Sidney Crosby nailed stick handling. Braden Holtby was the weak link ... and even he wasn’t weak, scoring on maybe his fifth attempt. Bonus points, hooray!

Score after one event: Metropolitan 2, Central 1, Pacific 0, Atlantic 0.

The Four Line Challenge: Mike Smith nails 20 point shot, Simmonds scores for Metro.

Near blue line: Just one point here. Nikita Kucherov scored for the Atlantic Division, but Ryan McDonagh, Ryan Suter and Joe Pavelski all came up with goose eggs.

Center ice: Wayne Simmonds opened up with a goal in the lower corner, giving the Metropolitan their first point. Erik Karlsson hit the crossbar, but no points. Tyler Seguin missed. And Brent Burns sniped a top corner for three points to the Pacific.

Far blue line: Taylor Hall didn’t even hit the net. P.K. Subban attempt for a five point upper corner shot but juuuuust missed. Brad Marchand just barely missed on his two shots. Ryan Kesler missed his first shot and then let his kid shoot second. His kid is cute and all but ... yeah, he missed miserably.

Far goal line: Shea Weber missed and then subbed out for Carey Price. If goalies score, it’s worth 20 points instead of 10. But Price missed and the Atlantic ended with no pooints. Nathan MacKinnon missed, and then Corey Crawford subbed in and missed by about 5 inches. Bo Horvat hit the hole but it didn’t go in, but Mike Smith went five hole and won the competition for the Pacific with a 20 point shot.

Braden Holtby needed two goals to win it for the Metro, and he hit the corner but it didn’t go. His second shot missed the net. Luckily, only one overall point is awarded for the event.

Score after two events: Metropolitan 2, Central 1, Pacific 1, Atlantic 0.

Remaining events:

  • Accuracy Shooting
  • Fastest Skater
  • Hardest Shot
  • Shootout


http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2017/1/28/14427194/2017-nhl-all-star-skills-competition-results-updates


[#] Sun Jan 29 2017 03:54:24 EST from Dave Mangels

Subject: 2017 Senior Bowl

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Get one last glimpse at some future Eagles in pads

It’s Senior Bowl day, the game that caps off a week of NFL teams getting up close and personal with most of the top seniors in the draft. After doing everything from measuring them, watching them practice and meeting with them off the field throughout the week, the game is more a celebration of the process than a judgement of talent. Still, impressive games can be had, Brandon Graham was the 2010 MVP, and last year Dak Prescott took home the honor. It’s a great way to kick off draft season as a last look at some of the 2017 rookie class in pads.

Info

North RosterSouth Roster

Weigh-in results

Offensive skills position watch list

Defensive players watch list

Eagles interviews

Time: 2:30 ET

Network: NFL Network



http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2017/1/28/14424976/2017-senior-bowl-nfl-draft


[#] Sun Jan 29 2017 03:54:25 EST from Ben Natan

Subject: Senior Bowl Wrap Up

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The Senior Bowl Week is coming to a close and with the practices, the most important part, ending, it is time to look back on the week. A lot of guys were able to show off their abilities in an environment that takes them out of their college system or competition and instead puts them up against the best of the best using NFL concepts and practices. After a full week of practice, I asked some great football writers who were down there about guys who stood out. Here is what they had to say...

  • Emory Hunt of FootballGameplan.com was incredibly complimentary of Alabama tight end OJ Howard: "Howard was so criminally underutilized in the passing game at Alabama that I don't think many understand how good he really is as a receiver.  We knew about his ability to block, but it's been his route running, hands and acceleration out of his breaks that has been the most impressive. In my opinion, he's a Jeremy Shockey-like talent that will be an immediate impact player as a pro.  It'll be a huge steal for someone if he falls out of the Top 15." OJ Howard's lack of production was always a bit confusing in his four years at Alabama given how obviously gifted he is. Howard's strong week in mobile and potential to have a great combine might make him the top pass catching threat in the draft, period.
  • Hunt was also very taken with Mizzou cornerback, Arion Penton: "Penton was a star at the East-West Shrine Game, got the call up to the Senior Bowl and just picked up right where he left off. Size is not a skill, so don't let his 5'10 195lb frame fool you, Penton has very good hips and feet to go along with his ability to play the ball in the air.  He'll be a solid corner for an NFL team with the ability to play both outside and in the slot." Penton's name could get lost in the shuffle of a deep defensive back class, but the smaller cornerback did have a very productive career at Missouri, picking off 10 passes during his career and five this season. The Eagles do not seem to have a strict height requirement at cornerback so Penton should be on their radar.
  • The Eagles interviewed DT Dalvin Tomlinson, which should excite Eagles fans considering that Charles McDonald, a writer for Bleacher Report and The Falcoholic, was a big fan of what he saw from Tomlinson this week. McDonald thinks Tomlinson should be a day two pick and compares favorably to former Alabama defender, Jarran Reed, but Tomlinson offers more as a run defender. This is interesting due to Bennie Logan's being an impending free agent. Tomlinson would easily be able to slide into that tackle spot next to Fletcher Cox and offer a lot of the similar run stuffing abilities as Bennie while also providing pass rush potential.
  • There were a lot of stand out defensive linemen this week, according to McDonald. DT Tanzel Smart out of Tulane showed off his quickness and excelled in pass rush drills despite having a tough time against the run. Smart is a quick twitch defensive lineman who racked up over 18 TFLs last season. He would be an excellent mid round addition to the Eagles defensive line room.
  • Charles McDonald has been a big fan of DT Jaleel Johnson through the draft prospect, but Johnson's week was up and down, but there is reason to be excited about him: "Jaleel Johnson had a mixed performance this week. I spoke to handful of scouts and coaches this week that were high on him coming into the game including two scouts who thought he was the best defensive tackle on the rosters at the start of the week. Johnson had a decent performance in the one on ones, but where he shined was in the team drills. His block recognition and ability to string together moves against the run and the pass was impressive. The amount weight you put on the team drills versus the one on ones will decide how you grade Johnson's week. Situationally, he was excellent in the combo block drills and the team run drills. Since that's the closest situation that mirrors a game during the week, it'd be fair to place more weight on that." I doubt the Eagles go defensive tackle early in the draft, but Johnson is a name to keep an eye on throughout this process.
  • Everyone wants to hear about the receivers and luckily more than a few names stood out from who I talked to. Emory Hunt specifically brought up Chad Williams out of Grambling State. Hunt said "He's your quintessential Split End that shows very good route running skills and has an excellent set of hands." The 6-2, 195 pound receiver had over 1300 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns in his senior season. Charles McDonald was very impressed with Cooper Kupp, Zay Jones and Ryan Switzer. Kupp is particularly interesting because he was getting incredible hype all week and his strong performance against the impressive corners in Mobile combined with his insane college production is something to take note of.
  • OT Taylor Moton was a guy who impressed enough for Charles McDonald, Bleacher Report's Justis Mosqueda, and Optimum Scouting's Derrik Klassen to comment on. McDonald went as far to call Moton a first round tackle and said "it was funny watching him go through some of the bag drills was funny because he kept having to look at his feet to make sure he didn't trip over the bags. In the pass rush one on one drills he was phenomenal. He moves extremely well for a big man and was consistently able to mirror and drive against the smaller speed rushers. When rushers tried to bull rush he showed an almost perfect ability to anchor and not give up ground. Moton had a phenomenal week of practice and I'm expecting him to blow up the combine in February." Derrik Klassen was similarly impressed with Moton's blend of speed and quickness and insisted that he should be a tackle at the next level due to the value of those athletic traits on the outside. While the Eagles might not need tackle help immediately, they could benefit from investing in the offensive line this offseason. If Moton slips to round two, he would definitely be a great guy to target.
  • A guy Derrik Klassen was impressed with was Philly's own Haason Reddick. According to him, Reddick was moved around in practice a lot, playing off the ball and as a pass rusher, but was able to excel wherever coaches put him. Klassen does not think Reddick should be "pigeonholed" at the next level and that makes a lot of sense given Reddick's size. Reddick is smaller for an NFL defensive linemen, weighing under 230 pounds and measuring only at 6-1, but he was insanely productive getting behind the line of scrimmage at Temple. With the Eagles potentially looking for new bodies at linebacker this offseason, the local guy may make a lot of sense as an outside linebacker who can come up to stop the run, has the athletic ability to cover and can also be an outstanding blitzer.
  • Klassen also was a big fan of Marquez White, the FSU cornerback. White has a nice frame at 6-0 and 190 pounds and Klassen was complimentary of his athletic ability and aggressive playing style. That type of aggression would sit well with Jim Schwartz and a strong combine in February could vault White's stock.
Other things to take note of:
  • The Eagles interviewed Taywan Taylor, whom I love.
  • The Eagles mainly interviewed defenders and offensive linemen, which makes sense given where the strength of the Senior Bowl roster was. The amount of defensive linemen they interviewed may give some insight onto how they view the current unit.


http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2017/1/28/14423022/2017-senior-bowl-wrap-up


[#] Sun Jan 29 2017 11:02:46 EST from Ari Yanover

Subject: Claude Giroux has some advice for Wayne Simmonds at the All-Star Game

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Keep your shirt on. You know. If you gotta.

Claude Giroux has been to the All-Star Game before. Wayne Simmonds has not.

So like any good captain, Giroux had some advice for his teammate.

Aw, G cares.

This, of course, is a call back to when Simmonds made literally everyone’s day by somehow losing everything in a fight with Kevin Bieksa.

With obligatory creepy Corey Perry. Fortunately he isn’t there, so Simmonds won’t have to watch out for him!

Simmonds does appear to be listening to Giroux, though.

Well... I mean... he doesn’t have to, does he? Isn’t the All-Star Game for doing stuff you wouldn’t do in a normal game? Wouldn’t this be the time, if there ever was one, to actually lose the jersey and the underarmour and everything?

Though it is Simmonds’ choice. Maybe he’ll go with Giroux, after all... or maybe he’ll surprise us.

Either way, as long as there are some good three-on-three goals, we’ll all be winners!



http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2017/1/29/14429082/claude-giroux-has-some-advice-for-wayne-simmonds-at-the-all-star-game


[#] Sun Jan 29 2017 11:48:30 EST from Ari Yanover

Subject: Kimmo Timonen went on a cross-Atlantic adventure

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What a way to spend retirement.

Kimmo Timonen is no longer a professional hockey player. Then again, he’s 41 years old and a Stanley Cup Champion; he’s earned it.

So what to do when you’re retired? Apparently, you go on a cross-Atlantic trip. By boat.

captain kimmo vs the Atlantic is about to begin

A photo posted by Kime4Kids (@kime4kids) on

Well, that’s really ambitious - and quite the way to spend the new year!

Anyway, looks like Timonen finally made it.

That’s a bit longer than 22 days between social media posts, but considering the work that has to go into crossing a literal ocean, not to mention the likely perils at points during travel, the gap is understandable.

Either way, though: wow. Good to see it went well! And I suppose there wouldn’t be much reason to do it again if you’ve already done it once. Definitely not like Kimmo has to prove himself to anyone.

He’s retired at a relatively young age, but it’s cool to see he’s still out and about like this! Timonen is badass.



http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2017/1/29/14430000/kimmo-timonen-went-on-a-cross-atlantic-adventure


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