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[#] Sat Oct 21 2017 08:42:02 EDT from rss

Subject: One month after open heart surgery, Jon Dorenbos seems to be doing well

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Great news.

Jon Dorenbos seems to be doing well one month after having sudden open heart surgery. The former Philadelphia Eagles long snapper posted an update on his official Instagram account.

A post shared by Jon Dorenbos (@jondorenbos) on

You can mouse over the Instagram post or tap on the right side to bring up more pictures of Dorenbos. There’s also a video of him taking a hot shower for the first time in a long time. You can see just how emotional Dorenbos is.

Here’s the full caption of his post.

One month ago today I underwent emergency open heart surgery. My wife never left my side. She held my hand every step of the way. Life is crazy. One min I was a professional athlete, the next min I was fighting for my life. The video in this collage shows how the simplest things in life we sometimes take for granted. May we all be thankful for the beautiful people and world that surround us every day. To the UPENN Cardiac Care Nurses (Silver10) you all are #Saints - thank you! You make this world a better place. #SpecialPeople - Dr Bavaria, whom performed my surgery, I love you man!! You are a genius. You are an artist. You are a savant. Thank you for making valve replacement and aortic aneurysms your thing!! You are the best in the world for a reason. This world is a better place with you in it #ImAlive #goodDay

It’s great to see Dorenbos in positive spirits after his life was in danger. It’s also great to know his life was saved by the Eagles trading him to the Saints this summer.

Here’s wishing Dorenbos a speedy recovery.

[#] Sat Oct 21 2017 10:00:10 EDT from rss

Subject: College Football Week Eight NFL Draft Preview: 5 prospects for Eagles fans to watch

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Keep an eye on these guys.

Week eight of the 2017 college football season is here! Today features a good slate of games and always with good games comes great opportunities for NFL Draft prospects to boost their profile. Who should Eagles fans keep an eye on today?

  • Derrick Nnadi, Defensive Tackle, FSU: FSU is essentially in a throwaway year after losing their starting quarterback, but that does not mean they lack talent elsewhere on the roster. Derrick Nnadi is a physical player sitting in the middle of a talented defensive line. He is strong with a high motor and is one of the better interior defenders in college football. With five tackles for a loss heading into this week, he will face a big test against Louisville (12 PM ET on ESPN). Lamar Jackson can take a game over by himself but if Nnadi can create pressure up the middle and block running lanes, it could be a long day for the Cardinals.
  • Chad Thomas, Edge Defender, Miami: Miami’s renaissance season is due in part to their strong defensive player. Chad Thomas, a senior leader on the unit, has been incredibly disruptive coming off the edge against the run and the pass. Today Miami faces Syracuse (3:30 PM ET on ESPN), who has acted like a sort of giant killer after knocking off Clemson last week. Syracuse has an explosive offense and Thomas will need to bring his best to make sure Miami isn’t the Orange’s next victim.
  • Arrion Springs, Cornerback, Oregon: Arrion Springs has been somewhat beleaguered by bad play over his career but he is turning in a solid season in his final year at Oregon and may get looks as a mid day cornerback prospect. The six foot corner plays with excellent physically and improving ball skills. Today Springs will be on the other end of UCLA and their prolific passing game (4 PM ET on Pac 12 Network). Josh Rosen has a habit of letting one interception turn into two interceptions and so on... So a strong game from Springs could be the difference between a win or a loss for the Ducks.
  • Saquon Barkley, Running Back, Penn State: There is not much to be said about Saquon Barkley that has not be said, because he is amazing. However today will be his biggest test of the season again Don Brown’s Michigan defense (7:30 PM ET on ABC). Barkley has had a really nice season to this point but he has a chance for a signature game tonight against one of the best units in the country.
  • Josh Adams, Running Back, Notre Dame: One of the emerging names in the running back conversation is Notre Dame’s Josh Adams. The 6’2”, 225 pound back has great size and has been dominating his junior season averaging 110 yards a game on the ground at nine yards per carry. He is fast, powerful and surprisingly agile for his size and he will be a handful tonight for USC’s defense (7:30 PM ET on NBC). Notre Dame’s offense is firing on all cylinders right now and Adams could have a big night to upset the Trojans.

[#] Sat Oct 21 2017 08:53:37 EDT from rss

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There’s an old adage about good teams learning how to win even when they don’t play their best game. It does not apply to the Sixers or the Celtics after a truly terrible Friday night basketball contest. Both teams were sloppy and choppy in a game that was officiated worse than the Eagles 28-23 win…

[#] Sat Oct 21 2017 11:05:08 EDT from rss

Subject: Checking out the competition: Edmonton Oilers with Patrick Olsen

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Kelly and Pat Olsen from The Copper & Blue chat ahead of today’s game against the Oilers.

Kelly is joined by Patrick Olsen from The Copper & Blue to have a chat about what we should expect from the hockey team the Oilers when they make their first visit to The Farg this afternoon. Our boys are coming off a less-than-impressive meeting with the Predators, and the Oilers are coming off a pretty exciting OT win over the Blackhawks, so we’ll see if momentum plays a role. Here’s what we chatted about:

  • Connor McDavid’s extreme greasiness
  • What it is like to have a front office led by Peter Chiarelli
  • The often-overlooked charm of old NHL arenas like the Spectrum and Rexall Place
  • Okay, we talk a lot about Connor McDavid.

Puck drops early today; it’s a 1 p.m. start on NBC Sports Philly. Let’s go Flyers!

[#] Sat Oct 21 2017 11:30:01 EDT from rss

Subject: Flyers vs. Oilers preview: Getting back on track

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Brandon Manning owns Connor McDavid, even though he’s probably not even going to be playing today.

The Flyers look to get back on track when they welcome in Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers for a 1 p.m. puck drop on Saturday afternoon. The matinee will air on NBCSP locally and on radio at 97.5 The Fanatic.

Coming off a disappointing 1-0 loss against Nashville to snap their modest two-game winning streak, the Flyers will need to tread carefully against a slumping (2-4, 4 points) but dangerous Oilers team that features arguably the best player in the game today in Connor McDavid.

After losing in the Western Conference Semifinals to the Anaheim Ducks a year ago, the Oilers have sputtered to start 2017-18. A McDavid opening night hat trick—much like the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds—led the Oilers to a 3-0 win, but they’d wait until two nights ago to get their second win with a 2-1 overtime decision over the Blackhawks.

For the Flyers, they’re just thankful to be done with playing the Nashville Predators. Two of the Flyers’ three losses have been to Nashville, who the Flyers wouldn’t play again until the Stanley Cup Final should both teams make it. Aside from the Predators, the Flyers have been pretty solid, with their only other loss being a shutout in Los Angeles where Jonathan Quick was just phenomenal.

To get back in the win column, Dave Hakstol’s club will have to get back to business on the man-advantage, an area in which they went 0 for 5 against the Predators on Thursday. They also need to generate and get more shots through traffic and on net at even strength. The folks over at had the Flyers at just a 42.86% Corsi For in that game.

That being said, the Flyers did have several dangerous chances that could have easily beaten Pekka Rinne in that game, namely Claude Giroux’s wraparound attempt and a couple of nice chances from Travis Konecny and Wayne Simmonds in front.

Looking ahead, the Flyers will face an Oilers team that will shoot from anywhere, much like the Panthers did early in the week. Edmonton actually leads the league with a 58.8% Corsi For through six games, just ahead of those Panthers. The Flyers will have to contend with McDavid, who has eight points (3G, 5A) in six games, but could miss out on the Oilers’ other dynamic forward, Leon Draisaitl, who has been out with a concussion.

There’s also the whole Brandon Manning and Connor McDavid drama, which dates back two years when the two tangled up and resulted in a broken clavicle for McDavid. Manning has since answered for the hit, but there’s probably still bad blood there, even though Manning probably will not even play today. He’ll likely sit again for Travis Sanheim, who was excellent on Thursday against Nashville.

In net, Oilers starter Cam Talbot has had a tough start to the year. After winning 42 games and finishing fourth in the Vezina Trophy voting a year ago, the 30-year-old has struggled to a 3.17 GAA and a .901 SV% to start the season. He’s also been pulled twice since his opening night shutout of the Calgary Flames.

Brian Elliott could draw back in for the Flyers after watching Michal Neuvirth play the last two games as coach Hakstol keeps his goaltending rotation going. Elliott is 3-1 with a 3.25 GAA and an .884 SV%. The veteran has benefitted from massive goal support in his starts, with the Flyers averaging 5.25 goals per game when he starts as oppose to just 1.6 in games Neuvirth has started so far.

The only other potential lineup change could be the inclusion of Jordan Weal, who missed Thursday’s game with an unspecified injury but practiced with the team yesterday. If he can play, he’ll likely slot into Jori Lehtera’s role on the second line.

Flyers lineup (subject to change):


Giroux - Couturier - Voracek

Weal/Lehtera - Filppula - Simmonds

Weise - Patrick - Konecny

Leier - Laughton - Raffl


Provorov - MacDonald

Gostisbehere - Hagg

Sanheim - Gudas




[#] Sat Oct 21 2017 12:00:02 EDT from rss

Subject: Is the NFL

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In some ways, the integration is complete

The NFL returns to London this week. Last time they were there, I just happened to be there as well.

England, despite its perceived and at times real snobbery towards America, loves America. The omens were immediate.

The gate at Heathrow welcomed you to... America. In a glorified waiting room was a large photo of the Atlanta skyline. Having just sat on a plane for nine hours from Atlanta, I didn’t need to see a picture taken down the street from where I live. Thanks Delta. American culture is everywhere, it dominates the television, not just in channel selections, with everything from SyFy to Turner Classic Movies on offer, but in programming, they even have Law & Order marathons. Starbucks are just as omnipresent. Convenience stores have British snacks but American drinks. England is taking more than they are giving.

With a vacation that coincided with an NFL game, the Jaguars hosting the Ravens, we had considered going. But watching the Jaguars play is about as unappealing as it gets, and seeing the Ravens play a game they should win is a non-starter for my wife, who is a Steelers fan. So of course the Jaguars were highly entertaining in a blow out. Oh well.

An opportunity missed, but there was another one that evening (1pm games are at 6pm): to see how watching a game at the bar with strangers compares in the two nations, if it does at all. Everyone has experienced watching a game at a bar, sharing the camaraderie with strangers and exchanging at least mild insults with people in your rivals gear. Invariably, someone on a team that nobody cares about will make a play that the whole bar will react to. Does a country with next to no history with the sport have the same attitude?

It almost didn’t happen, and made me wonder just how much the city, let alone the country, cares.

After two days of walking around most of central London, one thing that struck me is how little the city appears to care about the NFL. Spend a few days walking around the key parts of any major American city and you’re bound to stumble upon at least a few places that advertise that they show Premiere League or Champions League games, and possibly even that it’s a particular team bar. There are distinctive soccer bars, and they aren’t hard to find by the naked eye, and easily found on the internet.

In the London that I saw, there was none of that for the NFL. Nobody—nobody—had any signage that said they were the place to catch NFL action. Finding a team specific bar, forget it. The reason for this was straightforward: whereas the exception to bars and restaurants in America is that there is no TV, in London it is the opposite: few establishments bother putting up a TV. You go to a restaurant to eat, and a pub to drink and socialize, if you want to watch TV that’s what your TV at home is for.

But there had to be somewhere to go. Googling for spots was nearly fruitless, mostly just lists of places that have the UK’s NFL rights carrier, Sky Sports (and they were incorrect anyway as they listed a pub a few blocks from where I stayed that didn’t have a TV). That’s a bit like looking for an NHL bar in the South and just being told which bars have sports on TV, it wasn’t at all helpful. Eventually, on the seventh or eighth page of Google results, I found what appeared to be the best substitute for the classic American sports bar.

Riley’s, a couple of blocks from Trafalgar Square, looked to check most of the boxes for standard fare American local chain sports bar: TVs full of sports, games such as pool and darts, and a menu more American than British, with wings, nachos, chicken fingers, loaded fries, and of course burgers. Britons love their burgers. The only thing missing was a “Philly steak” (which some places do have) but since no one who ever calls it a “Philly steak” gets it right, it wasn’t really missing. Even the fish and chips were in their own small section of British food.

Which brings us to the stereotype of British food being bad. Like other stereotypes, this one is wrong. The problem with British food isn’t the taste, as everything I had was delicious. In some ways, British food is better, the pre-made food available at kiosks and convenience stores is of superior quality to ours, and even the junk food is better, potato chips (yes, “crisps”) aren’t greasy and don’t leave a residue of flavoring on your fingers, to say nothing of how we really need Cheese and Onion chips in America.

No, the problem with British food is the lack of range. There are Indian, Italian, and tapas restaurants everywhere, with plenty of French ones mixed throughout and no shortage of pizza options if you visit London. But every British restaurant has essentially the same menu: a burger, perhaps a fish and chips (though most places with fish and chips have only fish and chips), or some pies, and not much else. Every place with Sunday brunch has a traditional English breakfast, and if you’re lucky, more than one other option. If you like brown food, or if you dislike having choices on your menu, England is the place for you. Adding to the frustration of similarity, nearly every pub near where we stayed was owned by the same group, so they all had the exact same food on offer. I found this to be the case in other sections of town as well, though seemingly to a lesser degree. But even the true independent pubs didn’t have many more options, essentially everyone has the same menu just dressed up a little differently.

Anyways, Riley’s was basically like going to Buffalo Wild Wings: football on every TV, an overworked kitchen and staff, fried foods, plenty of beer, and an angry Eagles fan. In defense of the fan (not me), the early game that was originally scheduled to be on their projected screen, which was Sky’s game of the week, was Giants-Eagles, so Riley’s website said they would be showing that on their big screen, and the bartenders were under the impression that was the case. But Sky had switched the game to the Lions-Falcons, a more appealing game on paper. A dude in a Brian Dawkins jersey seemed disappointed. An older American gentleman (all fans encountered were English, unless otherwise specified) who was also an Eagles fan was quite upset at this change, and then a Giants fan joined him in complaining to the staff in what must have been the only moment of unity between the two fanbases on game day in the history of the rivalry. Eventually the game was put up on most of the smaller screens they had, which was more than enough for me. I can’t say the same for the extra from Silver Linings Playbook fight scene, but he had no choice but to live with it. I was more interested to get a glimpse of what NFL fans in the UK are like than zero in on a game I didn’t expect to be able to watch in the first place.

Unsurprisingly, they’re a lot like American fans. The major difference, understandably, was how they became fans. Arriving early, a guy in a Texans uniform snagged the large table behind us for the rest of his soon to arrive friends, who all wound up supporting different teams. With some time to kill, I just had to ask how a foreigner becomes a fan of the Houston Texans, a team with barely any history. I still don’t know how they have any fans in the UK, if they do. The man, whose name I didn’t catch, isn’t a Texans fan. He got the jersey because in his fantasy league the winner gets a jersey of their choice. He isn’t a big fan of any particular team, but his best player that season, 2015, was DeAndre Hopkins, so it made sense to get his jersey. Further proving that his fandom is towards the sport than a team, he also had a Jaguars hat he got while at the game earlier in the day. He found the duality absurd as well.

His story might seem strange, but it isn’t. How do you pick a team in a league that is played an ocean away? There’s no wrong answer, and for the NFL, that’s not so bad. Virtually every team was represented at Riley’s, including some of the worst teams or ones with the smallest fanbases were represented, with Jets, Titans, Chargers, Cardinals, and Bengals jerseys, and someone in a Greg Little Browns jersey. I also encountered as many Jacksonville fans inside the bar, who were English, as I did outside the bar all week, who were traveling Americans. Two.

And everyone was playing fantasy football. Everyone. London may or may not be able to support a full time NFL team, but it certainly can support fantasy football.

They still have something to learn: they’re too nice (a point re-enforced the next night at Emirates Stadium when the man next to us was politely asked “sir everyone else is sitting can you please sit down too?” rather than a “down in front!”). A few tables over were a pair of Cowboys fans who were nice to me. A man named Mitchell in an Ezekiel Elliott jersey gave me a half-hearted boo when he saw my Eagles shirt, then posed for a picture with me. This is not the way it is supposed to work.

Maybe it was for the better. He and his friend were far outnumbered by Eagles fans, who were the most represented team that day. That might have been because the Eagles-Giants game was originally scheduled to be the featured game, but there only were just a handful of Giants fans. Eagles fans showing up in droves is the way it is supposed to work.

One such group of fans was a lovely Eagles fan couple from Edinburgh. Frazer and his girlfriend, who had come down to go the Ravens-Jaguars game, joined us at our table. His method of choosing the Eagles was no less unorthodox than anyone else’s. Years ago his friend bought Madden, and together, neither having never ever seen a NFL game, let the game randomly pick their teams, and they played a game despite not knowing anything about it. His friend got the Patriots, he got the Eagles. Both have been diehards ever since.

Watching the Eagles race out to an early lead only to see it slip away, in more ways than one it felt like home. Adam Thielen made a dazzling catch that had the place purring. Everyone looked at other strangers with the same confused look on the ruling of Marcus Cooper’s premature touchdown celebration turned fumble. A German Ravens fan got mad at nothing in particular. When Jake Elliott kicked his way into Eagles lore, the whole place nuts. There was the agony of Lions fans, the ecstasy of Falcons fans, and the disbelief by everyone else when the refs took away a touchdown for Detroit. And everyone hates Tom Brady.

It was football. In London. This just might work.

[#] Sat Oct 21 2017 12:55:02 EDT from rss

Subject: Previewing the Eagles-Redskins game (and giving away tickets)

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Listen to BGN Radio on SportsRadioWIP!

BGN Radio, our site's podcast, will be streaming live on SportsRadio 94WIP this afternoon (Saturday, October 21) from 1:00 - 3:00 PM ET. (Click here to listen to us) We’ll be talking about the Philadelphia Eagles and taking your calls! Join the conversation by dialing 888.729.9494. Tweet at us on Twitter: @BGN_Radio. Also stay tuned to the Bleeding Green Nation Facebook page from 3:00 - 5:00 PM ET for another live broadcast! I’ll embed the video below once we’re live.

Brandon Lee Gowton (that’s me), John Barchard, and James Seltzer will be broadcasting live from the “Beat Washington” pep rally at Buffalo Wild Wings (501 STANTON CHRISTIANA RD, NEWARK, DE). If you come join us at BWW, you’ll have a chance to win FREE EAGLES TICKETS TO MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL!

We’ll be talking about the EAGLES’ WEEK 7 GAME AGAINST THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS, what the Eagles need to do to win, what the impact of a win or loss in this game means, the NFC lEast, NFL picks, and much more.

Listen to the WIP show via online stream by [CLICKING HERE] or turning your radio to 94.1 FM. Listen on your phone or tablet by downloading the new app.

Stay tuned to Bleeding Green Nation’s official Facebook page (click here) for any live videos we might do.


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[#] Sat Oct 21 2017 13:00:05 EDT from rss

Subject: Flyers vs. Oilers lineups, start time, TV, radio, live stream and discussion

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Let’s get back to winning. That was more fun.

Today’s Flyers game starts at 1:00 p.m. It can be watched locally on NBC Sports Philadelphia or via the NBC Sports App /, and can be listened to via 97.5 The Fanatic. In western Canada, you can catch the game on SN-West; elsewhere, or Center Ice are your best bets.

Flyers lineup:


Giroux - Couturier - Voracek

Weal/Lehtera - Filppula - Simmonds

Weise - Patrick - Konecny

Leier - Laughton - Raffl


Provorov - MacDonald

Gostisbehere - Hagg

Sanheim - Gudas




Oilers lineup (via):


Maroon - McDavid - Yamamoto

Lucic - Nugent-Hopkins - Strome

Jokinen - Malone - Kassian

Pakarinen - Letestu - Slepyshev


Klefbom - Larsson

Russell - Auvitu

Nurse - Gryba




[#] Sat Oct 21 2017 15:38:08 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles-Redskins Final Injury Report: Josh Norman out, Ronald Darby questionable

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Final injury update.

The Philadelphia Eagles released their third and final official injury report on Saturday in advance of their Week 7 game against the Washington Redskins.

Four players have been ruled questionable for Monday night’s game: Ronald Darby, Wendell Smallwood, Jordan Hicks, and Mychal Kendricks.

The feeling here is Darby won’t play. He’s been limited in practice all week and might not be ready to play just yet. In the long-term, it’s a very encouraging sign he at least has a chance to play in Monday’s game. The Eagles should be getting their best corner back soon.

Washington, meanwhile, will NOT have their best corner for the Eagles game. Josh Norman has officially been ruled OUT. That’s a big loss for Washington. He did a great job of covering Alshon Jeffery in Week 1.

Norman might not be the only starting Washington cornerback to miss this week’s matchup. Bashaud Breeland is questionable to play on Monday. Even if he suits up, it seems like he’ll be less than 100%. The Eagles should be looking to test Washington’s secondary.

Hicks said he’s going to play on Monday despite being limited in practice this week. He was a full participant in practice on Saturday.

Smallwood might play for the first time since suffering a knee injury in Week 4. He was also a full participant in practice on Saturday.

Kendricks was also a full participant after suffering a hamstring injury on Friday.

Philadelphia Eagles Injury Report (Saturday)


CB Ronald Darby (ankle)

LB Jordan Hicks (calf)

RB Wendell Smallwood (knee)

LB Mychal Kendricks (hamstring)

Washington Redskins Injury Report (Saturday)

As mentioned above, Norman is OUT. Big loss for Washington. Breeland is questionable.

Starting left tackle Trent Williams is questionable. He’ll likely play, but he’s less than 100%. His backup, Ty Neskhe, is out. Washington will have to rely on total sieve T.J. Clemmings is Williams misses snaps.


OT Ty Nsekhe (core muscle)

CB Josh Norman (rib)

OG Tyler Catalina (concussion)


OT Trent Williams (knee)

LB Mason Foster (shoulder)

CB Bashaud Breeland (knee)

RB Rob Kelley (ankle)

S Stefan McClure (knee)

S Deshazor Everett (hamstring)

[#] Sat Oct 21 2017 17:12:16 EDT from rss

Subject: Flyers 2, Oilers 1: All aboard the Wayne Train!

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Late goal by Simmonds gives the Flyers their fifth win of the season.

In a game where it looked like the Flyers might dominate, then one the Oilers might dominate, to a trap fest in the 3rd period, the Wayne Train stole the show. The Flyers kept Connor McDavid in check essentially the entire game - and as demonstrated by the rest of the NHL to start the year, that is not an easy thing to do!

Overall, this was possibly Philadelphia’s most impressive win of the season yet.

1st Period:

The ... the hockey team the Flyers can keep up with Connor McDavid’s Edmonton Oilers? WHAT IS LIFE.

As surprising as it may sounds, the Flyers dominated the pace of play for practically the entire period. The first line of Giroux-Couturier-Voracek seemingly never left the offensive zone, generating scoring chances and keeping the Oilers pinned in their own zone.

Just three minutes into the game, Oilers center Brad Malone high sticked Radko Gudas and the Flyers were off to their first powerplay of the game. It wouldn’t take long for the top unit to work its magic as a Shayne Gostisbehere shot was blocked and slid right to Claude Giroux who buried the rebound, 1-0 Philadelphia.

For the remainder of the period, the Flyers rarely were met with a serious flurry of chances by Edmonton. All four lines were having at least half-decent shifts and the only reason it’s half-decent is because of the second line of Lehtera-Filppula-Simmonds.

Both Cam Talbot and Brian Elliott put together solid periods, making some key saves to keep the game 1-0 with Talbot facing the majority of the chances.

Flyers CF% leaders after 1:

  1. Sanheim - 72.73
  2. Weise (WHOA) - 71.43
  3. Patirck - 71.43

Gameflow after 1:

2nd Period:

So I’m starting to think the Oilers were just sleeping during that first period because OH BOY were they alive in the second.

Philadelphia could only muster eleven attempts in the second period and I’m surprised the total was even that high. After receiving an early power play in the form of a slashing call on Matt Benning, the Flyers could not capitalize and soon found themselves at the mercy of McDavid and the Oilers.

Anything I could say about this period does not fully describe how bad it got so let me just show the gameflow once again and shield your eyes.

Other than the small burst at the end of the second period, the Flyers were hemmed in their own zone for the majority of the period. Unsuccessful breakouts, poor coverage in their own zone — you name a mistake? The Flyers made it in the period.

As one might expect when sustaining that much pressure in one period, the Oilers did finally light the lamp on a seemingly harmless shot. Who scored it you ask? None other than former Flyers prospect Pat Maroon (BECAUSE OF COURSE IT’S PAT MAROON).

About the only good news for the Flyers is that after the second this game is still tied with 20 minutes to play.

Flyers CF% leaders:

  1. Gudas - 64.71
  2. Lehtera - 64.29
  3. Filppula - 60

3rd Period:


For a game between two teams who one would expect to create high event hockey all game long, the third period did the exact opposite. Compared to the first and second periods, which saw 37 and 31 combined attempts, the third only saw 26. This was apparent in traditional stats as well, with both teams ending the game at just 24 shots.

The Oilers received a huge chance with a penalty to Michael Raffl 8:56 into the final stretch, but the Flyers killed it off and it set up 10 minutes to decide if this would end in regulation. Otherwise, we would see our second overtime game of the young season.

Wayne Simmonds was having none of that.

Valtteri Filppula made a fantastic drive to the net after controlling the pass from Jori Lehtera, laid the puck in the perfect shooting spot for Simmonds and Mr. Train went top shelf on Talbot to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead which they would not relinquish.

In just eight games this season, Wayne Simmonds has recorded a hat trick, an OT GWG, and now a regulation GWG. In case you haven’t heard, he’s pretty good at the ice sport!

The Flyers record improves to 5-3-0 and the Oilers fall to 2-5-0, which leads to this question: are the hockey team, the Flyers, actually good?

Flyers leaders in CF vs Oilers:

  1. Gudas - 63.64
  2. Couturier - 60
  3. Giroux - 58.97

Final gameflow

[#] Sun Oct 22 2017 10:10:17 EDT from rss

Subject: Eagles News: Nelson Agholor leads the NFL in passer rating when targeted

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 10/22/17.

Let's get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Eagles-Redskins Game Preview: 6 questions and answers with the enemy - BGN
The Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins are set to square off on Monday Night Football this week. It’s a big NFC East matchup. In order to preview the Eagles’ Week 7 against Washington, I reached out to our enemies over at Hogs Haven. The insightful “Bill-in-Bangkok” kindly took the time to answer my questions about the upcoming game. Let's take a look at the answers. (Also don't forget to check out my Q&A exchange over at Hogs Haven.)

Alshon Jeffery's 2017 philosophy: 'One shine, we all shine' - ESPN
"Whatever it takes for us to win, just opening it up for another guy. But we all feel like that," the 27-year-old said. "One shine, we all shine. "That's how I really, genuinely feel. Because if we're winning, everyone gets to shine. If one person is doing well, I mean, I don't know the stats of most people, but if you look at it, if one person is really killing it, I don't know if their team is doing too well. That's like basketball: If someone is shooting 50, 40 shots, I don't know if their team is doing well."

Five over/unders for Eagles vs. Redskins on Monday Night Football - PhillyVoice
The current number being offered at Bovada is 49, but whole numbers are no fun for over/unders so I adjusted it to 48.5. At least that way it won't end up where everyone (except Vegas) loses. That being said, I'm taking the over here. I know they only combined for 47 points in the season opener, but the Eagles offense is playing much better than it did in that game and the Eagles are essentially a lock this season to score at least 26 points – they have in every game but one – meaning all the Redskins have to do is reach their season average of 23.4 points per game in order to hit the over.

Injury Update - Iggles Blitz
That’s big news. Norman is the best CB for the Skins. Take him out and Alshon Jeffrey should have the upper hand on whoever tries to cover him. The Skins have some depth at CB, but no one as good as Norman. Bashaud Breeland is the other usual starter and he’s banged up right now. It sounds like he’ll play, which could actually be a good thing. Breeland is more of a big guy than an athlete. If you put him on Torrey Smith, Smith can run by him. Jeffrey is just flat out better than Breeland. Quinton Dunbar and Kendall Fuller have each started games this year so they do have some experience. Rookie Fabian Moreau is very talented, but hasn’t played as much. DE Jonathan Allen went on IR this week. The rookie hasn’t had a huge year, but started all five games. Losing him will take a key body out of the front seven.

Weekly meetings helping Doug Pederson, Carson Wentz get on same page - NBC Sports Philadelphia
It doesn't seem like such a big deal at first. The head coach and quarterback get together and talk? So what? Doug Pederson said Saturday it is a big deal and said his wide-ranging weekly 1-on-1 shoot-the-bull sessions with Carson Wentz have become an important part of Wentz's success as a quarterback, Pederson's success as a coach and the Eagles' success as a team. Pederson said before practice Saturday morning that every Thursday night — or Friday night the week of a Monday night game — once most people have left the NovaCare Complex, he and Wentz sit down and just talk. "We kind of talk about a lot of things," he said. "A little bit about football and a little bit about life."

A Look At An Offense That's Doing It All -
Total yards per game is often a misleading statistic that doesn’t give a true barometer of an offense’s effectiveness, yet it is generally the metric used as the standard in the NFL. Better idea: What's the number of points a team scores per drive? In this category, the Eagles’ true offensive prowess is displayed ...

Eagles' Nigel Bradham finally getting the recognition he believes is long deserved - Inquirer
Nigel Bradham noticed the attention that came his way after a 10-tackle performance against the Carolina Panthers in Week 6 and wondered: Why now? What about the last five seasons? It’s not just from fans and reporters. Even players on the Carolina Panthers confessed they didn’t know about Bradham until he swarmed all over the field last Thursday, with two pass breakups and a tackle for a loss. To which Bradham would say: Where have you been? “I played like that last year,” Bradham said. “That’s what’s funny to me.”

Wulf's Den: Eagles defense ready to go ‘Ham' on Washington - The Athletic
In a division game, you take every advantage you can get. On Monday night, the Eagles have some very small, arguably insignificant, built-in insight into the mind of a Washington football fan.

Jeremiah Trotter Jr. shows glimpse of his father, the former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker, with big hit - PennLive
It's been a couple years since Jeremiah Trotter was patrolling the second level for the Philadelphia Eagles and dishing out punishing hits on quarterbacks and opposing ball carriers. The four-time Pro Bowler played his last game for the Birds in 2009, ending an 11-year career in which he had 12.5 sacks and six seasons of 87-plus tackles. His son, Jeremiah Trotter Jr., is taking after him. In St. Joseph's Prep's 28-14 win over La Salle College on Friday night, Trotter delivered a punishing hit on a third-quarter sack.

The 5 O'Clock Club: BGN writer gives 3 reasons why Philly will lose to the Redskins on MNF - Hogs Haven
Brandon Lee Gowton is a writer at Bleeding Green Nation. He and I agreed to swap articles in which we would each explain why our favorite team would lose to the opponent in the upcoming Monday Night Football game between the Redskins and Philadelphia. If you want to see what I wrote, you can read it on the BGN site. What follows are three reasons why the Philadelphia team will lose to the Redskins, as told by one of their own.

How will Falcons vs. Patriots compare to other regular season Super Bowl rematches? - SB Nation
Either the Falcons will ease the pain of the loss, or Patriots will build on their Super Bowl LI success in Sunday's rematch.


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[#] Sun Oct 22 2017 10:00:06 EDT from rss

Subject: The best photos from the Flyers win against the Oilers

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October 21, 2017: Philadelphia Flyers vs. Edmonton Oilers featured gallery

Scroll through Kate Frese’s photos from last night’s Philadelphia Flyers game against the Edmonton Oilers.

[#] Sun Oct 22 2017 10:30:02 EDT from rss

Subject: BSH Radio reacts to the 2-1 over the Edmonton Oilers

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Wayne Simmonds will save us all

The Flyers played their first afternoon game of the season yesterday and after a bit of a bumpy start it ended in an exciting 2-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. The Flyers allowed way too many turnovers and gave the Oilers way too many chances, but thanks to some late game heroics by Wayne Simmonds came away with two points.

Kelly had some post-game thoughts about line combinations, Andrew MacDonald, and Travis Sanheim during her Facebook Live reaction chat, in which she learned that quite a few of you are from the Canadian plains. Who knew?

We're live chatting about what ended up being a nice little Saturday afternoon of hockey.

Posted by Broad Street Hockey: For Philadelphia Flyers Fans on Saturday, October 21, 2017

[#] Sun Oct 22 2017 09:46:47 EDT from rss

Subject: We Can Play This Way Too! Seven Takeaways from Flyers 2, Oilers 1

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Everyone, even the most casual hockey observers, had to know that the torrid pace the Flyers were playing in the first six games of the season wasn’t sustainable. Averaging more than four goals a game? Averaging 35 shots on goal? What do you think this is the 1980s? No. Hockey is forever morphing and changing,…

[#] Sun Oct 22 2017 11:32:15 EDT from rss

Subject: NFL Week 7 Games Schedule: Start time, online streaming, TV channel, how to watch, announcers, and more

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Read on for more information on how to watch the NFL Week 7 games.

Sunday is here which means it’s time for Week 7 of the 2017 NFL regular season schedule. There are a total of 13 games on today featuring 26 different teams.

The Philadelphia Eagles don’t play today since they’ll face the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football. Elsewhere in the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys are on the road to play the San Francisco 49ers. The New York Giants are hosting the Seattle Seahawks in New Jersey.

Here's everything you need to know about how to watch the games. Click here to see which game is broadcasted in your region.

Here's who the BGN writers are predicting to win. Here's advice when picking against the spread.

Read on for more information on how to watch the NFL Week 7 games.

Online Streaming

NFL Sunday Ticket | NFL Game Pass | Watch CBS Sports online | FOX Sports GO | Stream Sunday Night Football on's Live Extra for free

Sunday, October 22

New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers

Start time: 1:00 PM ET
TV channel: CBS
Announcers: Kenny Albert, Charles Davis

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins

Start time: 1:00 PM ET
TV channel: CBS
Announcers: Dan Hellie, Chris Spielman

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams (London)

Start time: 1:00 PM ET
TV channel: CBS
Announcers: Sam Rosen, Ronde Barber

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills

Start time: 1:00 PM ET
TV channel: CBS
Announcers: Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston

Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears

Start time: 1:00 PM ET
TV channel: CBS
Announcers: Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts

Baltimore Ravens at Minnesota Vikings

Start time: 1:00 PM ET
TV channel: CBS
Announcers: Greg Gumbel, Trent Green

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts

Start time: 1:00 PM ET
TV channel: CBS
Announcers: Tom McCarthy, Steve Beuerlein, Steve Tasker

Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns

Start time: 1:00 PM ET
TV channel: CBS
Announcers: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta

Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers

Start time: 4:05 PM ET
TV channel: FOX
Announcers: Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers

Start time: 4:25 PM ET
TV channel: FOX
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo

Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants

Start time: 4:25 PM ET
TV channel: FOX
Announcers: Andrew Catalon, James Lofton

Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers

Start time: 4:25 PM ET
TV channel: FOX
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon

Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots

Start time: 8:30 PM ET
Channel: NBC
Announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth

Monday, October 23

Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles

Start time: 8:30 PM ET
TV channel: ESPN
Announcers: Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden


Note: This is an open thread. Discuss all of the NFL Week 7 games here in the comment section.

[#] Sun Oct 22 2017 10:58:36 EDT from rss

Subject: NFL Picks Against the Spread 2017: Week 7 Games

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Here are some suggestions when trying to beat the odds.

Before the seventh Sunday of the 2017 NFL regular season kicks off, let’s have some fun by taking a look at the spreads for today’s games. (Click here for NFL Week 7 picks without regard to the spread.)

Here are suggestions when trying to beat the odds. You can find all of today’s NFL betting lines and more via SB Nation. My regular season record after the sixth week is 40-43-1. Let’s get to the picks.

NFL Week 7 Games

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-3): Can’t believe I’m saying it, but I kind of like this Jets team. They’ve been playing above expectation for most of the season. The Jets would’ve beaten the Patriots last week if not for a blown call. They’re not awful. It’s easy to say the Dolphins aren’t awful after the way they beat the Falcons in Atlanta. But the Dolphins needed a comeback to win and they certainly have looked awful during stretches of this season. I like the Jets more, especially with the points. PICK: Jets +3

Tennessee Titans (-6) at Cleveland Browns: Here’s the thing about the Browns: they’re terrible. DeShone Kizer is back as the starting quarterback after Kevin Hogan was somehow even worse than he was. It won’t make a difference against Marcus Mariota and company. The Titans will take care of business on the road. PICK: Titans -6

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams (-3): The Cardinals are back! Adrian Peterson has returned to form! Arizona’s season is saved! Eh. Slow down on that. Let’s see a little more from the Cards before we start saying things like that. The Rams have a legitimately good offense and Arizona could struggle with that. I don’t like Bruce Arians’ side enough to go with them when they aren’t at home. PICK: Rams -3

Baltimore Ravens at Minnesota Vikings (-5.5): The battle of the purple teams. Boy, the Ravens sure aren’t great. Joe Flacco has the worst passer rating (66.1) of any qualified starting quarterback in the NFL this season. It’s not like Case Keenum is the most inspiring passer, and the Vikings won’t have Stefon Diggs, but I still like Minnesota to be able to win at home. Baltimore is hard to trust. PICK: Vikings -5.5

Carolina Panthers (-3) at Chicago Bears: After beating the Ravens in Baltimore last week, and beating the Steelers earlier this season, maybe the Bears aren’t as bad as people would think? Maybe, but they’re not good. I mean, Chicago won a game last week where Mitchell Trubisky only completed eight passes. EIGHT! That’s not sustainable. The well-rested Panthers will bounce back after having off since last Thursday. PICK: Panthers -3

Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5) at Indianapolis Colts: The Colts are not really that much better than the Browns without Andrew Luck. It sounds like they’ll be without him all season. Meanwhile, the Jags have shown some signs of promise. And they’ve won every other game this season, so that clearly means they’re due this week. It’s science. PICK: Jaguars -3.5

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills (-3): The Bucs look pretty gross. Take a gander at their body of work this year and it’s just not very impressive. Marching into Buffalo and getting a win over a Bills team that’s coming off a bye won’t be easy. Not to mention Jameis Winston is potentially dealing with a shoulder issue. Circle the wagons because I like the Bills in this one. No idea if I used that phrase correctly. PICK: Bills -3

New Orleans Saints (-4) at Green Bay Packers: If the Packers had Aaron Rodgers, it’d be a no-brainer to take Green Bay here. If the Packers had Aaron Rodgers, they would also not be four point underdogs at home, however. Breaking news, I know. Color me a skeptic of Brett Hundley’s ability to replace arguably the best player in the league. Hundley has some weapons to work with, sure, but this Saints team is a little more inspiring lately. They’ve won three in a row and they’re clearly capable of putting up points. PICK: Saints -4

Dallas Cowboys (-6.5) at San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers are the first team in NFL history to lose five games in a row by three points or fewer. They’re due for a win. San Fran is facing a Cowboys defense that’s vulnerable to the run. That’s good news for the 49ers because they don’t want their rookie quarterback, C.J. Beathard, throwing a ton. I think Dallas wins this game due to the talent disparity here. But the 49ers could very well cover yet again. PICK: 49ers +6.5

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-5): The Bengals are coming off their bye to face the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Both of these teams have been kinda weird this season. Cincy got off to an awful start but they’ve shown some competency since promoting Bill Lazor to offensive coordinator. The Steelers, meanwhile, lost to the Bears and got killed by the Jaguars but managed to beat the Chiefs, the NFL’s only undefeated team at the time. So this is a game I’m not crazy about picking because there’s not a lot of trust here. I lean towards the Steelers because of home field advantage and their offensive weapons. PICK: Steelers -5

Denver Broncos (-1.5) at Los Angeles Chargers: This line opened at Broncos -2.5, went to a pick ‘em, and now moved back to the Broncos as road favorites. It’s hard to know what to make of Denver after that home loss to the Giants. The Chargers, meanwhile, are actually on a two-game win streak. The problem for L.A. is that their stadium doesn’t give them much home field advantage, as Eagles fans proved, so that’s not a big factor here. I’d think the Broncos will bounce back this week after just a terrible effort in Week 6. PICK: Broncos -1.5

Seattle Seahawks (-4) at New York Giants: Seattle is coming off their bye to face the G-Men. New York is coming off an impressive win in Denver that only served to hurt their draft position. The Giants were in a spot last week where the Broncos clearly slept on them. I don’t think that happens twice in a row. This Giants team still has a lot of issues. My confidence level in the Seahawks isn’t super high, but they still have talent on defense and Russell Wilson can make some things happen. PICK: Seahawks -4

Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots (-3): It feels like a lot of people are taking the Falcons to beat the Patriots because New England’s defense isn’t that great. Also because the Falcons got up big on the Patriots in the Super Bowl before eventually blowing that 28-3 lead. While all of that is true, this is still the Patriots at home we’re talking about here. And did people forget the Falcons just lost to Jay Cutler at home? I’ll go with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick here. PICK: Patriots -3

Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5): This line opened at Eagles -4, shifted to Eagles -4.5, and hasn’t moved since. The dangerous thing about this game is that Washington needs a win a lot more badly than the Eagles do. With that said, Philly is clearly the better team on paper. And arguably the best team in the NFL entirely. The Eagles should be able to take advantage of a Washington defense that’s banged up and missing top cornerback Josh Norman. On defense, it all comes down to Philly’s front four dominating Washington’s offensive line in the trenches. That’s how the Birds got a win in Week 1. While some expect a blowout in this one, I just don’t see it that way. This has the makings of a hard-fought game. For that reason, I’m tempted to pick Washington. But I trust the Eagles a little more because I think they’re legitimately good. I think the Birds barely cover. PICK: Eagles -4.5

[#] Sun Oct 22 2017 11:51:12 EDT from rss

Subject: Flyers 2, Oilers 1: What we learned as the Flyers dried up the well

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Some observations for your morning...

Some things seen and observed in yesterday’s matinee game against the Oilers.

All stats and graphics from Corsica, Hockey Viz, Natural Stat Trick, and

1. Kicking early

For the second game in a row, we’ve seen the Flyers working hard to shore up their first period issues. On Thursday, they cleaned up their passing and reduced turnovers. Yesterday, they fixed the whole first period.

To date, they’ve had some trouble establishing momentum in their first periods-- be it through inaccuracies, broken play, or inability to break past the neutral zone. But yesterday, the Flyers’ opening play was smooth and nearly seamless. Their momentum was helped along with the Malone penalty drawn at the three minute mark, sending the Flyers to their first power play of the afternoon. Giroux would score 36 seconds in, on just the second shot of the game, and they were off from there.

The Flyers held an adjusted CF% of 63.94 percent through the first period, keeping play held largely in the offensive zone. They also kept Edmonton relatively quiet, holding them to just seven shots on goal. It was a solid start to the game, even if they couldn’t quite hold onto it (but we’re not there yet).

2. Third line still middling

The Patrick line, though not dragging so quite so much as they had in past games, but are still proving a bit volatile, in terms of performance. The looked solid early, showing some flash and connecting for a few quality opportunities. But the underlying numbers still leave some things to be desired. Last on the team in time on the ice, they averaged a 37.59 percent adjusted CF%. So the flashes have been nice, but they would be even nicer if they were able to sustain them, to convert. So we’re still looking for a bit more consistency.

But we can’t leave this section without offering snaps for Travis Konecny, who’s looked like a man on a mission for the whole of the season, with yesterday serving as no difference. His puck control was solid, if not fancy, and his breakaway chances have looked dangerous. And it seems, one would hope, only a matter of time before something comes of them.

3. First line force

One of the big topics of discussion heading into this game centered not even wholly around the Flyers, but rather around Connor McDavid. How dominant would he look? Who would he match up against? How would the Flyers shut him down, and could they?

The short answer, from the get go, is yes. The first line was leaned on heavily to do this work-- spending the greatest amount of time matched up against McDavid’s line-- and they didn’t disappoint. In 5:37 of ice time in the first period, McDavid was held to just one shot on the goal, and was kept relatively quiet through the duration of the game.

The key, Couturier noted post-game, was taking away his time and space. They weren’t trying to overcomplicate and beat him at his own game, but rather trying to limit his options and keep him from breaking out.

4. Lehtera Watch 2k17

And Lehtera Watch 2k17 continues. After a tough game on Thursday, Lehtera seemed to get back on track yesterday, and put up an impressive performance against the Oilers. His adjusted CF%-- having been the worst on the team against the Predators-- made a huge jump, averaging out at 58.82 percent over three periods, ranking him fourth among his teammates.

He also made an impressive play around the two minute mark of the second period. Sprung on a pass by Gudas, he made a break into the offensive zone, and, double covered, he was able to draw a slashing penalty, and still got a shot off. Nothing came of this shot, of course, but he would get on the board later in the game, picking up a secondary assist on the Simmonds goal.

On the whole, it was a good game for Lehtera, and a night and day difference from his first. And though we’re still waiting to see him even out, to see what his middle ground performance will look like, he put up a solid effort when it was sorely needed.

5. Mastering styles

After it’s all said and done, the Flyers have faced two tight checking games, and come out with split results. Thursday’s game against Nashville was one that the Flyers stood a good chance to win, if they had only found a way to convert on their chances, to make this tight checking style work for them. We came out of Thursday’s game frustrated, but yesterday they turned it around.

They showed flashes of the speed that has worked well in their favor, and used their endurance to their advantage, but on the whole, they worked to make the pacing of the game work in their favor. It was an even game-- with both teams putting up 24 shots, and the Flyers recording 1.8 expected goals to the Oilers’ 2.06-- but the Flyers were able to make their chances count for just a little bit more.

And this is good news. As both Couturier and Hakstol noted post game, these past two have felt very much like the types of game they’ll be facing in late March, when intensity is ratcheted up and playoff spots are on the line. Those are the types of games they have to figure out how to win, and they’re on the right track.

6. Second period slip

If the first period was the Flyers absolutely dominating play, the second period was them giving far too much away. Their possession numbers dipped, with their CF% dipping to 36.32 percent. After holding a distinct edge in the first period, they dropped to 1.19 expected goals, while allowing the Oilers to jump up to 1.5. After starting out strong in the first few minutes of the period, they allowed a steady decline of possession and momentum in the Oilers’ favor.

This, then, means that you could see the Maroon goal coming a mile away. In the sequence leading up to it, the Flyers had spent an extended period of time pinned in the defensive zone, and showed no sign of being able to break out. Stagnating in that end, it was only a matter of time before Edmonton got something on the board. If not Maroon, it would have been someone else.

7. Simmonds "back" with a vengeance

Poor Simmonds. He’s had a tough week. Between the unspecified upper body injury, and the mess that followed taking a stick to the face while on the bench on Thursday, he’s certainly taken a bit of a beating.

It would be easy to sit back and expect his playing to have flattened or otherwise suffered from all of this extra trouble faced this week, but then, you wouldn’t know Wayne Simmonds. Faced with all of the questions about his status, he spent the end of the week assuring everyone that he was fine. And he was sure to show it, in yesterday’s performance.

He drove play effectively for his line, sitting at sixth on the team with an adjusted CF% of 52.63 percent. And then there was the goal. On a masterful feed from Filppula, he notched his fourth game winning goal of the season, and showed no signs of fatigue. It was a stellar individual performance, and to pull back a bit, a performance effective in aiding the second line in getting back on track.

8. Do I dare. Disturb the universe?

By saying something nice about Andrew MacDonald? He had a good night. The threshold for this has been relatively low, but on the whole, he had a solid night. He led the team in blocked shots with six, and, in an admittedly strange turn of events, was able to draw a penalty from Connor McDavid. But his play on the Oilers’ final power play of the game was also notable. Blocking a shot early and clearly feeling the sting, he read the situation and opted not to come off and head to the bench. This proved to be the right call, as it left him in position to make a nice-- and much needed-- diving save, not long after.

But before anyone gets too mad, I'll also say that it was a really solid night for all of the defensemen, as everyone kept things relatively simple and stuck to their games. Provorov and Gudas were steady as ever. Hagg led the team in hits. Sanheim looked confident jumping in on the rush, and in his new place on PP2.

And Gostisbehere stripping McDavid of the puck like it was nothing? More of that please. Inject that straight into my veins.

9. A nod to Scott Laughton

Laughton had a big game yesterday, no ways around it. With Taylor Leier out and Matt Read in, Laughton kept the line on track, despite the small switch up. This was good news, as his line often found itself matched up against McDavid’s, expected to do the same shutdown work that the first had done. And Laughton, facing off against McDavid, did good work of keeping him contained and frustrating his efforts. Laughton would also be moved up to play alongside Couturier in the last few minutes of the game, with the lead on the line and the Oilers bringing offensive pressure. And they shut it down.

So this isn’t just a nod from me to Laughton for a job well done, but also from the organization as a whole. After working to redefine his role with the team, they’re also showing a great amount of faith in his defensive game, to send him out to shut down one of the most dynamic players in the game. And that’s not nothing.

10: The only damn thing I know

The narrative is dead, so long to the narrative. The Flyers found a way to shut down McDavid without playing Brandon Manning. It’s a narrative that we’ve heard ad nauseum-- that the two have beef and the only way to get at McDavid is to have Manning get under his skin-- and it’s one that has finally been dispelled. Through sound defensive play and shutdown work by the first and fourth lines, the Flyers were able to get the job done.

And this is a big move on the part of the coaching staff. We’ve been frustrated, to date, with their privileging of veteran presence over more dynamic skill. But yesterday, they broke that pattern. They sat Manning, and iced Travis Sanheim. They ditched the narrative and played the best available player. Imagine that.

[#] Sun Oct 22 2017 14:18:37 EDT from rss

Subject: This is Not Normal: Five Observations from Raptors 128, Sixers 94

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It’s fair to say that a young team featuring two rookies and a limited Joel Embiid might need more than three games to figure it out. But you can’t excuse the mediocre defensive effort we saw on Saturday night. You can’t spin 61% from the stripe. You certainly can’t shrug it off when your number…

[#] Sun Oct 22 2017 17:19:08 EDT from rss

Subject: Andrew MacDonald to miss 4-6 weeks with a lower-body injury

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The veteran defenseman will be out for weeks, likely due to an injury suffered while blocking a shot in the Flyers’ game against Edmonton on Saturday.

The Flyers have stayed largely healthy on defense through the season’s first two weeks, as all of their scratches so far have reportedly been of the “healthy” variety. That will now change, as Andrew MacDonald — the elder statesman of the Flyers’ defense, so to speak — will miss significant time due to a lower-body injury.

While we can’t say for certain, the injury MacDonald is dealing with was almost certainly one that he suffered in the third period of Saturday’s win over the Edmonton Oilers. On a penalty kill, MacDonald blocked a shot from Oilers winger Milan Lucic, but then crumpled to the ground and was visibly hobbled for the remainder of his shift (which, to his credit, he gutted out until the Flyers could get a clear).

MacDonald missed a few shifts following that injury, but did return before the game ended, leading most to believe the injury wasn’t serious. As we now know, that was not the case, and the Flyers will be without him until around Thanksgiving. Replays of that block appeared to show a shot that hit MacDonald right on the side of his knee, right where padding is minimal, so the fact that MacDonald suffered an injury that will lead him to miss time isn’t too surprising.

The Flyers haven’t yet announced a corresponding roster move to make up for MacDonald’s absence, but the team can likely go in one of two directions to replace him in the lineup.

The first option would be to get Brandon Manning back into the lineup as a regular. He’s played in three games so far this season, and while Travis Sanheim seems to have taken his place as a lineup regular and figures to be on the ice more or less indefinitely moving forward, Manning is someone that the team likes and who the coaches aren’t afraid to give regular minutes to. If that’s the case, the team will likely call up an AHL-level replacement who will mostly be around to sit in the press box — think someone along the lines of T.J. Brennan or Mark Alt — while Sanheim and Manning play in the majority of games.

The other option — the riskier one, but almost certainly the more exciting one — would be to start working Sam Morin into the lineup here in Philadelphia. Morin was the one who missed out in the Flyers’ competition amongst its rookie defensemen this past training camp, as Sanheim and Robert Hagg clinched NHL roster spots while Morin was eventually sent back down to the Phantoms. It seems clear that the team thinks Morin is close to NHL-ready if not there entirely, and with MacDonald’s injury, there’s now room for him on the NHL roster if they want to get him some extended ice time.

If Morin does get the call, though, it’s tough to know how Dave Hakstol and co. would handle the lineup from there. Would the Flyers be willing to run out a regular lineup with three rookies? Would Manning and Morin at least start out by trading off time, the way Manning and Sanheim did for the first two weeks of the season, until the team was comfortable with Morin taking on most of the ice time?

If the team does go with Morin, they’ll need to have a plan in place. Ron Hextall has repeatedly maintained that, if possible, he’d prefer not to send players back to the minor leagues after significant time with the Flyers. There are exceptions — Scott Laughton was called up in 2014 due to injury, and was eventually sent back to the Phantoms in early 2015 after 31 games — but it’s something they want to avoid, understandably so. MacDonald will be back before too long, so the team may have to be prepared to make a move regarding one of its current NHL-level roster pieces at that time to make room for Morin if it’s not willing to send him back to the Phantoms.

Whatever their decision is, we’ll find out about it soon enough. The Flyers have another home game on Tuesday before flying out to Canada for a two-game trip that begins on Thursday in Ottawa, so while they could prepare for Tuesday’s game with just six defensemen on the roster, they will definitely need to make a move by Wednesday morning at the latest. We’ll know more at that time.

The other player to watch as a result of MacDonald’s injury is Ivan Provorov, who has been joined at the hip to MacDonald on the ice since early December of last season. It remains to be seen how the Flyers move their pairings around without the constant that has been MacDonald next to Provorov, and it’ll be interesting to see how Provorov fares away from the guy who’s been his partner exclusively for most of his NHL career.

Since the team is under the salary cap, it should not need to send MacDonald to long-term injured reserve to make room for his replacement, though MacDonald will definitely go on normal injured reserve to give the team another roster spot in his stead.

[#] Sun Oct 22 2017 18:47:04 EDT from rss

Subject: This ESPN feature on Carson Wentz

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If you don’t have a box of tissues nearby, I’d suggest you get one before watching this ESPN feature on Carson Wentz’s relationship with a young boy, Lukas Kusters, who lost his battle with cancer earlier this year.

Here’s the video.

My eyes are welling up again as I’m writing this post.

“To think that he’s buried wearing my jersey ... it just ... so much deeper than football, that’s what it comes down to,” said Wentz, fighting through tears. “It’s so much more than just a game.”

If you look closely at Wentz’s left arm in the picture above this post, you can see the “Dutch Destroyer” wristband Wentz wears in honor of Lukas.

It would be great if Wentz could also win a Super Bowl ring to wear around his finger in honor of a young Eagles fan gone way too soon.

Win it for Lukas. Win it for The Dutch Destroyer.

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