Subject: Wednesday Morning Fly By: So, we
Today's open discussion thread, complete with your daily dose of Philadelphia Flyers news and notes...
*Well...still losing. And we’re back at it again tonight in Brooklyn. Sigh. C’mon, boys. If you missed last night, good for you! But here’s a recap anyway.
*Brayden Schenn is killing it over in St. Louis, so naturally there’s been a lot of “welp maybe should of kept” going around Philadelphia these last few weeks. Let’s take a look at how Morgan Frost is coming along so we feel better about things. [Philly.com]
*Hey, we’ve got a new guy! Everyone, say hello to Brad Keffer. He’s going to be covering the Phantoms for us. [BSH]
*The Flyers love Thanksgiving. Even the Canadian ones. [Courier-Post]
*We’re juuuust about exactly 25% through this hockey season, and folks are putting together their quarter season awards. Wysh has his superlatives... [ESPN]
*...and DGB offers his thoughts on who is best and brightest through November. [Sportsnet]
*It’s the time of year when we are supposed to examine our lives and reflect on what it is that we should be thankful for, but screw that, here’s all of the stuff you should not be thankful for when it comes to your favorite sport. [USA Today]
*That said, we do have a lot to be thankful for here at Broad Street Hockey. We’re thankful for Sean Couturier. We’re thankful for crisp days and the smell of fresh ice. We’re thankful for moving up from #13 overall to #2 overall in the draft (the Flyers did that, you know). And most of all, we are thankful for you guys, our awesome readers and listeners. We’ll be off tomorrow, busy eating ourselves into a food coma. Enjoy your Thanksgiving (and your regular old Thursday, Canadian friends), and spend a few blissful moments away from your crazy family with the newest episode of BSH Radio (this week with bonus Kurt R.). Happy Thanksgiving, Flyers fans!
Subject: Crossing Broadcast: Turkey and The Spreads
Subject: The best photos from the Flyers loss to the Canucks
Subject: Eagles News: This Eagles team is very unselfish
Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 11/22/17.
Let's get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...
Unselfishness at core of Eagles' balanced, lethal offense - NBC Sports Philadelphia
You look at the stats, and nothing jumps off the page. No running back on pace for 1,000 yards, no wide receiver on pace for 1,000 yards. Heck, even the all-world quarterback hasn't thrown for more than 211 yards in his last three games. No 100-yard games by a wide out or tight end. Only one 100-yard game by a running back, and that was two months ago. Four different guys have led the team in rushing, three different guys have led the team in receiving, 11 different guys have scored touchdowns. Heck, in the win over Dallas Sunday night, the Eagles' longest catch wasn't by one of the speedy free agent wide receivers, and it wasn't by Nelson Agholor, Mack Hollins or Zach Ertz. It was by rarely used 11th-year tight end Brent Celek, who turns 33 in January.
Eagles “Dakota Tough, Philly Strong” t-shirts - BGN
The dude is only in his second year and he’s already the favorite to be the NFL’s Most Valuable Player. Wentz is tough as nails and seems to be doing great work off the field as well. Now you can rep Wentz with this new t-shirt from our friends over at BreakingT.
Afternoon QB with BLG: Dallas Still Sucks - BGNRadio.com
Another Eagles Victory Monday with BLG! On this week's edition of Afternoon QB, Brandon Lee Gowton discusses some final thoughts on the Eagles-Cowboys game, explains why Carson Wentz is better than Dak Prescott, and gives a little preview of the Eagles-Bears game, which might be tougher than expected. Plus three over/unders for this week!
Top 7 Eagles touchdown celebrations in 2017, in gifs - PhillyVoice
"I had to unlock the safe, and share some money with the fellas," Barner said. "And then blow it." Watch the celebration again and focus in on Stefen Wisniewski, who has no idea what he's doing. "I was not told ahead of time," Wisniewski explained. "I figured he had some treasure, and I guess they were making it rain later. I missed that memo. The linemen aren't always in the meetings for the celebrations." I give this celebration bonus points because Corey Clement, Jay Ajayi, and LeGarrette Blount are all involved. Obviously, the Eagles did not line up with four running backs on the play, which means they all ran into the end zone from the sideline to participate.
Shutting ’em Down - Iggles Blitz
The Eagles defense is 7th in points and yards allowed, both good figures. It wasn’t that long ago those were figures were a bit higher. The last three games the defense has allowed 238, 226 and 225 yards. They have allowed 10, 16 and 9 points. Denver had a defensive TD that got them to 23 points in that game. The defense is starting to really play well. To be fair, C.J. Beathard and Brock Osweiler are not exactly murderer’s row. Dallas is a good offense, but was missing two of their three most important players. The flip side of that is that when you do face lesser competition, you are supposed to shut them down. That’s exactly what the Eagles did. The Eagles still have the #1 run defense in the league. They are tied for 4th in sacks and they are 2nd in interceptions. If you prefer analytics, Football Outsiders has the defense at 4th overall.
Alshon Jeffery on Super Bowl guarantee: 'I never said a team' - ESPN
The way Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery sees it, his Super Bowl guarantee is still in play. Following a 3-13 season with the Chicago Bears in 2016, Jeffery raised some eyebrows in January by saying, "I guarantee you we'll win the Super Bowl next year." The Bears are currently last in the NFC North at 3-7, and Jeffery is in Philadelphia after signing a one-year deal worth as much as $14 million in free agency. But Jeffery suggested that guarantee traveled with him. "I never said a team, though," said Jeffery at his locker stall Tuesday, raising an eyebrow and offering a smile. "I never said a team."
Eagles-Bears scouting report - Daily News
The Bears are fifth in the league in rushing (131.8 yards per game) and sixth in rush average (4.5 yards per carry). They are averaging 29 rush attempts per game and are second in run-play percentage (48.2), just ahead of the Eagles. Jordan Howard, who was taken three picks ahead of the Eagles’ Wendell Smallwood in the fifth round of the 2016 draft, is third in the league in rushing with 841 yards. He’s a big back with excellent vision. He notched his fourth 100-yard game of the season last week against the Lions (125 yards on 15 carries). Rookie Tarik Cohen had 44 yards on nine carries against the Lions. The Eagles weren’t as good against the run Sunday night as they have been, but they’re still holding teams to a league-best 71.0 yards per game.
The Rise Of CB Patrick Robinson - PE.com
Patrick Robinson points to his head. Here is where it all starts for Robinson, the Eagles’ cornerback who has turned heads and shut down wide receivers in 10 games for a defense that has been nothing short of outstanding as the Eagles have burst to a 9-1, best-in-the-NFL record ...
All-22: Eagles call on ‘truck’ wrinkle to run all over the Cowboys - The Athletic
On Wednesday of last week, the Eagles began to install their base running plays for Sunday night's matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. That's when Jason Kelce realized there was going to be a little wrinkle against the division opponent. “Right in the installs, when we’re going over it in film and running it a couple times in practice, you know that this is really in the game plan this week,” Kelce said. The play was first installed during OTAs and has been in the playbook all season long. It has different names — tackle power, tackle trap and dart are among them. The Eagles call them “truck” plays, although Lane Johnson wasn't quite sure why. “Some trucks are bigger than others,” he said with a smile. “JP [Jason Peters] is a pretty big truck.” The play calls for a tackle — not a guard — to pull. And the Eagles used it four times Sunday to gain 77 yards, including Jay Ajayi's key 71-yard run in the third quarter.
Week 11 DVOA Ratings - Football Outsiders
The prodigal sons have returned! DVOA's favorite team, the Philadelphia Eagles, have finally returned to the top of our ratings this week thanks to a big win over the rival Dallas Cowboys. The Eagles have had the best record in the league for a couple weeks now, and most observers ranked them as the top team in the NFL. DVOA had them just below the top until now. The Eagles were No. 3 last week but slip ahead of New Orleans, which remains at No. 2. Last week's top team, the Los Angeles Rams, drops to fourth after losing to the Minnesota Vikings, who are fifth. The Eagles are also our new Super Bowl favorites according to the playoff odds report, although their odds of making the playoffs aren't quite at 100 percent yet. The Eagles still miss the playoffs in a grand total of 24 out of 50,000 simulations.
NFL 2017 Week 11 - Team of the Week - PFF
Carson Wentz had another strong outing for the Eagles, and his favorite target this week was WR Alshon Jeffery. The former South Carolina standout was thrown at six times, and he came down with four catches for 67 yards and a touchdown. His lone score was a fourth-and-five play that threw a dagger into the Dallas Cowboys on the night and involved an impressive catch from Jeffery in the end zone.
Can't Run On Us - McNabb or Kolb
The analysis presented above demonstrates that Eagles opponents are 10% less likely to run the ball than average, given the game situation. If opponents indeed are choosing to attack the Eagles’ passing defense, they are picking a different, though still potent, poison. The Eagles passing defense is ranked 7th in ANY/A allowed, and ranked 8th in defensive passing DVOA.
As NFL players feel fans' scorn on social media, some choose to push back - USA Today
Said Philadelphia Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount: “It changed my view a little bit because you don’t really know how they feel about you (in real life). On social media, they tell you.”
The Eagles drew up the perfect play to beat the Cowboys’ defense - SB Nation
I love when a scheme design ends up working just like it’s drawn on the page. The Eagles have had lots of these in the run game this season. They have mixed in all sorts of runs ... zone, gap runs, some draws. All of it has worked well so far this season. Here’s a fantastic example of that on Sunday. The Eagles run a ton of outside zone from this formation and alignment of the back. The Cowboys are in their base defense, which is Cover 2. In a Cover 2 defense, you’re typically a man short in the box so the defensive line will pirate. A pirate is a front side spike by the defensive tackle and the defensive end. The idea is that this forces runs to bounce outside, where the outside linebacker will be waiting or the middle linebacker coming over the top
The Eagles will play at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park - Morning Call
The Eagles, the best-selling rock group that disbanded after founding singer Glenn Frey died last year but reunited for a couple of high-profile shows this year, will undertake a stadium tour next summer that will include a stop at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, it was just announced.
Part One of the Week Twelve Preview features my talk with @BrandonGowton of SB Nation's @BleedingGreen— Chicago Bears Review (@chibearsreview) November 22, 2017
Get it on iTunes, Google Play or https://t.co/9zif50bwYP
Part Two will be out on FRIDAY!! pic.twitter.com/tiCVsvqJOe
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Subject: Canucks 5, Flyers 2: And the Flyers drop their fifth straight
Some observations for your morning...
It was bad, friends. Let’s get right into it.
1. Passing troubles early
The first few minutes of last night’s game felt like most of the others, of late. For the first six minutes, the Flyers struggled to get much of any momentum going. Passing was weak, their plays were broken up, they couldn’t seem to break cleanly through the neutral zone, and the puck was bouncing around like crazy.
The Flyers also faced some trouble staying upright, were losing their edges left and right. So maybe part of it was an ice issue. Who knows.
What remains is that the Flyers still struggle to start a game strong, have to take a few shifts to assert much of any kind of presence. They avoided digging themselves into an early hole, which seems a step in the right direction, but they still fail to do themselves any favors, during the early parts of their games.
2. Shot locations looking good… or not
Through these more recent games, we’ve been bemoaning and bemoaning the Flyer’s over-reliance on point shots, and their hopes that they can generate the offense that just hasn’t come. But the first period of last night’s game looked like they were breaking away from this trend. Their highest traffic area was in close to the net, as they worked to chip away at the puck in the crease. They were generating some close chances, and promise was abound.
But after the first period, the Flyers seemed to take a literal step back, regressing to taking a high number of point shots and hoping to pick up rebounds. But, as has been the case, this just wasn’t working. Markstrom’s rebound control was steady. The Flyers’ screens weren’t effective. Their forwards weren’t in place to capitalize on the chances they were getting. The Flyers dominated through the entirety of the game in shots, but it seemed their biggest hinderance throughout was the quality of the chances, rather than the quantity.
3. More defenseman goals
Last night Provorov opened up scoring for the evening, extending his goal streak to two games, and in doing so retaining his place as one of the only consistently good things about this team, this whole timeline.
Flyers goal scored by #9 Ivan Provorov! pic.twitter.com/mhyr9tp6Cy— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) November 22, 2017
On a setup from Konecny, Provorov was able to send the puck in and past a screened Markstrom. In a way, it felt like a near repeat of the goal from Saturday, with this yet-unnamed third line setting up its defensemen to pick up goal, fired from the perimeter. So secondary scoring is still technically lacking, but at least the middle six are setting up chances.
And for the second game in a row, it looked for a moment like Raffl had tipped the puck into the net, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Raffl still has zero points, despite doing most everything right. And that just feels about right.
4. Power play struggles
After looking like it had finally started to shake off some of the rust, the Flyers’ power play had another rough showing, last night. They were unable to capitalize on any of their attempts, and spent much of their time on the ice looking, largely, flat. Their second attempt of the night was a clear example of this. Were they even on the power play for those two minutes? They spent much of the time hemmed into their own zone, looking like they were the ones on the penalty kill.
And while we’re on the topic, why in the world is Lehtera still on PP2, over Jordan Weal? It seems a strange call, given that the only real area that Lehtera can offer influence is in the crease, but putting him there pushes out Patrick, who serves as the much better option for the net-front presence.
Maybe we can offer a bit of the benefit of the doubt. Maybe Weal was off the power play in the interest of easing him back into the play, after missing a game. Is this naive to think? Maybe. But we could stand to be a little hopeful, at least.
5. Neuvirth was not good, gang
Looking to make a triumphant return after sitting for the past few games, Neuvirth took extra shots in warmups, in anticipation of what was to come. He was getting so ready. And he fell so flat.
Allowing four goals--two at even strength, and two on the penalty kill--Neuvirth certainly showed some rust, looking just a little slower than usual, and with his rebound control looking shaky. To be fair, the team in front of him wasn’t excellent, but there was a chance for him to come up bigger. And he was pulled after 27:27.
Enter Brian Elliott. He looked his usual self through the end of the game, making the big saves when necessary, and not letting in any further goals while he was on the ice. Again, Elliott proved to be the difference maker, and showed why he has elevated himself to the clear 1A.
Indeed, the game could have been very different if Elliott had been subbed in earlier. Post-game, Hakstol admitted that, in hindsight, Neuvirth should have been pulled after the third goal, in hopes of not digging them into a bigger hole. It’s not a call you can get back, of course, but if nothing else, it reinforces why Elliott has been the go-to starter, of late.
6. Possession game held solidly in Flyers’ favor
And, as it turns out, goaltending was one of the team’s biggest hindrances, throughout the game. The Flyers registered an adjusted CF% of 54.84% percent, and held an edge in possession throughout the entirety of the game.
The Flyers led in shot attempts 79-54, and shots 38-36. They trailed in expected goals over the night, picking up 2.21 to Vancouver’s 3.36, but still led at five on five through the first two periods.
So the goaltending put them into a deficit that, despite some decent underlying play, they were unable to claw their way out of. And, to be fair, as we noted earlier, some of the chances they got were wanting for quality, but they were still there.
And this may be encouraging, if we dare go that far, that the underlying numbers still look decent, despite the results. These results don’t change, and we still feel bad about them, but we can also be led to at least hope that they can be predictive of future events. That they suggest that things may shift, eventually.
7. A goal by a Ginger Liner
With scoring having all but died in the middle of the game for the Flyers, some life was finally injected into the team--and the room at large--with a goal by Voracek halfway through the third period. From here the energy shifting, the Wells Fargo Center was back to buzzing, and the team seemed to have sparked.
Of course, we can’t ignore that the issue of secondary scoring still remains. Just as it has, the first line has worked to be the difference maker, while the others lag behind. But, in the context of last night’s game, there comes a certain point where you just need goals, and you don’t particularly care where they’re coming from. So, as we’ve been saying, the bottom nine need to find a way to break into the scoring conversation, this remains an issue that leaves the team vulnerable. But, at the same time, sometimes beggars just can’t be choosers.
8. Third period push
And the Voracek goal certainly sparked something for the Flyers. After looking like they had spent much of the middle of the game sitting back, to a certain degree, they were finally able to bring a real, tangible push late in the third period. The perimeter shots were still being leaned on, but they were able to pick up some rebound, and generate other quality chances, originating from closer in on the net.
But the synch still remained an issue, and despite some sustained pressure, the Flyers still saw their attempts broken up by the Canucks. Their defense, lagging through the game, stepped up, but not enough.
And this seemed the narrative of the third period--that of an impressive late game push, but of it just simply being too little, too late.
And with this surge after the Voracek, confirmed was the theory that many of us have been floating for a good part of the season--the Flyers are a bunch of headcases. When, early in the game, they allowed a Canucks goal, and then another, and then another, you could see the energy leaving them. They sat back, and allowed Vancouver to push harder and work to close the gap in shots. The effort never completely fell off, but the quality of their play sagged, definitively.
An encouraging sign, of course, was that the Flyers didn’t allow the wheels to totally come off, given their frustration, and were able to avoid accruing a huge number of needless penalties.
Giroux called them a “frustrated team,” and this frustration is both understandable and certainly palpable. They were able to shore up much of the penalty troubles, but then troubles seemed to pop up elsewhere. They were able to get some scoring from not the first line, and the defense had a rough night. The Flyers, right now, are looking like a leaky boat, and it’s getting under their skin.
The only hope is that, rather than getting frazzled, that they can find some way to channel this into a tangible (positive) result.
10. The only damn thing I know
As Charlie and I were leaving the game last night, we came across a strange specimen on the sidewalk, just outside the Wells Fargo Center.
Alone on the pavement sat an “authentic fan” fan. Torn in two.
I paused on it for a moment, and realized in that moment, that I would never identify more with an inanimate object than I did with that fan.
We are all that shredded fan. Always and forever.
Subject: Kenjon Barner and Corey Clement Show Jay Ajayi Their Love By Relentlessly Breaking His Balls
Subject: Your Wednesday Morning Roundup
Subject: Eagles players roast Jay Ajayi for getting caught from behind on 71-yard run
The only problem is ... it could have been longer.
If Ajayi didn’t get caught from behind, it would’ve been an 86-yard touchdown. This didn’t end up mattering because the Eagles scored a touchdown on this drive anyway (Carson Wentz to Torrey Smith), but that didn’t stop Ajayi’s teammates from teasing him about it.
Jay AJAYI got ROASTED on the sidelines after his 71 yard run for getting caught pic.twitter.com/NGDHOHCqQN— Drew Corrigan (@Dcorrigan50) November 22, 2017
Corey Clement: “Get yo slow ass over here! You slow as shit!”
Jay Ajayi: “They gon’ lower my speed on Madden”
Kenjon Barner: “Unhook the trailer, with your slow ass ... that’s a damn shame! You an embarrassment ... that was a good run though.”
Haha, love that little line by Barner at the end to make it clear he’s just messing around.
Still, you’d like to see the Jay Train take it all the way to the station. Can’t get caught by the caboose.
Subject: BSH Radio reacts following a 5-2 loss to Vancouver
The Flyers’ worst effort of the season has every fan asking “what’s the point of this season?”
But on the bright ... yeah, never mind.
The Flyers were not good at all on Tuesday night at home against the Vancouver Canucks and Bill hosted the Facebook Live Postgame to ask what exactly is the point of this season? To get Jori Lehtera power play time? To find out if Mark Alt can be the seventh defenseman of the future? [Ed. note: this was recorded before today’s roster news.]
Nobody in Flyer-land is happy with the coach, and the general manager is starting to take some heat as well. Check out the video to hear somebody echo your frustrations with a team that started the season in promising fashion only to flop in November.
Posted by Broad Street Hockey: For Philadelphia Flyers Fans on Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Subject: Danick Martel, Samuel Morin called up to Flyers
Mark Alt and Matt Read will head to Lehigh Valley as the Flyers make their first real call-up moves of the season.
When you’ve lost five games in a row, sometimes you’ve gotta just do something.
Today, the Flyers did something!
The news that Samuel Morin will be joining the team is, ultimately, not that surprising. First of all, there were reports from last night’s game that Mark Alt left the Wells Fargo Center with his bags, a sign that he was likely headed back up 476 to Allentown. Second, as we discussed on Sunday night in the wake of Radko Gudas’ suspension, the lineup fit for Morin is a sensical one sans-Gudas:
Stylistically, it’d be hard for them to find a better Gudas “replacement” than Samuel Morin, who has been down in Lehigh Valley since mid-October. Morin’s a left-handed shot, so he can’t replace Gudas in that sense, but he’s a big (6’7”, to be exact), physical defensive defenseman who can skate well and play on the penalty kill. That checks off a lot of the boxes in terms of what Gudas successfully brought to the table. Plus, he has some experience playing with Travis Sanheim, who has primarly been paired up with Gudas during his brief NHL career; the two young defensemen spent a lot of time sharing the ice last season with the Phantoms.
The Flyers showed their hand a little bit in October, announcing that Morin had been called up in light of an injury to Shayne Gostisbehere. It was later revealed that Morin was never actually called up to the NHL roster, likely due to an injury that he didn’t initially disclose to the team. Still, by announcing that Morin was to be called up, the Flyers essentially revealed that they were prepared to give Morin some time at the NHL level. If they’re still comfortable with that, the Flyers’ brass may not have a better chance than it does right now, since Morin is healthy and playing hockey again.
With Alt gone (the Flyers noted that he had been sent to the Phantoms) and with Andrew MacDonald still apparently not ready to come back from injury, it appears all but certain that Morin will be in the lineup tonight against the Islanders. (Unless he’s hiding an injury from the team again. Sorry, too soon?) Where he’ll be in the lineup is a question we’ll have an answer to closer to game time — does the team put him with Sanheim and keep its other two pairs in place, or does it throw all three pairs in the blender? We’ll see.
The more interesting call-up here is that of Danick Martel. Unless there’s a mysterious injury we haven’t learned about yet, Martel’s newfound presence at the NHL level appears to be some combination of a reward to him and a wake-up call to the rest of the forwards on the roster. Martel, in his third year with the Phantoms after being signed as an overage undrafted free agent in early 2015, got off to a ridiculously hot start with the Phantoms this year, so much so that at the time of this writing he not only leads the AHL in goals with 14 (through 17 games), he’s got three more than anyone else.
Also, courtesy of Brad Keffer’s Phantoms tracking, Martel actually leads all Phantoms forwards in 5-on-5 Corsi For percentage, so while his goal-scoring numbers were likely to cool off at some point (Martel was probably not going to shoot 28 percent forever), there are signs that Martel’s on-ice successes are sustainable to at least some extent.
It’s quite a jump for Martel, who didn’t even make the cut in our 25 Under 25 this past summer and who we described back in September as “someone who may just spend his career as a good AHL player [...] that never gets a real shot at the NHL.” His selection over other options such as Oskar Lindblom, who’s getting his feet under him after a slow start to his North American career, and Mike Vecchione, who has 18 points in his first 17 professional games and has been serving up assists on many of those Martel goals, shows that the team is confident in his performance so far this year.
The move hopefully will invigorate a Flyers forward group that has been totally punchless in the last three weeks. The last time a Flyers forward scored a goal without any of Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, or Sean Couturier on the ice was on November 4, when Dale Weise scored a goal against the Colorado Avalanche. Where Martel slots in to the lineup is also something we’ll likely learn closer to game time tonight.
To make room for Martel, Matt Read — who was waived on Monday — will be sent to Lehigh Valley.
Subject: Hak Job: Five Takeaways (from the coach!) from Canucks 5, Flyers 2
Subject: The NFC East, as told by really bad charts
When words just won’t do
It’s not even Thanksgiving and the NFC East is unofficially over. The Eagles are going to cruise to the title, the Cowboys and Redskins might finish with losing records, and the Giants are pissing away a top draft pick. With six games to go, describing this division is going to get repetitive fast, so this week let’s visualize it.
Philadelphia Eagles (9-1)
Last Week: Continued their bye week until halftime, still defeated the Cowboys 37-9.
This Week: Host the Bears, who have scored more than 17 points three times this season.
Dallas Cowboys (5-5)
Last Week: Gave up 30 straight points in a must win game.
This Week: Host the Chargers pass rush in the late afternoon Thanksgiving game.
Washington Redskins (4-6)
Last Week: Blew a 31-16 lead with 5:58 to play and lost to the Saints 34-31 in OT.
This Week: Host the Giants in the night Thanksgiving game, because of course 2017 has the Redskins playing on Thanksgiving.
New York Giants (2-8)
Last Week: Beat the Chiefs 12-9. That is not a typo.
This Week: Ben McAdoo misses getting kicked out of a Thanksgiving all you can eat as the Giants visit the Redskins on Thursday.
Tweet of the Week
Subject: If These Walls Could Talk: BSH interviews Lou Nolan
Kelly has a chat with legendary Flyers PA announcer Lou Nolan about his new book, his favorite stories, and his life inside the organization
It’s not every day you get to have a chat with a legend, but we were able to do just that when Lou Nolan met with BSH Radio’s Kelly Hinkle to talk about his new book, If These Walls Could Talk: Stories from the Philadelphia Flyers Ice, Locker Room, and Press Box.
Lou talks about his favorite memories of the Flyers’ teams of the past, shares why he thinks our current team is something special, and answers some questions posed by our readers. Here’s the interview, in full:
If you’re looking for a gift for the Flyers fans in your life this holiday season, I can’t recommend this book enough. And if you’d like the opportunity to meet Lou and have your copy of the book signed, he and his co-author, Sam Carchidi, will be conducting book signings locally over the next week:
WHEN: Saturday, November 25 at 2:00 p.m. ET
WHERE: Main Point Books
WHEN: Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. ET
WHERE: Barnes & Noble
ADDRESS: 102 Park Ave, Willow Grove, PA 19090
WHEN: Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. ET
WHERE: Barnes & Noble
Be sure to follow BSH Radio on twitter for your chance to win a copy of the book next week!
Subject: We Were Right Before Christmas: BGN Radio and Rights To Ricky Sanchez are teaming up for a live podcast event
Hope to see you there!
ANNOUNCING: this year’s big holiday event that you won’t want to miss!
That’s right: it’s your favorite Eagles podcast and favorite Sixers podcast teaming up for an awesome live podcast event extraordinaire. Both Philly teams are looking very promising right now so let’s all get together and bask in the glory!
We are so incredibly excited not only to do the show together, but to do it LIVE so you guys and girls can be part of the experience as well. Beers will be flowing and there may be a few surprises (special guests?!) on the way. We guarantee it’ll be the BEST holiday experiences of the year.
In order to attend, make sure you get a ticket ASAP! Tickets go on sale THIS FRIDAY at UndergroundArts.org and will be at $15 until Monday. We’ll see you at Underground Arts for a lot of holiday cheers and beers but most importantly: to gloat about how we were right about Carson Wentz and The Process. Hence the name: We Were Right Before Christmas.
DESCRIPTION: Here we are, standing on the right side of history. It will be one night, and the two biggest Philly sports podcasts in the world, as Rights To Ricky Sanchez and BGN Radio perform separate podcasts, then come together for one big combo pod. Come and spread some holiday cheer with the guys and their special guests.
DATE: Friday, December 22nd
TIME: Doors at 7:00 PM, show starts at 8:00 PM
LOCATION: Underground Arts Theater, 1200 Callowhill Street - Philadelphia, PA 19107
TICKETS: [CLICK HERE] — Available starting November 24th — $15 Black Friday thru Cyber Monday, $18 after that, $20 at the door on December 22nd
PARKING: On-street parking and lots near venue
COUNTDOWN TIMER: [Click here]
Let us know in the comments below if you plan on being there!
Subject: Flyers vs. Islanders: Wait, we can play teams in our division?
There’s more than just the Western Conference?
The Islanders currently sit at fourth in the Metro and are coming off a loss to the Hurricanes on Sunday. The Flyers, having lost to the Canucks last night, their fifth straight loss, look to channel their frustration into some kind of tangible result.
With volatility the story of the Flyers’ last few games, there’s a lot to be thinking about as they head into this second game of the back to backs. Here are three of them.
1. New pals! Welcome!
Big news, friends! Matt Read cleared waivers, and with Andrew MacDonald still in IR, the Flyers announced this morning that they have called up Samuel Morin and Danick Martel from the Phantoms. The two have been having solid seasons down in the AHL, and their addition to the lineup will, hopefully, allow them to spark something.
Morin seems an easy substitution for Gudas on a pure physicality level, with the other defensemen looking to pick up the slack, in terms of play driving. And Martel, with 14 goals in 17 games, we hope will be able to help the Flyers open up secondary scoring.
The story of the Flyers’ last few games has been, undoubtedly, one of frustration. And whether it manifests in taking needless penalties or just sitting back and letting quality chances slide, their game of late has reflected their diminished confidence.
Players and coach alike have acknowledged this flattening and this frustration, so one imagines it’s only a matter of time before they start to do something to change or push back against it (right?). In short, let’s hope they start that tonight.
3. Solid goaltending is a must
As evidenced by last night’s game, one of the most key pieces to the Flyers not digging themselves into an insurmountable hole is quality goaltending. With defense sagging—but hopefully picking up—and the penalty kill showing some weakness, they need their goaltender to come up big, in order to keep them in the game. Neuvirth wasn’t able to do that last night, but Elliott showed some strength and promise. We can expect him to get the start, given this strength, and hope that he can hold onto it.
The models up so far over at Corsica favor the Islanders to win this one, giving the Flyers an average of 41.7 percent chance of winning. So there’s that.
You can check out the Flyers’ projected lineup below.
Giroux - Couturier - Voracek
Weal - Patrick - Simmonds
Konecny - Filppula - Martel
Leier - Laughton - Raffl
Provorov - Hagg
Gostisbehere - Manning
Sanheim - Morin
Subject: A Flyers fan
We’re almost two months into the 2017-18 season now, which means that we’re deep in autumnal bliss. The leaves have turned and fallen, the Leafs have done the opposite, and the air is crisp and refreshing. Winter is right around the corner, so you know what that means.
Oh boy. The holidays.
Not everyone lives in a fuckin’ Norman Rockwell painting, though. I’d wager that, for most of us, the holidays between the end of November and the beginning of January are our most stressful days of the year, which is totally bonkers. Shouldn’t this be the time for us to relax? To enjoy a brief reprieve from the hellacious reality of our blistering, splintering time, ever-dwindling into the ether of forever?
For the next several weeks, you will undoubtedly be faced with trials that will test your mind, body, and spirit. You will be worn thin, patience stretched beyond the point of no return. You will undoubtedly find yourself questioning your purpose, slowly losing your grasp on reality.
I’ve identified five common problems that people experience during this, the most complicated time of the year, and I will answer them accordingly. Get some wine, put on some Bing Crosby, and learn a thing or two.
Problem 1: You have seasonal affective disorder, and you feel thankful for nothing. You are sitting around the table, holding hands with people you may or may not want to be holding hands with, and listening to what these jokers have to be thankful for in this hellish existence. They fall like dominoes, one by one by one spouting their gratefulness, some goofy and some gut-wrenchingly heartfelt. That’s when it hits you. You are miserable. The sun sets at quarter to fuckin’ five. There isn’t anything to be thankful for, you think. Panic sets in.
Solution: Say “I’m thankful for Sean Couturier emerging as a legitimate, nay, preferred first line center in the NHL.”
This is the perfect response. It is just weird enough to get people to smile, it’s tapping into some real emotion that you actually still feel, and it’s true. That boy has been a monster. Immediately after you succeed mightily in the most stressful Thanksgiving tradition, pat yourself on the back for a job well done. (Oh, and also ... the seasons will change. It stinks being sad, but trust me, it’ll be alright in the end. Take a walk, maybe. Or do a face mask. Open a window. That usually helps.)
Problem 2: You’re trying to lose weight, but there is so much delicious food around. Hey, man. We’ve all been there. Well, most of us have been there. It’s like, you don’t get buffalo chicken dip every day! It’s a sometime food! But what are you supposed to do when the stuff is just staring back at you, taunting you? Beckoning you forward with its siren’s song? You don’t know temptation until dieting during the holidays.
Solution: Print off a sign that says “Jakub Voracek gave up carbs. So must we all,” stick it to your forehead, and never touch another carbohydrate in your stupid life.
The sacrifice that Voracek has made for this awful sport is amazing. This is the most sincere I will ever be in my entire life: the fact that Jakub Voracek gave up carbohydrates at one point in his life means that we all owe him our lives, or at the very least, a commitment to our own stupid weight loss goals. Of course, your only other option is to wear cargo shorts, store Ziploc bags in your pockets, then loudly knock a vase over in order to distract people while you shove food in your bags for later. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy all the very delicious foods at your leisure, when they fit in your diet plan.
Problem 3: Your relatives won’t stop asking about [school/job/significant other/general life plans] even though it makes you uncomfortable.
Just the thought of this is enough to give me a fuckin’ hemorrhoid. Mind your own business, Susan! I don’t ask about your divorce! The least you could do is avoid asking for clarification about my personal life going off the rails. There’s no elegant way to handle this, especially if you’re like me and you possess below-average interpersonal skills and a debilitating case of social anxiety.
Solution: Cough, mention Claude Giroux’s resurgence, and then immediately deflect. If you think about it critically, who is more relevant to your life: you, a historic noodle brain, or Claude Giroux, 19th captain of the Philadelphia Flyers and champion of the sun? Obviously, of course, it is the latter. If you’re here, reading this, I bet you’re pretty dang excited about the start that Claude has had to the year just like I am, so there is nothing more appropriate to get you out of this messy conversation.
Saying something like “Isn’t it amazing how all stat boys who talked about Claude Giroux’s demise are now stripped of relevancy and honor?” will confuse your assailant and leave them vulnerable to counterattack. Now is your chance. Strike with a furious vengeance. Target their weaknesses. Show no mercy. You have been preparing for this your entire life.
Problem 4: You have forgotten to buy a present for someone who bought you a present.
Oh, this is the absolute worst shit in the fuckin’ universe. It makes you look inconsiderate and cheap. A total asshole.
Not to get on your case, because that would be the last thing you need, but what were you thinking? They look at you expectantly once you have unwrapped your gift. Well?, their expression asks. Terror seizes your heart. You are backed into a corner, except the corner is filled with spiders and the spiders are actually snakes AND spiders, and they’re about to eat you alive.
Solution: Tell them your gift is taking them to a Flyers game at their convenience.
This is a fuckin’ great solution. Kudos to whomever thought of it. You don’t need any preparation, nor any forethought. Also, it totally puts the onus on them to cash in, which means, hey, maybe they never will! That’s not really the spirit of the holidays, but ... oh well.
Also, fret not if you think to yourself “I can’t afford a Flyers game.” The Flyers are incredibly average, so it’s not like people are gonna be clawing to get tickets anytime soon. The Flyers are basically daytime television. Nobody, like, willingly chooses to see it. It just kinda ... is there. Something to watch. Just get a couple 25 dollar tickets, and go appropriately nuts.
Problem 5: You are literally or metaphorically alone.
Doesn’t matter if you have plans or not, buddy. Loneliness will creep into your heart, frigid like ice water, whether you are by yourself in your home or surrounded by hundreds of friends.
Solution: Think about all the memories you’ve made with your life-long friends because of your mutual disdain for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Maybe you had a hard year. Maybe you listened to The Mountain Goats a little too often for your own good. Maybe you wallowed when you shouldn’t have. Maybe you took that loss to the Nashville Predators to heart. No matter.
Over the course of the last year, we’ve shared some good moments. Wayne was shirtless. Remember that? God. Good times. Laughton’s Mike Richards impression? Anytime Shayne Gostisbehere ever touched the puck? Claude Giroux on the wing? The honey bees? Brandon Manning killing Connor McDavid? (I’m joking, mostly.) I mean, god. Remember when the Flyers moved from 13 to 2? And then we got Nolan “mild rosacea” Patrick? Iconic.
I don’t know. I guess it’s dorky to put it in writing, but when you share these inconsequential things with people you love, people you care deeply for, it reminds you that you’re connected to something. It puts you in perspective. You aren’t alone. Not ever.
In the end, remember: sometimes, things don’t have to be marred by doubt or self-hatred or the ugliness we’re capable of dreaming up. Sometimes? Things can just be good.
Thanks for reading. Enjoy the holidays, whichever you might celebrate.
Each Wednesday, the SB Nation NFL team sites explore a special theme. This week's theme question obviously ties into the Thanksgiving holiday: “What are you thankful for?”
The answer is simple. We’re all very thankful for this Philadelphia Eagles season.
It’s been a magical ride. Going from 7-9 last year to 9-1 through the first 10 games this year ... who saw this coming?
It wasn’t even that crazy to think the Eagles were going to improve. But not many could have predicted they’d be THIS good.
The Eagles own the best record in the NFL. They own the best point differential in the NFL. They rank No. 1 overall in DVOA.
And while there are still six games left to be played, the numbers indicate they’re in pretty good shape.
#FlyEaglesFlyPosted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Eagles playoffs odds: 99.95%— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) November 22, 2017
Win division: 99.8%
First round bye: 83.4%
No. 1 seed: 59.6%
Win Super Bowl: 23.3% pic.twitter.com/ucq4ExM8VW
This is the best the Eagles have been in what feels like a very long time. (And arguably ever ... ?)
There’s so much credit to go around.
We’re thankful for Jeffrey Lurie for being patient with Howie Roseman and keeping him around to run this team. (I never thought I’d be saying that!)
We’re thankful for Roseman hiring Doug Pederson (another thing I didn’t expect to be saying) and making the trades it took to acquire a stud franchise quarterback: Carson Wentz. Not to mention hiring Joe Douglas to help him with player personnel evaluations.
We’re thankful for Pederson leading his team to such a good season. From creative play-calling to manifesting unselfish locker room culture, Pederson has earned Coach of the Year consideration. His entire coaching staff seems to be getting the most out of their guys.
We’re thankful for Wentz. He’s the franchise quarterback the Eagles have sorely lacked for too long now. No more talking ourselves into lesser talents. Wentz is the real deal. He could very well end up being the NFL MVP ... in only his second season!
We’re thankful for the best offensive line in the NFL. Even with Jason Peters out for the season, which is a huge bummer, Philly is still smashing people up front. They’re paving the way for a successful running game as well as keeping Wentz well-protected. Jason Kelce is having a huge bounce-back year. Lane Johnson is the best right tackle in the NFL. Stefen Wisniewski has stabilized the left guard position. Brandon Brooks is a Pro Bowl right guard who hasn’t allowed a sack all season. Halapoulivaati Vaitai has developed into a capable starter.
We’re thankful for a wide receiver corps that is SO MUCH BETTER from last year’s abomination. It took some time for Alshon Jeffery to get going but he’s looking like a No. 1 wide receiver recently. Nelson Agholor is no longer the worst receiver in the NFL. Torrey Smith is a legitimate deep threat. Mack Hollins is literally unstoppable. Marcus Johnson earned his spot on the roster with a strong camp and gives the Eagles even more depth. What’s great about this group is that they don’t complain about the ball being shared among themselves.
We’re thankful for Jim Schwartz and the Eagles’ defense. That defensive line is EATING. Fletcher Cox, Tim Jernigan, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Derek Barnett, and Chris Long are beasts. Nigel Bradham and Mychal Kendricks, who a lot of people wrote off (guilty), have really stepped up at linebacker. The secondary is no longer a major weakness thanks to contributions from a number of cornerbacks: Patrick Robinson, Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby, Rasul Douglas. The safeties on the back end, Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod, keep things stable as well.
We’re thankful for a team that’s compromised of a number of players who do great work off the field. We’re thankful for what Carson Wentz was able to do for the Dutch Destroyer and his family. We’re thankful for Chris Long donating his entire season of paychecks in order to fund scholarships. These efforts make an already likeable team even easier to root for.
We’re thankful that this year feels different. We’re so used to disappointment. But this team is giving us something to believe in. There’s nothing fluky about what the Eagles are doing. They’re legitimately great. We owe it to ourselves to take a moment and appreciate how special this season has been so far.
We’re thankful for having the best fans in the NFL. The community here at Bleeding Green Nation is awesome. You’ve helped BGN become the No. 1 team site here at SB Nation ... of any sports league! You’ve helped me to run BGN as a full-time job. You’ve helped BGN Radio grow from “merely a podcast” to a podcast with a radio show on a SportsRadio 94WIP that also does live events such as broadcasting from the 2017 NFL Draft or concert venues. Your passion only helps to fuel ours.
We’re thankful that we can dream of having a parade down Broad Street in February. Hopefully that dream comes true. We deserve it.
Happy Thanksgiving, BGN.
Subject: Checking out the competition: New York Islanders with Dominik J
We’ve got not one but TWO games against those Islanders this week; let’s see what we should expect.
Kelly is joined by Dominik Jánsky, one of the editors over at Lighthouse Hockey, to break down what both Flyers fans and Islanders fans can expect from both games of the home-and-home that will take the Flyers up to Brooklyn and back again with some turkey and pie in between. Topics include:
- The future of John Tavares
- How the Oilers might benefit from having a scoring winger like Jordan Eberle
- The absolute madhouse that is the Metropolitan Division
- The excitement surrounding the Flyers’ crop of rookie talent
- The return policy on first-pair defensemen
The first game of this series is tonight in Brooklyn at 7PM, and then we’ll all nurse our food hangovers with a little afternoon Flyers action on Friday, when the Islanders roll into town for a 4PM puck drop. Let’s go Flyers!!
Subject: Eagles Injury Report: Jake Elliott among three players limited in practice
Updated on the Eagles’ injury situation.
BTW my understanding is that Beau Allen’s knee problem Sunday night was tendinitis, nothing long term. #Eagles.— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) November 21, 2017
Elliott is still in the NFL’s mandatory concussion protocol, but he was able to do some kicking during practice on Wednesday. Eagles head coach Doug Pederson seems confident Elliott will be ready by Sunday’s game.
“Listen, I don't want to speculate on a bunch of things and say, this and that and the other because a lot of it is speculation. But put it this way: I do believe and I feel in the bottom of my heart that Jake will be ready.”
Pederson also said he wouldn’t go into a game without a “real” kicker ready to play (sorry, Kamu Grugier-Hill). Given that the Eagles reportedly didn’t work out any free agent kickers this week, it does sound like the team expects Elliott to be ready for the Bears game.
As for McLeod and Burton, they must’ve gotten banged up in the Cowboys game as well. Right now there’s no indication that they’re in serious jeopardy of missing this week’s matchup, but it’s something to keep an eye on over the next few days.
That’s Rodney McLeod. He has a pinny (spelling?) tucked into his pants. May be a “don’t hit me” pinny to be used during team drills. He got shaken up during game in Dallas. pic.twitter.com/w2CPtVMQ4t— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) November 22, 2017
For those wondering about Sidney Jones, there’s been no real update on him. He’s still on the reserve/non-football injury list. Here’s what I wrote about Jones a couple weeks ago.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES INJURY REPORT (WEDNESDAY)
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
DT Beau Allen (knee)
K Jake Elliott (concussion)
S Rodney McLeod (oblique)
TE Trey Burton (back)
CHICAGO BEARS INJURY REPORT (WEDNESDAY)
The Bears are dealing with a number of significant injuries.
Bellamy has played the second most snaps of any Bears receiver this season. He also contributes on special teams for them.
Floyd is definitely out for this week’s game since his season might be over. That’s a significant loss for Chicago considering he ranks second on the team in sacks.
Trevathan is another one of Chicago’s best defenders. He ranks second on the team in tackles with 52.
DID NOT PARTICIPATE
WR Josh Bellamy (concussion)
DE Akiem Hicks (knee)
OLB Leonard Floyd (knee)
ILB Danny Trevathan (calf)
DE Roy Robertson-Harris (hamstring)
S DeAndre Houston-Carson (ankle)
TE Deon Sims (illness)
WR Dontrelle Inman (groin)
OT Tom Compton (ankle)
DE Mitch Unrein (knee)
CB Bryce Callahan (knee)