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[#] Mon Dec 04 2017 12:01:05 EST from rss

Subject: The Giants Fired Ben McAdoo

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It seemed like it was only a matter of time. The Giants fired head coach Ben McAdoo on Monday morning, which he apparently confirmed himself: Ben McAdoo tells me he’s been fired. — Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 4, 2017 Ben McAdoo has confirmed he is fired — Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) December 4, 2017 McAdoo was…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/oIMRgpKpC6k/the-giants-fired-ben-mcadoo.html

[#] Mon Dec 04 2017 13:00:02 EST from rss

Subject: Flyers at Flames preview: Judgment week?

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The Flyers are in Calgary to begin a three-game swing out in Western Canada that could decide the direction of the rest of this season.

On this exact day two months ago, the Flyers began a three-game road swing against Pacific Division teams, and it had been a while since they’d won a regular-season game. Tonight, they’ll also begin a three-game road swing against Pacific Division teams, and it’s also been a while since they’ve won a regular-season game.

Of course, that Western road trip had a slightly different feel to it, because it represented the first three games of the Flyers’ 2017-18 season. Tonight, the Flyers will take the ice in Calgary knowing it’s the 11th game they’ve played since the last time they picked up a win. And while that first road trip was the start of something (namely, a hockey season), it’s not hard to think that this road trip could very well be the end of something if things don’t take a turn for the better.

Ron Hextall voluntarily came out in defense of his head coach twice in the past week, once immediately following the team’s loss on Tuesday against the San Jose Sharks and again the following day in an interview on NBCS Philly. Given chances to indicate that his coach is fighting for his job, he had repeatedly declined to do so.

But that all happened before this past Saturday’s game, a 3-0 loss against the Boston Bruins that qualifies as a low point in a season that’s already had far too many low points. That loss came on the heels of the aforementioned loss to the Sharks, which nearly everyone agreed was the Flyers’ worst-played game of their extended losing streak up to that point.

There have been some games this month where the Flyers played well enough to win for most of the game and missed out due to one or two dumb mistakes and bad bounces. That happens. But it becomes harder and harder to ask people to be patient with a team when its play is getting worse and worse, and despite the reassurances of the general manager, one has to imagine that this three-game swing (which is followed by four days off) might be something of a moment of truth for the coach and potentially some of the players.

With that, we turn our attention to the ice itself, where the Flyers will finish up their season series with the Calgary Flames tonight. 16 days ago, back when this losing streak was in its embryonic stage, these two teams faced off at the Wells Fargo Center, where an overall pretty solid performance from the Flyers was undone by wretched discipline that led to three Flames power play goals and, ultimately, a 5-4 overtime loss.

A lot has happened since then! Namely, a lot of losing has happened since then! But the Flyers will give it a shot. We’ve already seen one noteworthy streak in Philadelphia sports end in the past 24 hours, so why not make it two tonight, folks?

Some notes and thoughts on tonight’s game:

  • No word on lineup changes from Saturday as of yet, but after two straight total duds you have to think something will be different from what the Flyers trotted out against Boston. Unfortunately, one potential change could involve ...
  • ... Travis Konecny, who was stapled to the bench during the third period of Saturday’s loss. Konecny played just 42 seconds during that third period, despite generally looking like one of the team’s more explosive players during the first 40 minutes of their loss. I have absolutely no clue what kind of message would be sent by making Konecny a healthy scratch, but it very well seems like an option that may be on the table.
  • Speaking of young players named Travis, Travis Sanheim will play in Calgary — where he spent three years as a junior player for the WHL’s Hitmen — for the first time since turning pro. Cool for him.
  • Brian Elliott will probably face off with his old team. He enters tonight’s game at 6-6-6 on the season, since this is truly the hockey season from Hell and all.
  • As for the guys on the other side of the ice ... Calgary is coming off of a 7-5 barnburner of a loss against Edmonton, so they’re probably going to come out firing tonight.
  • Johnny Gaudreau is from South Jersey. Not many people know that.

Tonight’s game begins at 9:00 p.m. ET and can be:

  • Seen locally via NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus (or via stream on the NBC Sports App)
  • Heard via radio locally on 93.3 WMMR
  • Seen in Canada via Sportsnet West
  • Seen or heard elsewhere via NHL.tv, NHL Center Ice, or Sirius XM

Projected Flyers Lines

Forwards

Giroux - Couturier - Voracek

Weal - Patrick - Simmonds

Konecny - Filppula - Raffl

Lehtera - Laughton - Weise

Defensemen

Provorov - MacDonald

Gostisbehere - Hagg

Manning - Sanheim

Goalies

Elliott

(Neuvirth)





[#] Mon Dec 04 2017 14:00:01 EST from rss

Subject: Flyers prospect report: Carter Hart is just a human fireball at this point

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Morgan Frost and Matthew Strome also vying for top honors this week.

Phantoms update: We’re going to need more D-men

11/29 - 3-0 LOSS
12/1 - 7-2 WIN
12/2 - 4-3 OT LOSS

Samuel Morin (D): 1 GP, 1 shot
2013 1st Round Pick, 11th overall

Morin joins Phil Myers up in the press box with an injury of his own. He missed both games this weekend with an apparent leg injury.

Mark Friedman (D): 3 GP, 1 assist, 4 shots, 2 PIM
2014 3rd Round Pick, 86th overall

Despite 40 shots in 22 games this season, Friedman is still trying to find the back of the net.

Danick Martel (LW): 3 GP, 1 assist, 6 shots
Undrafted Free Agent

Danick Martel is back, for ... reasons (they being the coach preferring folks like Dale Weise and Jori Lehtera in the lineup instead). Martel didn’t look out of place in the NHL in my opinion and will hopefully get his shot again soon. In 20 AHL games this season he has 20 points (14 G, 6 A).

Mike Vecchione (C): 3 GP, 2 assists, 2 shots
Undrafted Free Agent

Vecchione ended his 4-game point-less streak on Friday. The first year pro has 20 points (6 G, 14 A) in 23 games.

Nicolas Aubé-Kubel (RW): 3 GP, 1 goal, 1 assist, 7 shots
2014 2nd Round Pick, 48th overall

NAK has 2 goals in his past 4 games and 6 overall on the season. He had just 9 goals in 71 games last season.

Oskar Lindblom (LW): 3 GP, 1 assist, 2 shots
2014 5th Round Pick, 138th overall

The rookie was quiet this week, settling in at 13 points (4 G, 9 A) in 23 games.

Mikhail Vorobyev (C): 3 GP, 3 shots
2015 4th Round Pick, 104th overall

The other rookie is even quieter, staying put at 9 points (2 G, 7 A) in 23 contests.

Alex Lyon (G): 2 GP, 5 GA, 42 saves
Undrafted Free Agent

While he did pick up the win on Friday, it was another week to forget for Lyon. He has a .894 SV% in 16 games.


Notable Canadian junior performers this week:

Connor Bunnaman (C/LW), Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
2016 4th Round Pick, 109th overall

  • 11/29 - 1 assist, 4 shots, 2 PIM, 4 for 13 FOW
  • 12/1 - 2 shots, 6 for 6 FOW
  • 12/3 - 2 shots, 7 for 12 FOW

Bunnaman now matches his longest goal-less drought of the season with 6 games. However, he does have 5 assists over that same span. With 25 points (14 G, 11 A) in 27 games, he is Kitchener’s 3rd leading scorer.

Anthony Salinitri (LW/C), Sarnia Sting (OHL)
2016 6th Round Pick, 172nd overall

  • 12/1 - 2 shots, 2 PIM, 0 for 1 FOW
  • 12/2 - 1 goal, 2 shots, 3 for 4 FOW
  • 12/3 - 1 goal, 4 shots, 3 for 3 FOW

Salinitri breaks out of his own 5-game goal-scoring drought. The 4th year junior player has 25 points (12 G, 13 A) in 29 games on a loaded Sarnia team.

Morgan Frost (C), Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
2017 1st Round Pick, 27th overall

  • 11/30 - 1 goal, 3 assists, 5 shots, 12 for 24 FOW
  • 12/1 - DNP
  • 12/3 - 2 assists, 1 shot, 5 for 14 FOW

Yo, Morgan Frost. Check out this back-handed goal for his 13th goal of the season. His 42 points (13 G, 29 A) are 4th best in the OHL. Frost is 2 points away from 2nd-best, and is 12 off the league-lead. He sat out on Friday along with other players for violating team rules.

Isaac Ratcliffe (LW), Guelph Storm (OHL)
2017 2nd Round Pick, 35th overall

  • 12/1 - 2 shots, 2 PIM
  • 12/2 - 1 goal, 8 shots, 2 for 3 FOW

His 13th goal of the season also leads the team. His 22 points overall are 3rd on an average Guelph team (who has trouble scoring at times).

Maksim Sushko (RW), Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
2017 4th Round Pick, 107th overall

  • 11/29 - 1 goal, 1 assist, 1 shot, 2 PIM
  • 12/1 - 2 goals, 7 shots, 0 for 2 FOW
  • 12/2 - 1 shot, 2 PIM

As the weeks go by, I keep convincing myself more and more that Sushko might be the Flyers‘ best wing prospect in juniors. The 2nd year player has 23 points (14 G, 9 A) in 25 games.

Matthew Strome (LW), Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
2017 4th Round Pick, 106th overall

  • 11/30 - 2 assists, 4 shots
  • 12/1 - 4 shots, 2 PIM
  • 12/3 - 1 goal, 2 assists, 2 shots, 0 for 2 FOW

I know this was mentioned last week, but I’ll say it again ... Strome’s season and recent stretch have been overshadowed by #FrostTalk. In his last 13 games he has 9 goals and 13 assists. He has 29 points in 26 games overall. You can see one of his helpers here.

Carsen Twarynski (LW), Kelowna Rockets (WHL)
2016 3rd Round Pick, 82nd overall

  • 11/29 - 3 goals, 8 shots, 2 PIM, 3 for 8 FOW
  • 12/1 - 1 goal, 1 assist, 4 shots, 2 PIM, 0 for 8 FOW
  • 12/2 - 1 shot, 2 for 5 FOW

You keep doing you, Carsen. That’s his second hat-trick of the season and 5th multi-goal game. Twarynski has compiled 32 points (19 G, 13 A) in 25 GP. Goals are fun.

Carter Hart (G), Everett Silvertips (WHL)
2016 2nd Round Pick, 48th overall

  • 12/1 - 1 GA, 32 saves
  • 12/2 - 0 GA, 30 saves

He is literally better than every other WHL goalie right now. He doesn’t turn 20 until next August, where he will presumably be slotted into the starting goalie role for the Phantoms in 2018-19. Count on it.

Pascal Laberge (C), Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)
2016 2nd Round Pick, 36th overall

  • 11/28 - DNP
  • 11/29 - 2 shots, 1 for 6 FOW
  • 12/3 - 1 assist, 4 shots, 2 PIM, 3 for 5 FOW

Laberge served a 1-game suspension on Tuesday, but returned to action for the rest of the week’s games. His disappointing season continues with just 15 points in 26 games.

German Rubtsov (C), Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)
2016 1st Round Pick, 22nd overall

  • 11/28 - 2 shots
  • 12/1 - 1 goal, 3 shots, 5 for 8 FOW
  • 12/3 - 2 assists, 2 shots, 1 for 8 FOW

Rubtsov has really adjusted to the North American game rather quickly. Dating back to his brief debut last season, Rubtsov has 44 points (15 G, 29 A) in 37 games as an 18/19 year old who has mostly played Russian juniors with limited KHL time.


Notable European performers this week

Linus Högberg (D), Växjö Lakers HC (SHL)
2016 5th Round Pick, 139th overall

  • 11/28 - 1 shot, 15:40 TOI
  • 11/30 - 1 goal, 3 shots, 14:42 TOI
  • 12/2 - 2 shots, 20:16 TOI

It’s happening! Högberg seeing increasing usage in games and all his hard work paying off. His goal last week was his first SHL goal of his career. He has 4 points in 23 games this season.

David Bernhardt (D), Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
2016 7th Round Pick, 199th overall

  • 11/30 - 15:32 TOI
  • 12/2 - 1 goal, 2 shots, 15:43

Something in the water in Sweden this weekend, as Bernhardt also picks up a goal, his first of the season. He had just 2 goals in 27 games last year, his first season in the SHL.

David Kaše (C/W), Mora IK (SHL)
2015 5th Round Pick, 128th overall

Kase returned to the lineup briefly this week after missing games last week with an injury, only to miss one again this week.

Olle Lycksell (RW/C), Linköping HC (SHL) / Linköping J20 (SuperElit)
2017 6th Round Pick, 168th overall

  • 11/30 - 4 shots, 9:25 TOI
  • 12/2 - 1 goal, 1 assist, 6 shots

Lycksell was sadly sent back to juniors this weekend, but not before getting one final game (11/30). I think this short stint has proven that the kid can hang with the big boys in the SHL. With his J20 team, Lycksell is now up to 16 points (7 G, 9 A) in 20 games.

Felix Sandström (G), Brynäs IF (SHL)
2015 3rd Round Pick, 70th overall

Unfortunately, he remains out with a hernia injury. No news on when he might return.

Ivan Fedotov (G), Toros Neftekamsk (VHL)
2015 7th Round Pick, 188th overall

Still nothing to see here. Fedotov has a .894 SV% in 14 games.

Kirill Ustimenko (G), MHK Dynamo St. Petersburg (MHL)
2017 3rd Round Pick, 80th overall

  • 12/2 - 3 GA, 31 saves
  • 12/3 - 1 GA, 26 saves

I’ll let Alex’s tweet here sum up how Ustimenko has done this season.


Notable NCAA and USHL performers this week:

Wade Allison (RW), Western Michigan University
2016 2nd Round Pick, 52nd overall

  • 12/1 - 1 goal, 2 shots, 2 PIM
  • 12/2 - 2 shots, 2 PIM

Another weekend and another goal for Allison. He is at 20 points (11 G, 9 A) in 17 games this season. He had 29 points in 36 games last season. Allison is one of the few pure goal-scorers that the Flyers have in the system. He needs to keep this up.

Tanner Laczynski (RW/C), Ohio State University
2016 6th Round Pick, 169th overall

  • 12/1 - 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 shots
  • 12/2 - 5 shots

20 points (6 G, 14 A) in 16 games for the sophomore, who appears poised to jump to the next level.

Cooper Marody (C), University of Michigan
2015 6th Round Pick, 158th overall

While not an official game, U of Michigan played the US National 18 Under team in an exhibition match-up on Saturday. Marody contributed 3 assists in the 7-3 victory.

Brendan Warren (LW), University of Michigan
2015 3rd Round Pick, 81st overall

Warren contributed no points in the aforementioned 7-3 victory.

David Drake (D), University of Connecticut
2013 7th Round Pick, 192nd overall

Just two assists in 19 games for Drake this season.

Wyatt Kalynuk (D), University of Wisconsin
2017 7th Round Pick, 196th overall

  • 12/1 - 2 assists, 2 shots, 2 PIM
  • 12/2 - 2 shots

13 points (1 G, 12 A) in 19 games for freshman Kalynuk.

Terrance Amorosa (D), Clarkson University
2013 5th Round Pick, 132nd overall

  • 12/2 - 3 shots, 4 PIM

A no-point game for Amorosa, who has had only 7 of those in 17 games this season. The senior has 14 points (4 G, 10 A) overall.

Noah Cates (LW), Omaha Lancers (USHL)
2017 5th Round Pick, 137th overall

  • 12/1 - 1 goal, 1 assist, 3 shots
  • 12/2 - 2 assists, 1 shot

Sometimes the points can pile up fast. Cates has 3 goals and 3 assists in his last 5 games. He had just 3 points in his first 13 games.

Matej Tomek (G), Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)
2015 3rd Round Pick, 90th overall

  • 12/2 - 3 GA, 25 saves

Tomek loses Saturday’s game in OT. He has a .895 SV% in 9 games this season, but has played better than that of late.





[#] Mon Dec 04 2017 15:04:28 EST from rss

Subject: Seahawks-Eagles Final Score: 11 things we learned from Philadelphia

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Big takeaways from Sunday Night Football.

The Philadelphia Eagles are now 10-2 in the 2017 NFL regular season schedule after losing to the Seattle Seahawks by a final score of 24 to 10 (recap here). Frustrating loss. Here’s a look at everything we learned from this game.

1 - The Eagles’ season isn’t over

Look, I get it. This was a frustrating loss. A very, very frustrating loss.

But if you’re one of those saying this loss proves the Eagles aren’t any good, or that the season is over, or that Carson Wentz sucks, or that Doug Pederson is an idiot … get a grip. It’s one game. The team is still 10-2.

Now, if these struggles continue over an extended period of time, then we can absolutely start having those conversations. For now, this loss could just be a blip on the radar. Need I remind you that, before eventually going to the Super Bowl, the 2004 Eagles lost to the Steelers in Pittsburgh by a final score of 27 to 3?

I’m not saying everything is guaranteed to be fine. But I am saying the Eagles have done too much good this year to be erased by one regular season loss on the road in a very tough environment (the Seahawks are now 43-8 in their last 51 home games). Now’s not the time to press the panic button.

2 - The Eagles need to stop making so many mistakes

The mistakes are too damn high!

For real, though, there were just way too many mistakes in this game. Here’s merely a sampling.

Carson Wentz missing Nelson Agholor wide open in the first quarter

Alshon Jeffery's holding penalty to wipe out a LeGarrette Blount run to the 2-yard line

Doug Pederson mismanaging the end of the first half

Wentz fumbling at the 1-yard line

Kenjon Barner stumbling on 4th-and-3

No challenge on the lateral that was a forward pass

The Eagles really did beat themselves. That’s not meant to take away from the Seahawks. They’re a pretty good team. But the Eagles’ self-inflicted wounds made it that much harder to beat Seattle.

Philadelphia got away with sloppy mistakes against the Bears last week. They managed to beat Chicago anyway because the Bears are bad. The Eagles just aren’t going to have that same kind of margin for error against good teams.

This game really should have been closer than the final score indicated. It’s not like the Seahawks totally outclassed the Eagles. Look at the numbers:

Total plays: Eagles 74, Seahawks 58

Total yards: Eagles 415, Seahawks 310

Yards per play: Eagles 5.7, Seahawks 5.3

The problem is that the Eagles went 0-2 in the red zone while Seattle 3-3. The Eagles also committed two turnovers (one in garbage time) while the Seahawks had none.

The Eagles picked a bad game to make big mistakes.

3 - Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson shoulder a lot of blame for this loss

The quarterback and head coach are obvious candidates for blame after any loss. But this sentiment holds especially true for this loss. Wentz and Pederson simply weren’t on their A-game on Sunday night.

Wentz finished the game 29/45 (64.4%) for 348 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, and an 86.2 passer rating.

Oh, and one game-changing fumble that wiped out a potential touchdown and instead set up the Seahawks to take a 17-3 lead. That was a brutal turnover by No. 11. Can’t lose the ball like that.

Overall, Wentz’s stats weren’t terrible. But what WAS terrible was Wentz’s accuracy at times.

I still can’t get over this miss to Nelson Agholor early in the game. Nelly is WIDE open. Wentz wasn’t even pressured. How does he not complete this pass? (Answer: very bad footwork).

Wentz had a completion to Agholor later in the game where the receiver had to go to the ground to make the grab instead of being led into the reception and having a chance to gains yards after the catch.

Wentz’s penchant for sailing passes is a frustrating issue that keeps popping up. Whereas Donovan McNabb had an issue throwing balls into the dirt (wormburners), Wentz tends to go too high.

I’ve seen this issue in person during OTAs and training camp practices. We all saw it early in the season when he couldn’t connect on deep shots down the field. There was even a play last week in the Bears game where Zach Ertz was standing wide open in the middle of the field and Wentz threw it like five yards above his head. Luckily it sailed incomplete.

Sometimes Wentz really makes the routine look impossible. He also makes the impossible look routine.

Wentz’s drive to get the Eagles back into the game from 17-3 to 17-10 was nothing short of remarkable. It was characteristic of the MVP candidate we’ve seen all season along.

It’s always important to remember that Wentz isn’t a finished product. He’s only in Year 2. A few errant passes shouldn’t take away from the special season he’s having. The mistakes do server as a reminder that he still has room to improve, though.

As Doug Pederson, I don’t think his play-calling was poor. Look at the yard stats I posted above. The Eagles were moving the ball. The bigger issue was Pederson’s decision-making in crucial situations.

Pederson’s call to punt on 4th-and-1 early in the game was so out of character. Where was the aggressiveness we’re used to seeing? Seemed like he was coaching scared. The Eagles have been so good at converting those situations.

Then there was the decision to not go for a conversion near the end of the second quarter. There’s 18 seconds left on the clock. Even if you don’t get the first and turn the ball over on downs, can’t you run a play that would at least kill some time? Would it really be that terrible for the Seahawks to be attempting a long field goal with the inconsistent Blair Walsh?

Pederson’s decision to not challenge Russell Wilson’s lateral, which was really a forward pass, was understandable in the sense he may not have fully known what happened on the play. He wasn’t the one who had a good angle on what happened. He had to rely on his broadcast booth person to tell him to challenge or not. The Seahawks made life tough on Pederson by rushing to the line so the Eagles head coach didn’t have much time to think about throwing his red flag. Still, that could be a point where Pederson should throw the flag regardless if he has full evidence. The reward outweighed the risk there. If Pederson gets the challenge wrong, he’s out of challenges and loses a timeout. Pederson used this explanation in defense of his decision not to challenge. That hurts, for sure, but the reward would have been a 5-yard penalty and a loss of down for Seattle. The Seahawks likely would’ve had to punt. What would you rather have: a possession or a timeout?

Again, one game alone doesn’t completely detract from the season Pederson is having. He’s done a great job this year. He just wasn’t at his best in a key game. Like Wentz, he has room for improvement.

4 - Philadelphia is no longer in control of their destiny for the No. 1 seed

Sunday was terrible for the Eagles. Literally nothing went right for them in Week 13. Ugh!

The Eagles no longer control their destiny to get the No. 1 seed. If they win out and the Vikings win out, Minnesota will be No. 1 due to the tie-breaking procedure. The Eagles really need the Vikings to drop a game down the stretch. Here’s a look at the remaining schedules for both teams.

VIKINGS LAST FOUR GAMES

Week 14 - at Carolina Panthers (8-4)
Week 15 - vs. Cincinnati Bengals (5-6)
Week 16 - at Green Bay Packers (6-6)
Week 17 - vs. Chicago Bears (3-9)

EAGLES LAST FOUR GAMES

Week 14 - at Los Angeles Rams (9-3)
Week 15 - at New york Giants (2-10)
Week 16 - vs. Oakland Raiders (6-6)
Week 17 - vs. Dallas Cowboys (6-6)

The Vikings-Panthers game might be the best hope at a Minnesota loss. The Vikings-Packers game could be interesting if Aaron Rodgers is able to return by then.

If you’re looking for a silver lining, the good news is the Eagles still control their destiny for a first-round bye. But with the Saints and Rams right behind them, there’s not a lot of room for error. The Eagles really need to keep winning in order to maintain good playoff seeding.

5 - The absence of Jason Peters is starting to show

Bad game by Halapoulivaati Vaitai. According to Pro Football Focus, Big V allowed two sacks, one quarterback hit, and seven hurries. He struggled while going up against Frank Clark.

As a unit, the Eagles offensive line played their worst game in pass protection this season.

This isn’t terribly surprising considering the Seahawks have a good defensive line. Philly’s o-line is supposed to be the strength of their team, though. The Eagles needed more from the guys up front.

6 - Nelson Agholor was a bright spot

Let’s talk about something positive!

Last year’s Seattle game was the lowest point of Agholor’s career. He single-highhandedly took them out of that game with a touchdown-canceling procedural penalty and a terrible drop over the middle.

This year was a much different story. Agholor finished the game with seven receptions for 141 yards (20.1 average) and one touchdown. Pretty satisfying to see him beat Byron Maxwell in coverage.

Agholor’s been having a great season. He’s certainly looking like a long-term piece for this team. Who would’ve thought?

7 - I don’t know how the Seahawks don’t win the Super Bowl every year

Playing the Seahawks is really frustrating. Based on how they play against the Eagles, I don’t know how they don’t go 16-0 and win the Super Bowl every year.

Russell Wilson is damn near impossible to guard. It didn’t even matter that the Eagles’ defensive line had a big advantage over Seattle’s offensive line. Wilson is able to run around, avoid pressure, and then make big plays down the field.

The Eagles have Wentz now, so passing on Wilson three times in 2012 hurts less than it used to, but it still does hurt. The dude literally told the Eagles they’d win championships if he drafted him. Andy Reid/Howie Roseman tried to get too cute an missed out on him instead.

Seattle’s defense is also really annoying. The Seahawks’ Cover 3 scheme limits what their opponents can do. And even though they some key injuries, they still have a number of good players who can contribute.

Add in the fact that CenturyLink Field is a tough enviroment and you can see why the Seahawks have had so much success there. Just a really frustrating team to play against.

8 - Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett stood out in a good way

Another positive thing!

Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett are very good. They should combine to form one of the league’s best starting defensive end duos moving forward. Graham finished the game with five tackles (four solo), 2.5 tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, and 1.5 sacks. Barnett bullrushed Duane Brown to force a Wilson incompletion early in the game. The rookie also finished with one tackle, 0.5 sacks, 0.5 tackles for loss, and two quarterback hits. Graham and Barnett will continue to terrorize quarterbacks this season. It’ll be easier for them against guys who don’t have Wilson’s uncanny mobility, too.

Honorable mention: Mychal Kendricks mostly seemed to have a good game as well. He made some key stops and led that team in total tackles with nine. He also got beat badly in coverage on that J.D. McKissic touchdown, though, so we also saw his biggest weakness on display.

9 - Not a great game for the Eagles’ secondary

For the most part, the Eagles’ secondary has played a lot better than expected this season. That wasn’t the case against Seattle. The Eagles had no answer for Wilson’s quick throws to move the chains on third downs. The defense was also leaving players wide open on some Wilson scrambles.

Here are some of the individual miscues that took place:

  • Ronald Darby called for pass interference (tacky call, but didn’t have a strong game outside of that anyway)
  • Malcolm Jenkins beaten by Jimmy Graham in the red zone for a touchdown (very tough play, but need to make those in a big game)
  • Patrick Robinson flagged for defensive holding (also gave up a quick completion or two)
  • Rodney McLeod had no chance on Doug Baldwin when Russell Wilson was blitzed (Jim Schwartz is open to criticism for the blitz call, but McLeod couldn’t even stay close with Baldwin at all)
  • Jalen Mills whiffing big on a tackle attempt on the Seahawks’ first drive

Usually the Eagles’ secondary benefits from the defensive line being able to generate pressure. Wilson’s mobility negates the Eagles’ strength in that regard, though, which leaves Philly’s secondary vulnerable.

10 - The officiating sucked but it’s not why the Eagles lost

I intentionally saved this as the penultimate point because I want to stress that the refs should NOT be blamed for the Eagles losing to Seahawks.

With that said, I hope everyone can agree that the officiating sucked. Darby’s pass interference penalty was tacky. Kenjon Barner got hit after a fair catch and there was no flag. Torrey Smith was CLEARLY beyond the marker for a first down and the refs couldn’t even get it right after seeing a replay on the challenge. Beau Allen got mugged while trying to rush Wilson. Pederson wouldn’t have had to challenge Wilson’s “lateral” if the refs were better at their jobs. Frank Clark got a free shot on Wentz from behind after being offside when the refs should have whistled the play dead to protect the Eagles quarterback. Just not a banner day for the refs.

The Eagles’ slim of margin of error was decreased even more thanks to officiating issues.

11 - Time to bounce back with a big game next week

Another big game this week. There will be a lot of hype for this one. Carson Wentz vs. Jared Goff. Doug Pederson vs. Sean McVay.

Philadelphia could really use a bounce-back win over the Rams in order to maintain their playoff positioning.

As a reminder, the Eagles won’t be traveling back to Philly in order to prepare for this week’s game. Instead, they’ll be staying out on the West Coast to practice in L.A.

Getting a win over the Rams would have everyone feeling good about the Eagles again. Beating L.A. won’t be easy, but the feeling here is this is a winnable game for the Birds. 11-2 is within reach. The Eagles are still a good team, and it’s time for them to remind everyone of that next Sunday.





[#] Mon Dec 04 2017 16:26:04 EST from rss

Subject: Checking out the competition: Calgary Flames with Mark Parkinson, part two

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Steph Driver (and Mama Cat) sat down once again with Mark Parkinson from Matchsticks & Gasoline to discuss Monday night’s match-up between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Calgary Flames. Topics include:





[#] Mon Dec 04 2017 18:34:50 EST from rss

Subject: College Football Playoff: Ohio State got the Penn State Treatment

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When you create a four-team playoff to service five power conferences, somebody is always going to be left out. That’s what we have in contemporary college football – a process that isn’t perfect, but one that’s much, much better than the old BCS system we were stuck with. This year’s screw job goes to Ohio…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/Nq819FH-PIo/college-football-playoff-ohio-state-got-the-penn-state-treatment.html

[#] Mon Dec 04 2017 19:30:02 EST from rss

Subject: Flyers at Flames lineups, start time, TV, radio, live stream and discussion

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The Flyers will try, again, to end their extended losing skid as they head out to Western Canada.

Tonight’s game begins at 9:00 p.m. ET and can be:

  • Seen locally via NBC Sports Philadelphia Plus (or via stream on the NBC Sports App)
  • Heard via radio locally on 93.3 WMMR
  • Seen in Canada via Sportsnet West
  • Seen or heard elsewhere via NHL.tv, NHL Center Ice, or Sirius XM

While our preview came too early for today’s lineup news, there will, in fact, be some lineup changes from Saturday’s loss. Quite a few! Namely, the top line has been broken up, Dale Weise is on the fourth line, and Jori Lehtera is not on the ice. All four lines will look different from Saturday.

Will it work? Probably not! Because we aren’t allowed to have good things! But shaking things up is the least you can do when you’ve lost 10 games in a row. Let’s see it.

Projected Flyers Lines

Forwards

Giroux - Couturier - Simmonds

Raffl - Filppula - Voracek

Weal - Patrick - Konecny

Leier - Laughton - Weise

Defensemen

Provorov - MacDonald

Gostisbehere - Hagg

Manning - Sanheim

Goalies

Elliott

(Neuvirth)

Projected Flames lineup (via):

Forwards

Gaudreau - Monahan - Ferland

Tkachuk - Backlund - Frolik

Bennett - Jankowski - Jaromir

Hathaway - Lazar - Brouwer

Defense

Giordano - Hamilton

Brodie - Hamonic

Kulak - Stone

Goalies

Smith

(Rittich)





[#] Mon Dec 04 2017 20:40:30 EST from rss

Subject: Steelers at Bengals: How to watch Monday Night Football, game info, live streaming, odds, more

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Watch MNF here.

Week 13 of the 2017 NFL regular season ends tonight with a game between the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2) and Cincinnati Bengals (5-6). It’s an AFC North rivarly matchup.

This game doesn’t really have any juice as far as the Philadelphia Eagles’ interests are concerned.

Based on how this week has gone, the team the Eagles would need to lose would win anyway.

Find everything you need to know about tonight's game below.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals TV Schedule

Game time: 8:30 PM EST

Channel: ESPN

Date: Monday, December 4

Announcers: Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters

Location: Heinz Stadium | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Online Streaming: WatchESPN

Odds:

Pittsburgh Steelers -6 (-105)

Cincinnati Bengals +6 (-115)

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Open thread: discuss Monday night’s game in the comments below.





[#] Tue Dec 05 2017 00:01:19 EST from rss

Subject: Flyers 5, Flames 2: Wins, baby!

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What is this feeling???

Welp, that’s all, folks. The game is over and Twitter is on fire. Everything is on fire.

But, like, in a good way.

The Flyers opened the game in much the same way as they have through this streak, bringing some energy and sending the puck into Calgary’s zone on the first shift, before relinquishing control, giving the Flames a chance to fire a shot in on Brian Elliott who had some trouble controlling.

The early part of the period saw a fair bit of back and forth, but fairly little actual activity. Your eyes track the back and forth. Maybe a shot. But pretty quiet. But then..

Danger! A Flyers turnover led to a Flames odd man rush into the offensive zone, with Monahan squaring up for a shot, but Elliott flexed his strength in containing it, giving the Flyers a chance to break out of the zone to bring some pressure of their own. But, of course, it was for naught, as they couldn’t convert, even when presented with a flash of open net.

And more chances! Mere moments later Jordan Weal was sprung on a pass from Provorov for a breakaway, but squaring off with Fisher, couldn’t chip it home.

The Flyers got their first power play opportunity of the evening inside the nine-minute mark, with Konecny drawing a holding penalty on Mark Stone. But was it even a power play? The Flyers spent most of the time trying to get a cycle going, or just plain get the puck back into the zone after being cleared. An uneventful attempt, and the Flames nullified it with ease.

The back and forth was broken up from there, as the Flames tightened up and left the Flyers struggling to move the puck through the neutral zone. Turnovers abound, and the Flyers were left scrambling.

One of their more extended pushes came from the fourth line of Laughton, Leier, and Weal, as they were finally able to get the Flames hemmed into their own zone. But the story remained the same--a bit of pressure, but no results.

(Sidebar: is Jordan Weal a honey bee now? Do they have to find an new nickname, now that Raffl’s off the line? How does this work?)

But while we were musing on nicknames, with a stretch pass from the blue line, Lazar got the puck on net, and with Elliott leaving it unprotected, Brouwer was able to collect the rebound and tap it in.

But the lead didn’t last long. The Flyers sent the puck into the Flames’ zone, and after some unsuccessful pressure and attempts to generate from behind the net, the puck was sent out past the circles to Andrew MacDonald, who would pause, and then send it into traffic, where Filppula/Raffl* would easily tap it into the open net.

*They would ultimately give the goal to Filppula, his seventh of the season.

Heading into the first intermission, Raffl said that he and Filppula got half a goal, each. And I’ll take it.

AFTER ONE: Flyers 1, Flames 1

The Flyers brought some extra energy with the start of the second period. They drove the puck into the offensive zone and were able to generate some initial pressure and chances, giving the start of the period a look of promise.

But the story that soon took over? Turnovers in the neutral zone turning possession in the Flames’ favor, as they drove the puck into the Flyers’ zone and peppered Elliott with shots before catching him in the chin. He would pull off his mask, perhaps not properly secured, and the play was stopped.

A takeaway by Gaudreau inside five minutes gave him a chance for a breakaway. Elliott stopped his shot with a glove save, but not before MacDonald gave him a bit of a hook, for which he was penalized. And the Flyers headed to their first penalty kill of the night.

With a handful of scoring chances in the Flames’ power play, the Flames were able to generate some clear pressure, but the efforts of Elliott and their penalty killers kept them from converting. But with the penalty killed, the Flames still kept the puck in the zone until it was sprung by MacDonald. And with the puck back in Calgary’s zone, all the Flyers needed was a point shot from Gostisbehere, a tip by Laughton just to be safe, and they were able to pick up their first lead of the game.

But we’re not done! The second line came up big again. Winning the draw on the subsequent faceoff, they were able to collect the puck and start the rush into the Flames’ zone. And with a feed by Voracek through traffic to Raffl, the Flyers extended their lead to two. Two goals. Twenty five seconds. Will they blow it? We’ll see.

And then the Flyers were given another gift. Tied up in the corner, the officials called Frolik for a high stick on Couturier that was actually a MacDonald high stick on Couturier. It would send the Flyers to their second power play of the evening. And after not much time at all, Couturier would send the puck into the crease for Simmonds to do what he does best, and just knock the puck into the net.

But after a bit more run and gone, the scales would be evened. After the missed call on the high stick on Couturier, the officials dealt a hooking penalty on Provorov. And the Flyers had to kill off another.

After a run of effective clearing, near disaster struck, as the Flames brought the puck back in, Elliott left the crease and was spilled behind the net. But the Flyers were able to keep the puck tied up in the corner long enough for him to get back. And with one final clear by Couturier, the penalty was killed. Hooray.

And after some more back and forth, some pushing and shoving, the Flames pushed harder for possession and got it. With a turnover in the neutral zone, the Flames stormed back into the Flyers’ zone. Missing an initial shot, Monahan collected the rebound and shot a laser in on Elliott from the circles, and cut the deficit to two.

AFTER TWO: Flyers 4, Flames 2

Twenty more minutes of hockey, guys. Maybe things will go well. I’m typing this during intermission. Even I don’t know what’s next.

With the third period underway, the run and gun re-commenced, giving the first minute a lot of movement, but not a lot of real activity. But with the fourth line back on the ice, they went to work in establishing their presence in the Flames’ zone. And they’d cash in yet again, as a power move around the net by Weal was passed to Laughton, who’d fire it into the net and bring the lead back to three.

With play recommencing, it was stopped just as quickly, as Weise took a hit up high, hit the ice, and ultimately head straight off to the locker room. Hamonic would be given a match penalty for an illegal hit to the head. And the Flyers would kick off their five minute power play opportunity.

And it was a quiet one, all in all. The Flyers brought presence to the offensive zone, but the Flames kept the puck cleared, and were even able to spring Hathaway for a breakaway. It was neutralized, and the Flyers were eventually able to push the Flames out of the Philadelphia zone. But they couldn’t convert on their chances. And back to even strength hockey we went.

And somehow time slowed down in the minutes after the major power play, as the Flyers sat back and gave the Flames a bit more room to work with (but not too much). But with an energy boost inside the last five minutes, Calgary kicked things into overdrive and gave the Flyers a bit of tighter competition.

But the clock ticked down. The Flames pushed. Inside one minute. Oh my god they’re gonna do it. Twenty seconds, tied up in the Flyers’ zone. Cleared. And that’s the end.

The first win since November 9th. Oh my god. The light is back. We are reborn.

FINAL: Flyers 5, Flames 2.





[#] Tue Dec 05 2017 06:00:01 EST from rss

Subject: Tuesday Morning Fly By: The Flyers have finally won a hockey game, folks

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Today's open discussion thread, complete with your daily dose of Philadelphia Flyers news and notes...

*The Flyers’ 10-game losing steak is mercifully over, and not a moment too soon for all of our sakes. [BSH]

*It was finally time to break up the top line vs. the Flames. [NBCSP]

*Down Goes Brown says the Flyers are flat-lining, and it’s time to break out those draft lottery simulators. [Sportsnet]

*Prior to last night’s win, the Flyers had lost 15 of their last 18 games after a 5-3 start, find themselves firmly in hockey purgatory. [NBC Sports]

*An NHL team could be coming to Seattle in the near future after all. [Sportsnet]

*The (potential) free agent super class of 2019 —headlined by Erik Karlsson and Drew Doughty— could handle free agency a little different. [Sportsnet]

*Former Flyer Daniel Briere sat down with Eric Engels to talk about his new autobiography Mister Playoffs, and how he came to choose the Flyers in free agency back in 2007. [Sportsnet]





[#] Tue Dec 05 2017 08:16:58 EST from rss

Subject: Eagles News: The Rams are preparing for Eagles fans to invade their home stadium

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/5/17.

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

McVay might prepare Rams for silent snap counts because L.A. fans are outnumbered - CBS Sports
Sean McVay knows better than to pretend that Los Angeles has been drawing big NFL crowds in 2017. It's why the Rams coach, as noted by the Orange County Register's Rich Hammond, may very be planning to implement silent snap counts for the team's Week 13 showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles. In prepping his NFC West-leading Rams for the 10-2 Eagles, McVay is at least partially ignoring the fact that his club will technically be at home in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

11 things we learned from the Eagles-Seahawks game - BGN
Look, I get it. This was a frustrating loss. A very, very frustrating loss. But if you’re one of those saying this loss proves the Eagles aren’t any good, or that the season is over, or that Carson Wentz sucks, or that Doug Pederson is an idiot … get a grip. It’s one game. The team is still 10-2. Now, if these struggles continue over an extended period of time, then we can absolutely start having those conversations. For now, this loss could just be a blip on the radar. Need I remind you that, before eventually going to the Super Bowl, the 2004 Eagles lost to the Steelers in Pittsburgh by a final score of 27 to 3?

Did the Eagles lose to the Seahawks before the ball was even kicked off? - PhillyVoice
Immediately following the loss, head coach Doug Pederson mentioned something that most Eagles fans likely hadn't considered while watching the game: practice, specifically that it wasn't a good week of practice leading up to the Seahawks game. On Monday, still on the West Coast where the Eagles will remain until their upcoming game at the Rams, the second-year coach was asked to clarify what he meant. "Well, we obviously pride ourselves in our work and getting our work done during the week," Pederson said. "I feel strongly about – you win games during the week, and sometimes things come up and as a coach, you're always maybe a little more nervous than you should be, the way we practice.”

I Thought They Would Win - Iggles Blog
Have to admit, I thought the good guys were going to take this one. I loved the match-up of our front four against their horrendous offensive line, thought we could make Seattle's offense one-dimensional, and didn't foresee that level of self-sabotage from our own offense. After last night, I'm not particularly worried about the offense. I might fire up the all-22 for the first time in a few weeks to see what was going on downfield in the first half, but truthfully, they were a couple Carson misses and a fumble away from being pretty much fine. At no point did the moment look too big for The Savior, nor did there seem to be anything he would carry forward as a problem. And he's smart enough that if Seattle actually was fooling him somewhat, he'll learn from it before someone else can apply the same concepts.

Big Picture - Iggles Blitz
The Eagles have done a lot of celebrating recently. This week would be a good time to focus more on details and less on dancing. That message applies to the whole team since everybody had a hand in that loss. Carson Wentz missed throws. Jalen Mills missed tackles. Alshon Jeffrey blocked too long. Big V didn’t block enough. The good thing about this team is that they’ve had great chemistry all year. There were mistakes all over the place in Seattle so no one should be doing any finger-pointing, unless it is to the guy in the mirror. These players have supported each other all season long and I expect that to be the case now as they face some adversity for the first time in a while.

Rams' Jared Goff versus Eagles' Carson Wentz, by the numbers - ESPN
If the Rams come at Wentz with the blitz, they best not miss. He's been blitzed 170 times this season, the most in the NFL. He's thrown 12 touchdowns to zero interceptions when opponents bring the extra man. Goff has actually been better away from the Coliseum this season. Five of his six interceptions have come at home. His stats are better almost across the board when on the road. He'll need to buck that trend in order to get the best of his draft partner this weekend.

Philadelphia Eagles' Doug Pederson defends decision to not challenge Wilson's pitch - PennLive
Pederson never backtracked on his decision, despite the end result. He said he consulted with two Eagles representatives in a CenturyLink Field booth watching replays -- director of football compliance Jon Ferrari and coaching assistant Ryan Paganetti -- and made a split-second choice to not challenge the play, because he wanted to protect his timeouts.

It's Bounce-Back Time As Adversity Visits Eagles - PE.com
COSTA MESA, CA – First, the setting: The Eagles are living in a hotel for the week, practicing at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim and will play the Rams on Sunday at the iconic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. So it’s an unusual week from that standpoint alone ...

Upon Further Review: On Pederson's 4th-down hesitancy vs. the Seahawks - The Athletic
Considering the Eagles' aggressive nature early in the season, it's fair to question just how committed Pederson is to fourth-down boldness. “Philosophy is still the same,” Pederson said Monday, pressed again by the gumshoe Kapadia. “I believe we're 12-for-12 on QB sneaks this year on fourth downs, third and fourth downs. That's been a very positive thing for us. We're going to continue to stay aggressive. Outside of the normal fourth-down situations, especially at the end of the game where you have to kind of go for things, when you're down two scores, things of that nature. So yeah, the mindset's always going to [be to] stay aggressive. You have to stay aggressive, especially in football games like that.”

NFL rule says Russell Wilson's 'lateral' is an illegal forward pass - NBC Sports Philadelphia
So where Davis caught the ball (between the 48 and 49-yard line) was closer to the Eagles' goal line than where Wilson tossed it from (the 47). That's an illegal forward pass.

One Draft Prospect on Every NFL Team's Radar - B/R
The Eagles have made an amazing run to the NFL's best record through 12 weeks and look like the NFC's team to beat. To stay on top of the mountain, vice president Howie Roseman needs to keep hitting home runs like he did in the 2017 offseason. Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith shouldn't make it this far down the draft board on merit, but he's a little undersized (listed at 6'1", 225 pounds, but I've heard he's over 230) and that could turn teams away. It shouldn't, but it might. If so, the Eagles could have a linebacker corps that puts fear into opposing quarterbacks with Jordan Hicks, Smith and Mychal Kendricks in the base 4-3.

Los Angeles Rams ILB Alec Ogletree: Elbow injury not serious - Turf Show Times
Los Angeles Rams ILB Alec Ogletree had himself a day - albeit a shortened one. Shortly after scoring a touchdown on an interception, he could be found with his left arm in a sling with what has been tentatively diagnosed as a hyper-extended elbow.

The Philadelphia Eagles are some frauds - Canal Street Chronicles
So it shouldn’t be a shock that the Eagles went on a tear, winning nine games over a two-month span. But look a little closer and you’ll notice something important, which the Eagles themselves didn’t realize until their upset loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football: They ain’t played nobody.

Steelers LB Ryan Shazier hospitalized after suffering spinal injury vs. Bengals - SB Nation
What happened? After his tackle attempt, Shazier immediately reached for the middle of his back and stayed down on the field. Eventually he was strapped to a backboard and put on the back of a cart and taken to the locker room.

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[#] Tue Dec 05 2017 08:46:55 EST from rss

Subject: Your Tuesday Morning Roundup

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So this is what it took for the Flyers to win? A disappointing Eagles loss on Sunday night and the Sixers to get beat by bad Phoenix Suns team at home? If you ask me, it wasn’t worth it. Nontheless, the Flyers’ 10-game losing streak is no more after Philly defeated the Calgary Flames 5-2…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/YaqW8xjJNXU/your-tuesday-morning-roundup-27.html

[#] Tue Dec 05 2017 09:50:46 EST from rss

Subject: A Case of the Mondays: Four Observations from Suns 115, Sixers 101

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There’s something about these Monday games. The Sixers come out flat while fans seem hungover from the start of a new work week and whatever the Eagles did the day before. Last night’s crowd ran the gamut of emotions, booing the Sixers off the court after Devin Booker drained a three-pointer to put the Phoenix…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/jhOVYyWkSoc/a-case-of-the-mondays-four-observations-from-suns-115-sixers-101.html

[#] Tue Dec 05 2017 10:15:02 EST from rss

Subject: Flyers 5, Flames 2: What we learned as the losing streak ended

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The losing streak is finally over.

Corsi Report

Not going to lie, I took one look at the CF% leaders and I started laughing hysterically. To say the least, this kind of game is not one the Flyers will want to repeat. They were out shot 45-21 and out-corsi’d by a 65-30 mark. All signs pointed to the Flyers losing this hockey game, except for the expected goals-for department.

Overall the Flyers had an xGF of 2.92 while the Flames put together a 2.44 performance. I had mentioned in my November analytics overview that the Flyers were still generating a decent amount of scoring chances from high percentage areas (with a few outliers) — but the main problem continued to be allowing chances from those same spots. Last night it looked like they took that message to heart, as shown by the heatmap below.

Yes, the Flames dominated possession in this game, and yes they out shot the Flyers by a very wide margin. However, if when we get out shot and get absolutely destroyed in the corsi game but the heatmap looks like this? I’m a lot less angry at the amount of chances given up. The Flyers weren’t stringing together a lot of consistent offensive chances, but when they were it was coming from the home plate area prime for scoring chances. To put this in perspective, even with the Flames obvious advantage in CF%, they had the same amount of high danger chances for as the Flyers did.

If the Flyers can utilize this same strategy, except limit the shots and total chances just a little bit, then it can be golden. Goaltender Brian Elliott even said in the post-game interview that they had a “system adjustment”. They were back-checking hard all night long and it was especially evident in the third period, keeping the Flames even more to the outside with scoring chances.

Flyers raw CF%: 31.58

Flyers adjusted CF%: 35.72

Even when adjusting for the fact the Flyers lead most of this game, it was still an apparent nightmare of a game for them. No line really had it going consistently all night long except for maybe the new look fourth line. Scott Laughton and Taylor Leier were reunited and joined by Jordan Weal. While all of their CF%’s were still below 50 percent, they took three spots in the top four in CF%. Laughton recorded two 5v5 goals last night with Leier and Weal assisting on his second tally.

The second line was about the only other truly redeemable line from that game. Surprisingly enough the “line of passers” in Michael Raffl, Voracek, and Valtteri Filppula put together two goals. The first coming on this greasy rebound goal from an Andrew MacDonald point shot.

And the second coming off of one of the most beautiful passing plays you’ll probably see the Flyers make this season. Believe it or not, passing is actually a good thing!

It was just one game and it’s obviously too early to tell if these lines will work out in the future, but I gotta say I’m impressed by the first impressions of the second and fourth lines.

Five Takeaways:

1. BAMF Brian Elliott stole the show

Brian Elliott, in returning to the place that let him go at the end of last season, put together a dominating performance. If you’re looking for a game that maybe defines who the real number one goalie of the team can be, this might just be the one. After the first goal, which he admitted in the post-game interview was a bad rebound, Elliott was rock-solid the rest of the way. The final goal he allowed was more of a defensive issue than anything else, with a bad pass from Nolan Patrick starting the Flames the other way and it eventually lead to a Sean Monahan boring wrist shot over Elliott’s glove. This was the definition of a statement win from Elliott.

2. The back-check was dominating

A big reason why the Flames weren’t able to generate much in terms of quality scoring chances was the Flyers excellent back-checking efforts. Obviously, they were playing ultra-conservative as soon as they got that three goal lead, which attributes to this as well. But seemingly every time the Flames entered the zone there was a Flyer right behind them ready to intercept a pass or at the very least, keep them to the outside with their shot. I’m definitely not a fan of sitting back, but there are sometimes effective ways to do it.

3. Nolan Patrick and Travis Konecny disappeared after the second period

To be fair, the third line with Patrick, Konecny, and Dale Weise was not good last night. This should come as a surprise to no one because we’ve seen this line before and it was bad then too. I’m not gonna talk about their CF% because everyone’s was god awful last night, but just by using the eye test, this line needs to be scrapped for good.

With all of that being said, I do not agree with essentially benching two of your most promising young players (one being the 2nd overall pick) for an entire period. We knew Hakstol was going to be ultra-conservative in the third, but this was taking it to a different level. Patrick played a whopping 5:37 at 5v5, and Konecny played a little over a minute more at 6:52.

4. Quality outweighed quantity

On many different occasions this year I’ve had to talk about how the Flyers lost despite dominating in possession. The reason, most of those times, is because of their shot selection being poor despite having many attempts. Finally, we got to be on the other side of that on Monday night. The Flyers only mustered 30 shot attempts at 5-on-5, but as shown by the heatmap earlier, most came from right in front of the net or the slot.

5. It’s finally over

Let’s just take a break from the analyzing, and enjoy the first Flyers win in almost a month. Soak it in, Flyers fans, we deserved this.





[#] Tue Dec 05 2017 10:15:43 EST from rss

Subject: NFL Power Rankings 2017: Week 14 Edition

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Ranking all 32 NFL Teams.

Week 13 of the 2017 NFL regular season schedule is in the books. Now it's time to see where all 32 teams rank. For reference purposes, here is a link to last week's NFL Power Rankings.

BLG's WEEK 14 NFL POWER RANKINGS

1 - New England Patriots (Last Week: 2) - There’s a new No. 1 this week. The Patriots didn’t get off to the fastest start this season but they’ve since rounded into form. Eight wins in a row. One thing I will say: I don’t think their record is merely inflated by weak opponents, but I do think it’s been quite some time since they’ve faced a really tough challenge. Just look at their schedule.

2 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 3) - The Vikings keep on winning. Going down to Atlanta to beat a hot Falcons team is impressive.

3 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 1) - After blowing out a bunch of bad teams, the Eagles went to Seattle and made too many mistakes against a good team. It was an uncharacteristic performance from the Eagles. Doug Pederson lacked aggression and Carson Wentz wasn’t as sharp as he needed to be. Wentz’s fumble at the goal line for a touchback ended up being a 14-point swing. That’s how much the Eagles ended up losing by.

4 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 4) - The Steelers have won seven in a row since getting blown out at home by Jacksonville. Some of their games against lesser competition have been close, which is something to consider. On a separate note, here’s hoping Ryan Shazier is OK. Football is scary, man.

5 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 5) - The Rams have bounced back nicely after losing in Minnesota. They’re still first in the NFC West and they’ll need to keep winning in order to keep Seattle behind them.

6 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 6) - New Orleans is clearly the best team in the NFC South. Also one of the biggest threats in the NFC.

7 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 9) - Russell Wilson is really freaking good. He played a big part in the Seahawks being able to take down the best team in the NFL. Seattle is back in the NFC playoff picture with their big win.

8 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 10) - Must feel nice for the Jags to dominate Indianapolis after all those years of losing to Peyton Manning. Jacksonville beat Indy by a combined score of 57 to 10 in their two matchups this year.

9 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 11) - The Bolts are probably the best team in the AFC West. They can win this thing if they don’t choke down the stretch.

10 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 7) - Not a big believer in this Panthers team. They’re above average, but they don’t belong among the league’s elite.

11 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 8) - Dan Quinn’s decision to kick a field goal late in the game against Minnesota was soft as can be. It was frustrating how FOX kept showing Matt Bryant on the screen, as if it was his fault the Falcons lost. They should have been blasting Quinn instead.

12 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 13) - The advanced metrics really like the Ravens. Baltimore ranks sixth overall in DVOA, mostly thanks to their strong defense and special teams unit.

13 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 14) - The Titans are first in the AFC South, but they’re not very inspiring. Tennessee ranks 17th in point differential. They’re the only team with a winning record and a negative point differential, which probably indicates they’re worse than their record suggests.

14 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 17) - Dallas is still alive in the playoff picture after beating Washington on Thursday night. The Cowboys should really send Washington a “Thank You” card for gifting them that game.

15 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 19) - The Packers are 6-6 heading into a Week 14 game against a winless Cleveland team. They could very well be 7-6 with Aaron Rodgers returning before the season’s end. He returned to practice over the weekend.

16 - Detroit Lions (LW: 12) - Detroit’s playoff chances have taken a hit after two straight losses. Matthew Stafford is banged up with some nagging injuries, which doesn’t help matters.

17 - Oakland Raiders (LW: 20) - The Raiders are still in the mix for the AFC West. Oakland is 3-1 in their last four.

18 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 16) - No match for big brother (New England). Buffalo is 1-4 in their last five. The playoff drought is bound to continue.

19 - Washington Redskins (LW: 15) - Washington looked like they were the better team early on against Dallas, but then they choked the game away early on with a ton of dumb turnovers. With injuries taking a toll, they could never recover from there.

20 - New York Jets (LW: 23) - Who thought the Jets would make it to five wins this season? And there’s still four games left.

21 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 18) - The “definition of insanity” quote comes to mind when thinking about Marvin Lewis.

22 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 21) - The Cards don’t lack effort but they’re not going anywhere with Blaine Gabbert as their starting quarterback.

23 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 22) - Man. What’s going on with Big Red? Four losses in a row now. Probably time to go to Patrick Mahomes, though that won’t fix KC’s defensive issues.

24 - Houston Texans (LW: 24) - Too many key injuries has created a wasted year for the Texans.

25 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 25) - Jameis? More like JameISN’T. Or Jameis LOSEton. Or Jameis Loses-a-ton. But yeah, Jameis Winston’s not looking good.

26 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 30) - The 49ers won another game! Jimmy Garoppolo had a promising 49ers debut.

27 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 31) - Miami finally found a team worse than they are! And they kicked the crap out of them.

28 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 27) - Wasted season.

29 - Chicago Bears (LW: 26) - The good news is that Mitchell Trubisky had his best game of the season, per John Fox. The bad news is that Mitchell Trubisky’s best game of the season looked like this: 12/15, 108 yards, 1 TD.

30 - New York Giants (LW: 28) - Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese are gone. The Giants are cleaning house and starting over.

31 - Denver Broncos (LW: 29) - John Elway probably hasn’t received enough criticism for how bad this team has become. Eight losses in a row for Denver.

32 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 32) - You know what time it is.





[#] Tue Dec 05 2017 10:51:17 EST from rss

Subject: Disney Could Be Buying a Substantial Part of FOX, Which Is a Huge Deal for ESPN

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Wow. Big news today. From CNBC: Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox are closing in on a deal and it could come as soon as next week, according to sources familiar with the matter. CNBC has been reporting that Disney has held talks with the Rupert Murdoch-controlled media company to acquire its studio and…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/vr2DDXHacD4/disney-could-be-buying-a-substantial-part-of-fox-which-is-a-huge-deal-for-espn.html

[#] Tue Dec 05 2017 10:38:10 EST from rss

Subject: Flyers win. No, really. Five Takeaways from Flyers 5, Flames 2

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Maybe I’ve been watching too many episodes of Stranger Things on Netflix, but for the past 36 hours I feel like I’m in the “Upside Down.” The Eagles looked bad for the first time all season (although I was the only member of the CB team to see that coming). The Sixers got beat on…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/AomiofnBSa4/flyers-win-no-really-five-takeaways-from-flyers-5-flames-2.html

[#] Tue Dec 05 2017 10:56:14 EST from rss

Subject: Eagles injury update ahead of Rams game

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Info on Zach Ertz and more.

Here’s a quick update on the Philadelphia Eagles’ injury situation ahead of their Week 14 game against the Los Angeles Rams. Note that the Eagles’ first official injury report won’t come out until tomorrow on Wednesday, December 6.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES INJURIES

Zach Ertz

Doug Pederson announced Ertz is in the concussion protocol. The tight end got concussed during the third quarter of the Eagles’ loss to the Seahawks. Ertz is staying with the team in Los Angeles this week as opposed to flying back home to Philadelphia. Ertz will have to pass through the NFL’s mandatory concussion protocol before he can return to action. The Eagles will surely hope to have their leading receiver as the team prepares to face a tough Rams team.

Joe Walker

There’s been no real update on Walker, who missed practice entirely last week and didn’t play on Sunday night. We’ll see where he’s at this week. Najee Goode mostly filled in during Walker’s absence. Dannell Ellerbe only played one defensive snap at linebacker.

Sidney Jones

Jones is still on the NFI list so he won’t practice this week. Pederson said: “He’s still rehabbing and doing his thing.” Keep in mind the Eagles have a 21-day window where Jones can practice before having to either be 1) put on the 53-man roster or 2) shut down for the season. That window starts when Jones starts to practice. It remains to be seen if that’ll happen at all this season. It could be a possibility later this month.

LOS ANGELES RAMS

The Rams are dealing with some injuries as well.

Robert Woods

Los Angeles might be without their leading wide receiver against the Eagles. Woods has missed two games so far due to a shoulder injury. Late last week, Rams head coach Sean McVay said Week 15 might be a “more realistic target” than a Week 14 return. He also added: “A couple weeks from now is probably what’s the most realistic approach. But you never know with Robert.” So we’ll have to see how Woods handles practice this week.

Connor Barwin

Barwin is expected to miss this week’s game against his former team. McVay said he will “more than likely be out.” That’s a bummer. The former Eagles pass rusher ranks tied for second on the Rams in sacks this season.

Alec Ogletree

Rams starting middle linebacker and defensive captain Alec Ogletree hurt his elbow in Week 13. He expects to play against Philadelphia, though.





[#] Tue Dec 05 2017 13:00:02 EST from rss

Subject: BSH Radio reacts following a 5-2 win over Calgary

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Flyers end 10-game losing streak, but many questions remain

The losing streak is over, as the Philadelphia Flyers won their first game since November 8th, defeating the Calgary Flames 5-2 on Monday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Despite the win, which saw the Flyers net three goals over a 71-second span midway through the second period, the Flyers are still surrounded by questions as they look to turn their season around with two more games in Western Canada before returning home next week.

Travis Sanheim played one 18-second shift in the third period, Nolan Patrick got a pair of power play shifts during a five-minute major penalty against Calgary’s Travis Hamonic for targetting Dale Weise’s head but was otherwise stapled to the bench as Philly clung to its two- and three-goal leads in the third.

Travis Konecny was used even less than those two rookies. TK didn’t see a shift after he was on the ice for Sean Monahan’s goal with 1:15 left in the second period.

Check out Bill Matz’s reaction to the end of the streak and Dave Hakstol’s coaching decisions on this edition of BSH Radio Facebook Live Postgame.

Posted by Broad Street Hockey: For Philadelphia Flyers Fans on Monday, December 4, 2017




[#] Tue Dec 05 2017 15:12:59 EST from rss

Subject: Todd Gurley took a little shot at the Eagles

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Nothing too malicious.

Late last week, Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley was asked about why his team hasn’t joined in on the team touchdown celebration craze sweeping across the league.

Gurley gave interesting answer as to why the Rams haven’t been taking advantage of the NFL’s relaxed celebration rules. Via Joe Curley of the Ventura County Star:

“We get in there so much, we don’t have to do it every time ... I don’t have all day to do a whole cha-cha slide, electric slide.”

As you’ll recall, the Eagles were the ones to do the electric slide in Week 12, so Gurley seemed to be throwing a little shade at Philadelphia there.

The funny thing, though, is that the Eagles have a lot more touchdowns than the Rams this season. Philadelphia has 42 touchdowns compared to 36 for Los Anglees.

The Eagles weren’t able to celebrate much in Week 13 after only scoring one touchdown against the Seahawks. They’ll be looking to score a lot more this week in an effort to bounce back against the 9-3 Rams.

Given the way the Eagles looked like they lacked their usual confidence/swag in Seattle, it’d be nice to see them get back to the celebrations. Also wouldn’t hurt to rub it in a little to Gurley.


Speaking of Gurley, here’s a funny exchange.





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