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[#] Sun Jan 07 2018 12:00:02 EST from rss

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

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All that stands between the Flyers and the bye week is their final game of the season against the worst team in the Eastern Conference.

Today’s game begins at 1:00 p.m. ET and can be:

  • Seen on TV locally via NBC Sports Philadelphia (or via stream on the NBC Sports App)
  • Heard via radio locally on 97.5 The Fanatic
  • Seen in Buffalo via MSG-B
  • Seen or heard elsewhere via Sportsnet (in Canada), NHL.tv, NHL Center Ice, or Sirius XM

Projected Flyers lineup:

Forwards

Giroux - Couturier - Konecny

Raffl - Filppula - Voracek

Weal - Patrick - Simmonds

Lehtera - Laughton - Goulbourne

Defensemen

Provorov - Gostisbehere

Hagg - MacDonald

Manning - Gudas

Goalies

Neuvirth

(Elliott)

Projected Sabres lineup (via):

Forwards

Kane - O’Reilly - Okposo

Girgensons - Eichel - Reinhart

Wilson - Rodrigues - Pominville

Larsson - Josefson - Nolan

Defense

Scandella - Ristolainen

Gorges - Bogosian

Beaulieu - McCabe

Goalies

Lehner

(Johnson)





[#] Sun Jan 07 2018 13:07:08 EST from rss

Subject: Saints vs. Panthers, NFL Wild Card Playoffs: TV schedule, game time, online streaming

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Here’s how to watch Sunday’s game.

The final game in the Wild Card round of the 2018 NFL Playoffs schedule features an NFC South rivalry matchup between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers.

The Saints already defeated the Panthers twice in the regular season. Those games weren’t really all that close, either. New Orleans clearly looked the better side in both contests. In addition, teams that have gone 2-0 against an opponent in the regular season are 13-7 against that same opponent in the playoffs. (Credit to James Seltzer for pointing that out on this week’s BGN Radio SportsRadio 94WIP episode.) It’s no surprise, then, that the Saints are seven-point favorites to beat Carolina on Sunday.

Due to the No. 6 seed Falcons beating the No. 3 seed Rams on Saturday evening, the winner of today’s matchup between the No. 4 seed Saints and No. 5 seed Panthers will move on to play the No. 2 seed Vikings in the Divisional Round next weekend. That game will take place in Minnesota.

There’s an argument Eagles fans should be rooting for the Panthers to win today because the Saints are a bigger threat to Philly. Plus Carolina already proved they’re capable of beating the Vikings this season.

Here is all the information you need to know in order to watch today’s game.

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints

Game Time:

4:40 PM ET

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Location:

Mercedes-Benz Superdome | New Orleans, Louisiana

TV Channel:

FOX

Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews (field reporter), Chris Myers (field reporter)

Radio Information:

WESTWOOD ONE: Kevin Kugler, Dan Fouts

SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 83 (Car), 82 (NO)

XM: 88 (WW1), 83 (Car), 82 (NO)

Online Streaming:

FOX Sports GO

NFL Game Pass

Odds via SB Nation:

Panthers +7 (-115)

Saints -7 (-105)

Over/under: 48.5

Here’s our gambling advice.

Referee:

Tony Corrente

...

Note: This is an open thread. Discuss this Wild Card game here.





[#] Sun Jan 07 2018 13:41:29 EST from rss

Subject: Halftime Adjustment? Where the Orange and Black Sit at the Midway Point of the Season Following Flyers 6, Blues 3

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While we are enduring the some of the coldest weather on record here in the Philadelphia area, the Flyers are heating up – for the past two games anyway. Following yesterday’s 6-3 win over St. Louis, the Flyers scored six goals or more in consecutive games for the first time in nearly five years. It’s…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/oqVgg6IaLIk/halftime-adjustment-where-the-orange-and-black-sit-at-the-midway-point-of-the-season-following-flyers-6-blues-3.html

[#] Sun Jan 07 2018 15:27:00 EST from rss

Subject: Sixers Notes: Markelle Fultz and the Full Contact Practice

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No Markelle Fultz videos today, since he was finished training by the time media was allowed into the gym. We did get an update from Brett Brown, who says the rookie guard is coming along nicely. “He didn’t go through the full practice today, but he went through the large majority of it,” Brown said.…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/TsW3knK_aBs/sixers-notes-markelle-fultz-and-the-full-contact-practice.html

[#] Sun Jan 07 2018 16:05:34 EST from rss

Subject: Flyers 4, Sabres 1: Gritty effort leads to third-straight win

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Sean Couturier stays red-hot with two goals as Flyers hold off Sabres before five day break.

If the Flyers were searching for momentum to head into their bye on, they sure found some ahead of their five-day break.

Sean Couturier scored a power play goal and added an empty netter as the Flyers beat the Sabres 4-1 on Sunday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center to win their third straight game after a disappointing loss to Pittsburgh to start the new year.

It was never easy as the Flyers, playing the second of a back-to-back, fought off the gritty Sabres for much of the third period as they protected a 2-1 lead. A pair of goals with the Buffalo net empty helped make the score bloated compared to the effort it took the Flyers to get both points.

Michal Neuvirth was solid in his first start since late November with 30 saves on 31 shots to earn the win. Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov added the other goals for the Flyers, while Ryan O’Reilly was the only Sabre to find the back of the net.

The game began with an early power play for Buffalo, as Jake Voracek went off just a minute after puck drop. The Sabres feature the 30th-ranked power play versus the 29th-ranked penalty kill of the Flyers.

The Flyers would kill off the first man-advantage without many dangerous Sabres changes, but would find themselves right back on the penalty kill with a slashing call on Wayne Simmonds. This was after taking just one lone minor penalty a day prior in the win over St. Louis.

Michal Neuvirth, making his first start since Nov. 28, absolutely robbed Sam Reinhart with a glove save on the second of the two power plays. It was a huge stop 5:04 into the game that the Flyers dearly needed after a slow start.

Jake Voracek put the Flyers on a power play not long after, but none of the array of point chances or tips would find their way past Sabres netminder Robin Lehner.

Neuvirth was busy at the other end in the first period, starting with those two quick Sabres power plays and continuing through the rest of the frame as the Flyers failed to sustain much offense.

Buffalo outshot the Flyers 12-5 in the first, but the Flyers had a couple of good scoring chances highlighted by a Sean Couturier tip in close that went just wide with 5:37 left in the period. Travis Konecny setup the Flyers’ leading goal scorer on the play and has settled into his role on the top line in recent games.

Ryan O’Reilly would open the scoring 1:50 into the second with a power play goal to make it 1-0 Buffalo. He ripped a wrist shot past Michal Neuvirth’s shoulder as the Flyers’ penalty kill finally got burned. Jack Eichel and Rasmus Ristolainen picked up assists on the goal.

The Sabres’ lead wouldn’t last long, though. Just 2:52 in fact. After turning the puck over at center ice, the Sabres watched Shayne Gostisbehere fire a wrist shot past Lehner to tie things up at 1-1. Scott Laughton and Jori Lehtera picked up assists on the goal, Gostisbehere’s ninth of the season.

O’Reilly’s opening goal seemed to wake up the Flyers, who responded quickly with the Gostisbehere goal and then followed it up with sustained pressure in the Buffalo zone.

They would soon be rewarded for said pressure as Radko Gudas drew a penalty to put the Flyers back on the power play.

Sean Couturier wouldn’t waste much time, giving the Flyers a 2-1 lead just 21 seconds into the ensuing man-advantage. The goal came at the 7:17 mark and was assisted by Jake Voracek and Claude Giroux.

Later, with Hagg and Kane off for matching minors, Buffalo took a too many men penalty to give Flyers a four-on-three for nearly a minute.

Robin Lehner would match Neuvirth’s incredible glove save earlier with one of his own on Wayne Simmonds after a great cross-ice feed from Voracek with 6:12 left in the second. Lehner’s glove work flat-out robbed Simmonds of his 15th goal of the season and the Flyers of a two-goal lead.

Protecting the one-goal lead, Neuvirth was able to turn aside Evander Kane with 1:16 left in the period, as the Sabres’ top scoring duo of Kane and Eichel hooked up looking to tie things up heading to the third period.

After a flat first period, the Flyers turned on the gas in the second, outshooting the Sabres 18-11 and tilting the ice in their favor in search of a third straight win.

There was a scary moment early in the third as a Robert Hagg blast got Sabres goalie Robin Lehner up high near the shoulder or neck area. Hagg ripped a one-timer from just a few feet outside the crease, but Lehner was able to stay in the game.

It was also the Flyers’ first shot on goal in the period through five minutes, as the neutral zone was clogged up for both teams resulting in just two shots total in that same span. Holding the lead, however, the Flyers would gladly accept an uneventful period.

Buffalo, who was off yesterday, started to push back with 13 minutes left on the clock with a couple good shifts but nothing doing against Neuvirth. At the other end, Sean Couturier just barely missed another deflection that skidded just wide on a quick Flyers counter attack.

Down the stretch the Sabres were pressing for a tying goal and gave up a couple breaks for the Flyers, but Michael Raffl hesitated on a two-on-one and turned the puck over, and a Valtteri Filppula breakaway resulted in a shot wide.

With their tanks on empty late in the second half of back-to-back games, the Flyers were content to hunker down in their own zone and wait for their chance to strike with the Sabres expected to empty their net.

The Buffalo net was empty with 1:15 left and a Sean Couturier empty net goal would push the score to 3-1 and all but put this one away. Couturier’s second empty netter in as many days was his 23rd goal of the season with Jake Voracek and Michael Raffl picking up the assists.

Not to be left out, Ivan Provorov would tack on another with the Buffalo net empty once again to close out a hard-working 4-1 win for the Flyers.





[#] Sun Jan 07 2018 17:15:02 EST from rss

Subject: BSH Radio reacts following a 4-1 victory over Buffalo

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Bill is back on Facebook Live postgame, talking about a Sunday afternoon win over the Buffalo Sabres.

The Flyers have won three in a row, a certifiable winning streak, and are heading into their bye week in a virtual three-way division tie with the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders, with the ‘Canes clinging to the final wild card spot by percentage points.

Michal Neuvirth made his first start since November 28, stopping 30 of 31 Sabres shots en route to his third win of the season.

For all the immediate reactions, check out the BSH Radio Facebook Live postgame video below.

BSH Radio Reacts following a 4-1 victory over Buffalo

Posted by Broad Street Hockey: For Philadelphia Flyers Fans on Sunday, January 7, 2018




[#] Sun Jan 07 2018 19:53:02 EST from rss

Subject: NFL Playoff Schedule 2018: Dates and times for Divisional Round games

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Updated info.

Now that the Wild Card round of the 2018 NFL Playoffs is over, the schedule for next week’s Divisional Round is officially set.

The Philadelphia Eagles will host their first playoff game since the 2013 season next weekend on Saturday, January 13. Due to the absence of Carson Wentz, the No. 1 seed Eagles have opened as 2.5 point underdogs to the No. 6 seed Falcons. Philadelphia is seeking their first post-season victory since January 4, 2009.

If the Eagles manage to beat the Falcons, they’ll host the winner of the Vikings vs. Saints battle in the NFC Championship Game.

Let’s take a look at the entire playoffs schedule.

NFL DIVISIONAL ROUND

SATURDAY, JANUARY 13

NFC: 4:35 PM ET - Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles (NBC)

AFC: 8:15 PM ET - Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (CBS)

SUNDAY, JANUARY 14

AFC: 1:05 PM ET - Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers (CBS)

NFC: 4:40 PM ET - New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings (FOX)

CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES

SUNDAY, JANUARY 21

3:05 PM ET - AFC (CBS)

6:40 PM ET - NFC (FOX)

SUPER BOWL LII

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 4

6:30 PM ET - AFC champion vs. NFC champion (NBC)

...

Note: The 2018 Pro Bowl will take place on Sunday, January 28.





[#] Mon Jan 08 2018 06:00:01 EST from rss

Subject: Monday Morning Fly By...e week begins now

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

*Well folks, it’s break time. And the Flyers are heading into the bye on a high note after a very excellent weekend of hockey. Saturday, they scored a lot of goals against the very good St. Louis Blues. We’ve got a recap if you missed the action, and some observations from what turned out to be a very fun hockey game.

*Then, on Sunday afternoon, the Flyers took it to the very bad Buffalo Sabres, which was very satisfying to watch. Recap!

*These two games were Tyrell Goulbourne’s first in the NHL, and in his limited time on the ice the kid looked pretty good. Good for him. [NBC Sports Philly]

*Claude Giroux has continued to prove that last year was the exception. The rule? Claude Giroux is an elite NHLer. [Philly.com]

*In other big weekend news, our lord and savior Carter Hart is now a gold medalist! Team Canada defeated Team Sweden to take the Gold at the World Junior Championship in what was a very exciting game in which Hart had to be very good. It was awesome. [Habs Eyes On The Prize]

*To round out the winners, Team USA took home the bronze by defeating the Czech Republic. [ProHockeyTalk]

*And finally, we might be seeing the end of Jaromir Jagr’s long and pretty amazing NHL career. It’ll be a bummer, huh? But oh man, the milestones that man has hit. [ProHockeyTalk]





[#] Mon Jan 08 2018 06:09:12 EST from rss

Subject: Eagles News: Carson Wentz wins NFL MVP in fan vote

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Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 1/8/18.

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

Carson Wentz voted MVP (but not the real one) - PhillyVoice
When the NFL announces the MVP of the 2017 season, it likely won’t be Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, who tore his ACL Week 14 in Los Angeles against the Rams, ending his season (you know, in case you’ve been living in a cave). Even with the injury, Wentz is still very much deserving of the award, though all indications are that it will go to Tom Brady, who couldn’t even win a single “Patriot of the Week” award this season. If there’s any consolation to Wentz, he did win a fan vote on FOX Sports for MVP.

2018 NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round Schedule - BGN
Now that the Wild Card round of the 2018 NFL Playoffs is over, the schedule for next week’s Divisional Round is officially set.

Playoff Perspective - Iggles Blitz
Do you feel better or worse about the Eagles now? I came away feeling better. If any of the teams had played at a high level, it would have been disconcerting. That just wasn’t the case. The Falcons pulled off the upset, but had plenty of help from the Rams. LA was very sloppy, turning the ball over twice and making more mistakes than they normally do. Atlanta ran the ball pretty well and played good defense. Still, the Rams helped them out by having some playoff jitters. Todd Gurley was a weapon in the passing game all year. He was targeted 10 times on Saturday and only produced 10 yards. That’s not good. Give LB Deion Jones some credit for sure, but part of that was on Gurley, Goff and the Rams.

Three thoughts on the Eagles-Falcons matchup - Inquirer
Before the Eagles knew their opponent, it was clear that Jay Ajayi would need to be a big part of the Eagles winning in the playoffs. That’s especially the case against the Falcons, who threaten with a fast, swarming defense. The Falcons allowed only 104.1 rushing yards per games this season, which ranked No. 9 in the NFL. But in the Falcons’ October loss to Miami, Ajayi rushed for 126 yards on 25 carries. It was the most rushing yards the Falcons allowed all season. It was the only 100-yard rusher the Falcons allowed until Los Angeles’ Todd Gurley reached 101 yards on Saturday. When the Eagles beat the Falcons last season, they rushed for 208 yards against the same defensive scheme that the Falcons still use. The game situation always dictates what the Eagles do — if they’re trailing early, they’ll be more inclined to pass — but it would make sense to try to establish the run and make Ajayi the workhorse running back. That could be their best shot against the Falcons.

Wild-Card Wows By Drew Brees, Saints Set Up NFL Divisional Playoff Matchup For The Ages - The MMQB
The news is fairly stunning. A six seed, a dome team playing in open air in January at one of the toughest places in the league to play, is a 2.5-point favorite over a one seed. No six seed has ever been favored over a one seed since the playoff field expanded to 12 teams in 1990. That’s the predicament the Eagles find themselves. The odds are Foles-centric, obviously. No one trusts Nick Foles to play a competent game this weekend. In his last two games, collectively, he never hit 50 in two fairly significant categories: completion percentage (46.9 percent) and passer rating (48.2). So Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich, when putting the game plan together with Doug Pederson, must be mindful of making this a power-running, Giants-of-the-eighties football game. This is the way Philadelphia can win this game. Run LaGarrette Blount and Jay Ajayi 40 or 43 times behind a line the Eagles trust far more than their quarterback. Blount and Ajayi, combined, rushed for 4.83 yards per carry as Eagles this year. This won’t work unless Foles can, maybe once a quarter, hit one of his receivers with something beyond an intermediate route. But unless they run effectively, Philadelphia’s not winning this game. One last thing: Bill Parcells used to say, It’s not average per carry I care about. It’s number of carries. In one of the biggest Super Bowl upsets ever, the Giants ran it 39 times and held the ball for 40:33 to beats Buffalo 27 years ago. That’s the blueprint. The Eagles need to eat the clock and keep the ball away from a better offense to win this game.

Eagles made underdog for division game against Falcons - ESPN
The Philadelphia Eagles are poised to do something no other No. 1 seed ever has -- begin the playoffs as an underdog. The Atlanta Falcons opened as 2.5-point favorites over the Eagles in Saturday’s divisional round game in Philadelphia. Since 1975, when the NFL began basing home-field advantage on teams’ regular-season winning percentage, no No. 1 seed has ever been an underdog in its first playoff game, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Barring dramatic line movement, the Eagles will be the first.

Self Scouting: The State Of The Secondary - PE.com
Greg Cosell breaks down the play of the secondary and how newcomers have had a huge impact on the defense this year before Ike Reese and John Clark looks at the glue that holds the backfield together.

AN EVENING WITH JON DORENBOS - Sugar House Casino
America’s Got Talent finalist and longtime Philadelphia Eagles player Jon Dorenbos is returning to Philly to give fans an intimate look at his football career, entertaining magic and inspirational life story. His interactive show will surprise and delight!

Chiefs coach Andy Reid: ‘Maybe we could have’ given Hunt more carries in playoff loss - The Kansas City Star
Sound familiar?

Could Case Keenum be Giants’ next quarterback? - Big Blue View
The New York Giants interviewed Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur on Saturday for the their vacant head-coaching job. Now, there is a report that Vikings’ quarterback Case Keenum, a free agent this offseason, could follow Shurmur wherever he lands.

Do the Redskins Have the Worst Wide Receiving Unit in the NFL? - Hogs Haven
Just two years ago, the Redskins were coming off a season with two receivers who had over 1000 receiving yards (Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson). The 2017 off-season saw both receivers depart for greener pastures (or maybe to be put out to the pasture), while the Redskins attempted to fill the void with relatively up-proven talent at the position. Well, that didn’t work out so well!

Saints outlasted the Panthers in thrilling wild card game thanks to a vintage Drew Brees performance - SB Nation
The Saints offense has revolved around Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram this season, but Brees was the star on Sunday.

...

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[#] Mon Jan 08 2018 07:46:55 EST from rss

Subject: Crossing Broadcast: Unhinged Opinions and Favored Opponents

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Kyle, Adam and Russ discuss the Sixers’ recent success, Eagles-Falcons, and NFL playoff action.   We recommend subscribing in Overcast, the best iOS podcast player, and using the Voice Boost and Smart Speed functions, which improve sound quality (for all shows) and speed up small gaps in the conversation. Download Overcast and just search “Crossing…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/aB-KTPAT9ZY/crossing-broadcast-unhinged-opinions-and-favored-opponents.html

[#] Mon Jan 08 2018 09:17:19 EST from rss

Subject: Ranking the Ten Best Prospects in the National Championship Game

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The final reckoning of the 2017-2018 college football season is upon us. After months of competition and an exciting bowl season, the National Championship between Alabama and Georgia is here. Naturally, as two great teams square off, there will be a tremendous amount of talent on the field at any given moment. With so many future top fifty picks on the field; here are the ten best players that will be featured tonight.

10. Da’Ron Payne, Defensive Tackle, Alabama: After a flashy playoff game against Clemson where he picked off a pass and caught a goal-line touchdown, Da’Ron Payne got some box score payoff for his gritty season for the Tide. Payne is not a stat-stuffer, but the 300 pound lineman plays an important role in eating space against the run and freeing up blockers for other pass rushers. Payne is going to be the centerpiece of Alabama’s effort to stop Georgia’s amazing run game.

9. Dominik Sanders, Safety, Georgia: Georgia’s defense is a star-studded group Dominik Sanders has been a steady part of the unit for years now. With 52 starts in his career, Sanders has a massive amount of experience and has tied the school’s career interception record (16) in that time. Not only is he a playmaker in coverage, the 200 pounder is a hard hitter and willing run defender. Against Alabama’s dynamic offense, it will be fun to see how Sanders leads the secondary.

8. Rashaan Evans, Linebacker, Alabama: Every year it feels like Alabama has another stud linebacker. This year, the 6’3”, 234 pound Evans stands out as the leader in the middle of the Alabama defense. Evans is a heavy hitting, downhill player who makes an impact against the run and the pass as a blitzer. He is aggressive in coverage, but that is hardly the strongest part of his game. Luckily, Georgia likes to run the ball a lot and Evans will have a nice opportunity for a big game.

7. Anthony Averett, Cornerback, Alabama: Alabama’s secondary is filled with NFL prospects and Anthony Averett is among the better players in the group. The six foot senior is a physical player in coverage and against the run. He is a decent athlete, but wins with technique and physicality. Averett will be tested tonight as a pass and run defender so how he responds will be important for the Tide.

6. Sony Michel, Running Back, Georgia: Sony Michel is coming off an enormous Rose Bowl where he scored four total touchdowns, including the game winner in overtime. Michel is a do it all back who can make plays in the run or passing game. He is an offensive weapon and Georgia will likely get him heavily involved all over the field today to give them big plays.

5. Damien Harris, Running Back, Alabama: Damien Harris gets relatively little press considering he is the lead running back on a National Championship Alabama team. However, it is a huge year for running backs, so it makes a little sense why Harris has flown under the radar this year. He is a complete back that has power, speed and agility. Harris hasn’t seen an “Alabama Workload” like many of his predecessors because his quarterback can run, but he definitely has NFL lead back potential. Alabama will want to run the ball a lot tonight and this is a huge stage for Harris to dominate in his final game in college.

4. Calvin Ridley, Wide Receiver, Alabama: It feels like Calvin Ridley has been with Alabama for 10 years now. At 23 years old, it wouldn’t surprise me if he really was there for that long. As an older prospect; Ridley is incredibly athetlically and technically advanced for the college game. He looks like a pro player in part because he is the same age as a lot of pros. Anyway, he is a dangerous college player and is by far Alabama’s biggest weapon in the passing game. While he does not see as many targets as other star receivers in college; he is able to shine with the limited workload he is given. Against a very stingy Georgia secondary; how will Calvin Ridley fare?

3. Nick Chubb, Running Back, Georgia: One of my favorite players in college football; Nick Chubb has overcome a lot to get to this point. After suffering a brutal knee injury during his Sophomore season, Chubb has battled back and seemingly has gotten healthier and stronger with every carry. On only 205 carries this year, Chubb has rushed for over 1,300 yards and 15 touchdowns (a career high) this year. Chubb is the main cog in the Georgia offense and has been a major role player during his four year career. Chubb will see a heavy workload tonight and how he plays will dictate Georgia’s success.

2. Roquan Smith, Linebacker, Georgia: Roquan Smith has turned in one of the most dominant linebacker seasons in recent memory. Not only is he a dominant run defender; but his speed is valuable on passing downs in coverage and as a pass rusher. Despite being a smaller player, he remains incredibly physical. Smith will be vital in Georgia’s effort to beat the Tide.

1. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Defensive Back, Alabama: It is pretty crazy to think that arguably the two best defenders in this year’s draft will be playing in this game. Fitzpatrick has experience playing every position in the secondary and frankly it is hard to distinguish if he is better at cornerback or safety. He is a complete defender who defends the pass and run equally well. Against Georgia; Fitzpatrick will be all over the field and playing such a balanced offense will be the perfect showcase of his well rounded game before he is off to the NFL.





[#] Mon Jan 08 2018 09:03:06 EST from rss

Subject: Your Monday Morning Roundup

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The stage, or shall we say cage, is set. The Philadelphia Eagles host the Atlanta Falcons this Saturday at 4:35pm on NBC. The Birds are home underdogs, something that hasn’t happened for a one seed in the playoffs since 1970. The Falcons face the Birds because they took down the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/Ss7YEA_h6qQ/your-monday-morning-roundup-209.html

[#] Mon Jan 08 2018 09:25:03 EST from rss

Subject: Is Jim Schwartz Smart Enough to Understand He

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If you believe the rumors, next year Jim Schwartz will be the newest head coach of the New York Giants. Or the Arizona Cardinals. Or the Indianapolis Colts. Or the Chicago Bears. Every off-season one assistant coach or coordinator is the hot coaching ticket to fill one of the vacancies for the numerous shit-canned head…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/yg-vJVR4BkY/is-jim-schwartz-smart-enough-to-understand-hes-not-a-head-coach.html

[#] Mon Jan 08 2018 10:00:05 EST from rss

Subject: Flyers 4, Sabres 1: Out with a bang

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Some observations for your morning...

All stats and graphics via Corsica.Hockey, HockeyViz, Natural Stat Trick, and NHL.com

1. That start...

Okay, so I may have gotten a little carried away yesterday. The Flyers had two good first periods in a row, but couldn’t make it three. Whomp whomp.

Through the first 20 minutes, they were only able to register five shots on goal, but still picked up 16 shot attempts, .99 expected goals at five-on-five. But the biggest momentum killer was the fact that they didn’t spend that much time at five-on-five in the first place.

The Flyers took two minors in the beginning of the period, spending four of the first seven minutes on the penalty kill, unable to generate any sort of breakout, and as such weren’t able to generate any shots during that time. So that certainly didn’t help them any.

Their power play opportunity seemed like it would be a good chance for them to steal back some of the momentum, but no such luck--the danger just wasn’t quite there.

To be fair, the Flyers defended well in the first period, and prevented the Sabres from capitalizing on any of their chances, but they also didn’t--in the larger scheme--do themselves any favors.

2. The penalty kill evens out

As we noted above, the story of the early part of yesterday’s game was one of penalties. The two taken in the first period were rough, and given the Flyers’ struggles to come back from deficits, they really needed the PK to come up big. And, fortunately, it did.

The first two kills were, in a word, effective. They looked more aggressive than they had to date, and did well to snap up the puck and clear it. They were strong performances, but they also had a bit of help in the form of a big glove save by Neuvirth and the Sabres effectively handing them an icing to close out the second penalty. But the PK’s work was still noteworthy.

The third attempt, in trying to kill the MacDonald penalty, was a different story. They just weren’t quite as aggressive, and let the puck find its way to O’Reilly’s stick, who sailed the puck over Gudas who had dropped low to try to block the shot and past Neuvirth. And while it was an unsuccessful kill, and reflects poorly on the unit, it can’t rest completely on them. Neuvirth has to make that save.

3. Neuvirth finally gets a start

But now that we’ve mentioned him a few times, how did our buddy Michal do?

Given that he hasn’t started a game since I think the end of the last lockout, we could have reasonably expected him to be a little rusty. But this wasn’t the case.

Neuvirth looked sharp pretty much right out of the gate. His big save on the first penalty kill was the real marquis moment, but he held steady all throughout. The one goal allowed wasn’t a particularly pretty one, as he allowed too much space and wasn’t quick enough to make the stop. But I suppose, given the larger game context, we can forgive him the one goal.

After it was all said and done, Neuvirth stopped 30 of the 31 shots he faced, for a .968 save percentage, which is not too shabby. It remains to be seen when we’ll see him make a start again, if he’s worked well enough to regain some of the coach’s trust, but he put in a solid effort yesterday.

4. Complete efforts

We talked yesterday about the full line effort that culminated in Couturier’s goal against the Blues on Saturday, how great it was, and it seems like we’re getting even more of that.

Caught mid-change, the sequence leading up to Gostisbehere’s goal was real nice. Breaking into the offensive zone on a solid controlled entry, the puck was dished between Voracek, Lehtera, Laughton, and Gostisbehere, cutting straight through the Sabres, who were unable to do anything to break up the play.

And while it’s nice to see regular lines connecting well and capitalizing on their combined efforts, it’s perhaps even more impressive when it’s a mix of fixtures from two lines. It bodes well for the flexibility of the team, that even when they’re forced to mix things up for a bit of time, they’re still able to make something happen.

5. Seeing good things from the Patrick line...

After a few rough games early in their arrangement, the nominal third line of Weal-Patrick-Simmonds is really starting to get going. It’s about time, and it’s a beauty to behold.

In yesterday’s game, they matched up well--to say the least--against Buffalo’s third line. Patrick and Simmonds posted 100 percent adjusted CF% at five-on-five in the third period, and the three averaged 78.75 percent by the end of the game, leading the other lines by a comfortable margin. The next most productive line was the first, who averaged an adjusted 47.45 CF% at five-on-five.

Over the course of the game, the trio put up six shots at five-on-five, and really started to look like they’re clicking. Patrick was making some solid defensive plays, Weal’s strength along the boards helped them to keep possession of the puck in the offensive zone, and we saw some impressive puck movement between all three of them. They weren’t rewarded with a goal, but the process seems to be coming together, and one can at least hope that the goals will soon follow.

6. ...and maybe not so much from the fourth line

So, where the Patrick line had little short of a fantastic night, the fourth line, well, didn’t. I can’t even bring myself to call it the Laughton line. He deserves better than this.

The fourth line finished the game with an average adjusted CF% of 45.55 at five-on-five. The trio put up no shots at five-on-five, and found themselves doing more chasing and breaking than anything.

But let’s take a moment to check back in with Goulbourne. He played 5:13--absent for a good part of the second period with a broken skate--registered no shots, and delivered one hit. As was the case yesterday, it was a more or less quiet game for him, but he was ultimately sent back to the Phantoms as the Flyers head off on their bye week.

And the question of the fourth line remains an open and intriguing one for when the Flyers return from this break. Given its lack of production in the past few games, how will they reconfigure it? Will Taylor Leier be brought back into the lineup? Or will they go back to Weise and Lehtera on Laughton’s wings?

Let’s hope it’s that first one, yeah?

7. Third period: ???

There’s no way around it, the third period was a weird one. The Flyers held the edge in momentum and possession throughout, and picked up the two empty net goals to steal off the win, but somehow one can’t really escape the feeling that nothing really happened in those last 20 minutes.

It was, on the whole, a pretty quiet period. Only 14 shots were taken through the whole period--six for the Flyers and eight for the Sabres--and much of the time was spent breaking up plays by both sides, before they could even result in a shot. And it was a strategy, dull as it may have been, that worked well for the Flyers. They held the Sabres without another goal, and did so cleanly, avoiding taking any further penalties. We left the game knowing that we should feel happy about the results, and almost certainly did, but still perhaps wished for a bit more activity.

It wasn’t pretty but it worked, I guess.

8. A blessing

That’s it. It’s decided. There’s no other way. The universe just somehow took all of our collective good karma, bundled it up, and gave us Sean Couturier. There is no other explanation.

He picked up two more goals yesterday, pushing him even further past his season points total from last year. As we speak, he’s on pace for 80 points this season. 80 points. Just take a moment with that.

Couturier had another solid night last night. He only put up an adjusted CF% of 47.52 percent, but defended well against Eichel’s line, aiding in limiting both the quality and quantity of their chances. The line, though not dominant, did well enough, especially considering they were on the back end of a back-to-back. The Sabres had given a rested Flyers team more than a fair amount of trouble in the past, and they knew that they needed to bring their best shutdown game--and Couturier did well to help in spearheading that effort.

9. Living and learning

So, we’ve done it. We’ve officially passed the midpoint of the season. Are we doing okay? How are we feeling?

It’s been quite a ride, and while we’re still finding ourselves looking for a bit more consistency from the Flyers, at the very least we’re starting to see some growth. Giroux talked post-game about how, starting around the time of the Western Canadian swing, they looked at what they had been doing and started figuring out how to protect leads, how to bring stronger third periods and really close out games. And it’s a strategy that, when they’re on, has worked for them. And that’s what you like to see.

It hasn’t been a perfect first half of the season by any stretch of the imagination, but with the team noting that they’re putting greater emphasis on introspection, there remains the hope that they can continue to improve, as they move through the second half of the season.

10. The only damn thing I know

It’s the bye week, baby.

Do we all have big plans? Anyone going to a warm place? No?

It’s hard to say whether the timing of the bye week is good or bad. On the one hand, the Flyers are playing well enough and it’s a shame to see that momentum broken up. On the other hand, a break’s a break and bodies need time to heal. So it’s a bit of a mixed bag.

All I know is that I wish I was going to a warm place.





[#] Mon Jan 08 2018 10:05:30 EST from rss

Subject: Blown Leads, Bad Calls, and Great Defense: Ten Takeaways from the NFL

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Wild card weekend was.. decent, I guess? The games were entertaining, but the quality of play (and officiating) left something to be desired. It began with a Saturday evening comeback that could instead be viewed as a horrendously blown lead. Atlanta got the road upset, the Saints hung on, and the Jags and Bills played…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/6sLsjwWFhd8/blown-leads-bad-calls-and-great-defense-ten-takeaways-from-the-nfls-wild-card-weekend.html

[#] Mon Jan 08 2018 11:02:46 EST from rss

Subject: 8 takeaways from 2018 Wild Card weekend (with an Eagles slant)

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Leftover thoughts from the first round of the playoffs.

By earning the No. 1 seed in the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles had the luxury of sitting back and relaxing during Wild Card weekend.

Eight other teams were not so fortunate. Four of them were eliminated from the 2018 NFL Playoffs by losing over the weekend and four of them are now advancing to the Divisional Round. One of the teams advancing is obviously the Atlanta Falcons, whom the Eagles will be hosting this Saturday.

Before we dive deep into previewing this week’s game, however, here are some Eagles-slanted takeaways from Wild Card weekend.

1 - There won’t be a head coach opening in Tennessee

Well, you never know with the Volunteers, but I’m talking about the Titans here. Prior to Saturday’s game, there was speculation that Titans head coach Mike Mularkey would be fired if his team lost to the Chiefs. With the Titans down 21-3, it looked like that might be the case. But then Tennessee made a big comeback and ending up winning the game. The Titans’ owner has since released a statement ensuring Mularkey will return for the 2018 season.

This is good news for the Eagles because it means one fewer head coach vacancy. There are really only five openings left with Jon Gruden taking the Oakland Raiders job. And with Matt Patricia linked to the Lions job (though that isn’t official), maybe it’s really just four spots left.

Those four opening include: Giants, Bears, Colts, and Cardinals. Eagles quarterback coach John DeFilippo has been linked to Chicago and Arizona. He reportedly interviewed with the Bears over the weekend. Although there’s been a lot of buzz about Flip getting a head coach job, some aren’t so sure it happens this offseason.

Here are the “names floated” that Gabriel is referring to.

Even if Flip doesn’t get picked for a head coaching job, there’s still a reasonable chance he doesn’t return to Philadelphia in 2018. His contract is reportedly up once the Eagles’ season ends. He could still pursue an offensive coordinator job somewhere if he misses out on being a head coach.

As for Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, he’s been linked to the Giants and Cardinals opening. The talk about Schwartz being a favorite NYG has died down lately, especially since the Giants somehow couldn’t work out scheduling an interview with him. Now New York will have to wait until the Eagles are eliminated from the playoffs in order to meet with him.

It’s important to remember Flip and Schwartz are just two of many candidates out there available for head coach jobs. Pat Shurmur, Steve Wilks, Matt Patricia, Josh McDaniels, Eric Studesville, George Edwards, Kris Richard, Mike Vrabel, and Teryl Austin are among coaches who have received head coach interviews so far this offseason.

I still think it’s likely the Eagles will hold on to Schwartz. I’m less optimistic about Flip returning since the decision will be up to him.

2 - Andy Reid is still Andy Reid

Look, Big Red obviously did a lot of great things in Philly. But boy, he’s still frustrating as hell, and Eagles fans should be thankful he’s not the head coach anymore.

After their playoff loss, Reid even admitted the Chiefs got away from the run too much after getting up 21-3. Vintage Andy.

Reid is now the first and only head coach in NFL history to lose two post-season games in which he led by at least 17 points at any point. That’s brutal.

Even more brutal for Chiefs fans: Kansas City has lost six home playoff games in a row. Five was already a record. Now they’re making their futility even worse.

Maybe Pat Mahomes can be the guy who finally gets Reid over the hump. Until then, Eagles fans should have a familiarity with the frustration Chiefs fans are suffering from.

3 - Time to slow down the Sean McVay hype machine

Make no mistake: Sean McVay did a great job with the Rams this year. The improvement they made is remarkable. But maybe let’s slow down before crowning McVay as a future Hall of Famer. Only managing to score 13 points at home against the No. 6 seed isn’t a good look.

Even before the Rams’ loss, we were talking on BGN Radio about how the McVay hype has gotten to be a little much.

I’ve argued all along that Doug Pederson, not McVay, should be the Coach of the Year. And again, that’s not a slight to McVay. It’s just that Pederson makes more sense for the award:

  • Pederson beat McVay.
  • The Eagles finished with a better record than the Rams.
  • Pederson overcame way more skepticism than McVay did. A former NFL general manager literally called Pederson the “least qualified head coach in the last 30 years.”
  • Pederson dealt with WAY more crucial injuries than McVay did. Pederson lost Carson Wentz, Jason Peters, Darren Sproles, Chris Maragos, Jordan Hicks, and Caleb Strugis for the season. Ronald Darby also missed a big stretch. The Rams, meanwhile, lost ... a starting cornerback (Kayvon Webster) and their starting kicker (Greg Zuerlein) ... both late in the season. The injury situations don’t even compare.

So, yeah, Pederson > McVay.

Also, Carson Wentz >>>> Jared Goff. Goff is a big reason why the Rams were never all THAT scary to me as a playoff team. The second-year quarterback finished with the following stat-line against the Falcons: 24/45, 259 yards (5.8 average), 1 TD, 0 INT, 77.9 passer rating.

4 - Good news on the Joe Douglas front

I don’t wanna jinx anything here but I’d be surprised if Douglas leaves for a general manager job this offseason. So far, the Eagles blocked his interview with the Texans. Keep in mind that’s only a temporary action. Philadelphia can’t block Douglas if/when the Eagles are eliminated from the playoffs.

But I don’t think the Texans are super hot for Douglas. I think former Texans personnel guy Brian Gaine is their man. That’s what the national buzz seems to be, as well.

5 - Early thoughts on the Falcons

Once again, we’ll dive deeper in the Eagles-Falcons matchup leading up to the game this weekend. For now, two quick thoughts.

  • Falcons running backs struggled to do much against a bad Rams run defense. The combination of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman averaged 3.31 yards per carry. Philadelphia should be able to stop the run and force the Falcons into a lot of passing. From there, it’s really up to Fletcher Cox and this defensive line to take advantage of Atlanta’s weakness at guard.
  • Atlanta’s defense might be more concerning than their offense. The Falcons showed they have a lot of speed on that side of the ball in shutting down the Rams’ offense. They recorded one pick and 10 pass deflections. Deion Jones could be a nuisance.

6 - The Eagles might not have the worst quarterback in the playoffs?

I saw some people say this after watching the Bills-Jaguars game.

Even if you believe that’s true, Nick Foles is still the second worst quarterback, at best. And even though Blake Bortles was absolutely AWFUL as a passer, he still contributed with 88 rushing yards on 10 carries. That’s hardly insignificant. He made some really crucial drive-extending plays with his legs on Sunday. Foles obviously doesn’t nearly have the same amount of mobility, which could be frustrating to watch in the playoffs, especially if Foles is missing easy throws in the passing game.

7 - There’s no true juggernaut in the NFC

The Saints sure didn’t look bad in their win against the Panthers, but they didn’t look unstoppable, either. That New Orleans defense, though talented, is still suspect. The Saints really had a chance to put the Panthers away and they couldn’t do it until the final drive.

New Orleans will now travel to Minnesota to face the Vikings, who they lost to in Week 1 this year. If the Eagles beat the Falcons, do you really feel like Philly can’t beat whoever they play in the NFC Championship Game? I think the answer to that question would be no.

That’s not to say the Eagles should be favored over the Saints or Vikings. Just that it wouldn’t be impossible for Philly to win.

8 - The Eagles are the first No. 1 seed to be underdogs in their first playoff game

This stat has already been shared a billion times, I know, but it’s just so depressing. Some people were saying the Eagles would’ve been favored by as much as seven points if Carson Wentz was healthy. Sigh.

On the bright side, here’s hoping the Eagles really use the fact that they’re underdogs as a motivational factor. I know many Eagles fans like the idea of not being favord to win. That way it’s sweeter if they do. Especially opposed to being favored to win and then being disappointed when it doesn’t happen.

BONUS: The Eagles need to bring out Brian Dawkins to get the crowd fired up this weekend

Folks, the Eagles need your help now more than ever. Enjoy your tailgating on Saturday, yes, but also make an effort to get in to the stadium on time (kickoff is 4:35 PM) to be loud from the jump. This team needs you to make life as hard as you possibly can on the Falcons.

And what would fire up the home crowd at the Linc more than Weapon X himself?





[#] Mon Jan 08 2018 11:40:55 EST from rss

Subject: College Football Playoff National Championship: Alabama vs. Georgia game time, online streaming, channel, odds, more

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Everything you need to know for the fourth ever College Football Playoff national championship game.

The time for the College Football Playoff National Championship game is here. The Alabama Crimson Tide and Georgia Bulldogs will square off tonight in the final tilt of the 2017 college football season.

No. 3 ranked Georgia enters this game as five-point underdogs to No. 4 ranked Alabama. The Crimson Tide lost to Clemson in last year’s championship game.

The Philadelphia Eagles scouting staff will surely be keeping an eye on this matchup. There are a bunch of college players in this game worth selecting in the 2018 NFL Draft. BGN’s Ben Natan ranked the top 10 prospects to watch.

How to Watch

College Football Playoff National Championship: Georgia Bulldogs vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

When: Monday, January 8, 2018

Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium | Atlanta, Georgia

Time: 8:00 p.m. EST

TV: ESPN

TV Announcers: Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor, Tom Rinaldi

Online Streaming: WatchESPN

Radio: ESPN Radio

Odds: Georgia +5 (-110), Alabama -5 (-110)

Over/under: 46 points

OddsShark Computer Prediction: Alabama 39, Georgia 31

ESPN Megacast: Multiple different ways to watch the game. Read more about it here.

...

Note: This is an open thread. Discuss the College Football Playoff National Championship game below in the comments.





[#] Mon Jan 08 2018 12:00:04 EST from rss

Subject: Recapping the Flyers

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Carter Hart won gold, Sushko played a lot, and Hogberg struggled for ice time

Every year, The World Junior Championship gives us a chance to see some of the best hockey players around the world under the age of 20 years old represent their country in an international tournament. Almost every player in the tournament is either a prospect of an NHL team or eligible for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. World Juniors can serve as a great way for a player to increase their draft stock, as illustrated by last year’s tournament where Nico Hischier helped his case to be taken first overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

As a hockey fan, there are plenty of reasons to watch this tournament annually. Although they didn’t match their total of nine prospects from last year, the Philadelphia Flyers still had four prospects take part in the two-week tournament. With two first-round picks and a total of 10 picks at the moment in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Flyers’ fans saw several players who are finally eligible to taken in the next draft. Let’s see how these Flyers’ prospects and 2018 draft-eligible players performed in this year’s World Juniors.

CARTER HART
Of the four Flyers’ prospects to play in this year’s World Juniors, Hart had the biggest impact. He posted a .929 save percentage (highest for any starter of the ten countries in the tournament) and a 5-0-1 record in six appearances to help Canada land the gold medal.

Despite seeing the most amount of ice time in the tournament for any goalie with 365:00, Hart’s 11 goals against and 1.81 goals against average were tied for the best with Sweden’s Filip Gustavsson (a Pittsburgh Penguins’ prospect). Gustavsson was voted the best goalie by the directorate and was the Media All Star goaltender selection even though Hart posted slightly better numbers and was one of three goalies with a shutout in the tournament.

Hart was twice selected by Canada as their best player in a game, as it took a total of seven games for the nation to win gold. The first time he earned the honor was in Canada’s only loss in the tournament, as they dropped a 4-3 shootout decision at the hands of the United States. The Flyers’ prospect stopped 32 of 36 to force a shootout after Canada was out shot 36-22 overall and 24-14 in the first 40 minutes of the contest.

Canada did have leads of 2-0 and 3-1, but it wasn’t entirely Hart’s fault that the leads dissipated. U.S.A. converted on a 5-on-3 power play, a pretty give-and-go in the offensive zone on the man advantage, and watched Casey Mittelstadt set up a wide open Brady Tkachuk in the slot on a play created behind the net. Hart also bailed out his team in a pair of situations, as he denied Tkachuk and Joey Anderson on a few shots that followed a 2-on-1 rush in the second period (2:20 in) and kept an Adam Fox attempt in the dying seconds of overtime from finding the back of the net (5:08 in).

The other game Canada selected Hart as their best player was the gold medal game, where he made 16 saves in the first period of a game where his country was out shot 36-28. Hart played a major factor in the victory, as the game was tied at one from the middle of the second period until Arizona Coyotes’ prospect Tyler Steenbergen potted the game-winner with 1:40 left in regulation. With the game tied at one early in the third period, Hart denied a pair of attempts from Lias Andersson following a shot off the post to keep the tilt even (3:48 in).

Flyers’ fans already had a lot to be excited about when it came to Hart, as he has absolutely cleaned up in the Western Hockey League over the last few seasons. After coming through on the biggest stage he can possibly play on at the moment, it won’t only be Philly fans talking about Hart before he reaches the NHL (well, his superstitions may help that cause).

Hart returns to the Everett Silvertips, with whom he has a 13-3-1 record while posting a .961 save percentage and 1.32 goals against average this season.

MAXIM SUSHKO
After Hart, Sushko drew the most attention of the Flyers’ prospects in the tournament, and not entirely for his play on the ice.

Sushko, who recorded two goals and six assists in six games, was one of just two players (Russia’s Klim Kostin, a St. Louis Blues’ prospect, was the other) to finish top ten in the tournament’s scoring while taking part in less than seven games. He led Belarus, the country he captained, with eight points and six assists. Sushko was also one of three players for Belarus who had 18 shots on goal or more during the tournament.

On top of being voted the third best player for Belarus by the coaches, Sushko also earned the title as the country’s best player in a game twice. He provided one goal (1:43 in), one assist (3:35 in), and five shots on goal in Belarus’ 3-2 loss to Switzerland in the preliminary round before he produced one goal (1:02 in, with a salute) and one assist (1:18) with three shots in a 3-2 loss to Denmark that relegated Belarus.

What made Sushko’s tournament so intriguing was the comments Flyers’ general manager Ron Hextall made when he assessed the prospect’s play. From NBC Sports Philadelphia:

“Sushko was good. He’s big player on that team. They don’t have a ton of ability, so he plays a big role, probably a bigger role than he would play with another country, but he was playing 24 to 26 minutes. Too much for a forward, but he’s a big guy, a thick guy that can skate. He’s got good sense. He was on their power play, their penalty kill. He did a lot of good things and played well. He’s not going to be that type of player at the pro level. He could be more of a two-way guy that’s not expected to score, but you hope he can chip in. He did a good job, made a name for himself. Obviously we knew him taking him in the fourth round, but he made a good impression.”

Hextall makes some fair points. Knowing Morgan Frost couldn’t make Team Canada, it’s fair to wonder how Sushko would have looked if he played for another country. As for his playing time, Sushko’s lowest ice time in a single game was 19:39 and he played 26:55 and 28:37 in Belarus’ two relegation games. For comparison’s sake, only five forwards have played 26:55 or more in an NHL game this season. Even though Belarus was relegated and a ton of ice time may have inflated his point totals, it was still a good showing from Sushko throughout the tournament.

Sushko has 19 goals and 11 assists in 30 games this season with the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League.

GERMAN RUBTSOV
Rubtsov had a good showing at the World Juniors, as he had a goal, three assists, and nine shots on goal for Russia in five games. He also averaged the most ice time for any Russian skater with an average of 18:24 ice time per game.

Rubtsov had a pair of multi-point games in the tournament, as he had two assists (4:05 in and 4:29 in) in a 5-4 loss to the Czech Republic and two highlight-worthy plays with a goal (1:35 in) and an assist (3:57 in) in Russia’s win over Belarus. In Russia’s only elimination game, Rubtsov won five of 18 faceoffs with a shot on goal in 18:08 in a loss to U.S.A.

The Flyers’ 2016 first-round pick has nine goals and 19 assists in the QMJHL this season as he has split 27 games between the Chicoutimi Sagueneens and Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

LINUS HOGBERG
A fifth-round pick of the Flyers in 2016, the big news surrounding Hogberg, who failed to record a point or shot on goal, was his lack of ice time in these World Juniors. Averaging 4:50 of ice time per game over the tournament, Hogberg’s most ice time in a single game at was 7:46 in Sweden’s opening game in the preliminary round against Belarus. The lack of ice time for Hogberg is a little perplexing, as the 6’1” left-handed blue liner averages 14:29 of ice time per game for the Vaxjo Lakers HC in the SHL, Sweden’s highest level of professional hockey and one of the better hockey leagues in the world.

Hogberg may have seem limited ice time due to how deep Sweden’s blue line was in this WJC. Both Rasmus Dahlin, the projected first overall in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, and Erik Brannstrom, taken 15th overall by the Vegas Golden Knights in the most recent draft, averaged well over 20 minutes per game. The highly touted Timothy Liljegren, who fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs at 17th overall in the last draft, averaged 17:42 and Jesper Sellgren, who has been passed over in the last two drafts, had a strong tournament with 19:01 of ice time a tilt.

Even though Hogberg only saw 33:56 of ice time for the entire tournament, he did come away with some notable unfortunate plays. Along with losing a pair of faceoffs, Hogberg also accidentally scored on his own net in Sweden’s 7-2 win over Switzerland in the preliminary round (1:45 in). While carrying the puck in the defensive zone, Switzerland’s Nicolas Muller whacked Hogberg’s stick hard enough to force him to lose control of the puck and it slid past Filip Larsson.

Hogberg has one goal and three assists in 25 games this season for the Vaxjo Lakers HC.

2018 DRAFT-ELIGIBLE PROSPECTS
Here’s how some notable names for the upcoming draft did in the World Junior Championship:

One player who is eligible for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft that isn’t listed on the table above is Finnish center Rasmus Kupari. Anticipated to be taken in the first round of the 2018 draft, Kupari failed to record a point and recorded only three shots on goal while averaging just 6:46 ice time per game.





[#] Mon Jan 08 2018 12:08:15 EST from rss

Subject: Eagles won

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Matt Nagy to Chicago.

The Philadelphia Eagles won’t be losing quarterback coach John DeFilippo to the Bears. Chicago is hiring Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy to be their head coach, according to a report from the Chicago Sun Times. UPDATE: The Bears have officially confirmed the news.

The Bears are one of two teams that requested to interview Flip. The other team is the Arizona Cardinals.

With Chicago out of the way, only four head coaching vacancies remain: Cardinals, Giants, Colts, and Lions. It’s still possible one of those teams hires Flip but the Bears passing on him certainly decreases his odds. The same goes for Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who has been connected to the openings in New York and Arizona.

Recent buzz indicates Flip might not be a lock to get a head coaching job due to the concern of his ability to hire a coaching staff around him.

But just because Flip might not get a head coaching job doesn’t guarantee he’ll be back with the Eagles in 2018. As I wrote earlier on Monday:

His contract is reportedly up once the Eagles’ season ends. He could still pursue an offensive coordinator job somewhere if he misses out on being a head coach.

Nagy — a Dunellen, New Jersey native — spent time on Andy Reid’s coaching staff in Philadelphia from 2008-2012. Reid brought him to Kansas City as his quarterbacks coach. Nagy was then promoted to offensive coordinator after the Eagles hired Doug Pederson away from the Chiefs in 2016.

Reid’s impressive coaching tree continues to blossom.





[#] Mon Jan 08 2018 12:48:31 EST from rss

Subject: Good Vibes

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Tyrell Goulbourne was sitting in the locker room, taking off his pads and packing them in a bag. This was an indicator that Goulbourne, unlike the rest of his Flyers teammates, wasn’t getting a chance to go on vacation as the Flyers entered a bye week that mandates a full 120 hours off (five days)…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CrossingBroad/~3/AuUgRCOy2zc/good-vibes-but-maybe-too-good-thoughts-after-flyers-4-sabres-1.html

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