The definition of a bittersweet night here in Philadelphia. Both the Flyers and the Sixers are on; one flails about, the other wins in the final seconds.
The Flyers continued a five-game homestand against a surging New York Islanders team. Since January 13th, the Isles 8-2-2 and captain John Tavares had scored nine over that span. Wayne Simmons scored an early power-play goal for the Flyers (the team’s first goal in three games) but Tavares made it ten goals in 13 games to knot up the game. The Flyers went into the locker room at the first intermission having played a strong first ten minutes but quickly lost that momentum in the latter half of the 1st period. Unfortunately for us fans, the Fly-guys couldn’t recapture that strong start and were ground down by New York as the game went on. The Flyers had a few chances, Chris VandeVelde nearly sniped the upper-near-side corner in the 2nd period but clanged it off the post, but they couldn’t get themselves in front of the net and constantly found their shots flying off of the opposing skaters’ shinguards. New York was able to capitalize in both the second and third periods scoring a goal in each period and ultimately beating the Flyers 3-1.
A positive takeaway for the Flyers was that solid start. Shayne Gostisbehere looked great after sitting for three games as a healthy scratch and Wayne Simmons continued to be the teams’ bright spot. The team needs to work on that physical aspect, however. The third Islander goal came from Cizikas finishing the play after he fanned on his first shot. Ghost got his body on him and there was nothing more he could have done, I’d just like to see this continue on both ends. Especially in front of opposing goalie; the Flyers have found great success when someone parks himself in front.
Over on the court, the Sixers pulled out ANOTHER game after rallying from behind and nailing a bucket in the final seconds. Once again the final shot came from T.J. McConnell:
I found this fun fact from ESPN Stats and Information: 76ers guard T.J. McConnell is the 5th player to have 2 go-ahead field goals in the final 10 seconds of regulation or overtime this season. The others are Robert Covington, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Eric Bledsoe. Two of these five are Sixers; two of five! Granted, this type of stat doesn’t correlate directly with your team’s total amount of wins, but it’s exciting to see not one, but two Sixers amongst other NBA greats; especially when two of those players take a large portion of their team’s shots. It’s definitely a huge positive for a team that was the laughing stock of the NBA a year ago.
Tweet of the Year Nominee:
The Flyers finish up their homestand on Saturday as they’ll host the defending Western Conference Champs San Jose Sharks at 1:00. The Wells Fargo Center staff will have to turn around quickly to lay down the basketball court as the Sixers will host the Miami Heat at 7:30 on Saturday night.
I just wanted to quickly apologize to everyone for being so inconsistent recently! I’ve been super busy at work with tax season in full swing. Matty D and I are working on a few things so stay tuned!Follow @geordo9