\Trying this as a successor to the Nightly Roundup blogs I wrote over the Summer. I’m going to pick a topic nightly to write about and still include other links from sporting news and events from the day that was.
BOTH the Flyers and Sixers won tonight! What a week for the City of Brotherly Love! Let’s start with the earlier game that was the Flyers visiting the Carolina Hurricanes. The Canes took a first period lead after a power-play goal from Elias Lindholm. Nolan Patrick had been in the box for a double-minor from high-sticking as the Flyers continue to sport one of the worst penalty kill units in the NHL. To be fair, one for four isn’t bad, but when your only goal allowed comes on the PK, it’s clearly a glaring weakness other teams can easily exploit, especially the Cup contenders.
The Flyers would have more power play chances than the Hurricanes and despite going 0 for 5, they nearly pumped in a goal on every chance they had. Carolina goalie Cam Ward looks like the Conn Smythe winner we all saw him be as a rookie in 2006 and made some incredible saves. However, a big rebound in front of the net isn’t safe from the Wayne Train (his 18th of the season) as the Flyers tied it up in the 2nd period. (gif via Sons of Penn)
The third period went rather uneventfully and the Flyers played rather sluggish through both the 3rd period and the first four minutes of overtime but Jordan Weal was the one to pump in the overtime winner—2-1 Flyers in OT. With the win and a Columbus loss to Washington, the Flyers move into the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
I’m still not convinced that the Fly Guys are a playoff-bound team and tonight didn’t help. Great goaltending can carry a squad and it’s been Carolina’s M.O. all season. The Flyers saw Brian Elliott return tonight from the IR to make 27 saves, a solid return, but he and Neuvirth haven’t been what Dave Hakstol would have thought in terms of a tandem pair. The good news is that they’re in a playoff spot right now. The bad news is Columbus and the Islanders are a point behind each with Carolina two points back and the Rangers four points back. The Flyers will need to play some solid hockey in their Metro division-loaded schedule down the stretch.
The Sixers also won tonight in a wire-to-wire 115-102 win over the Washington Wizards at home. The sell out crowd at the Wells Fargo Center was the first home game in Philadelphia since the Super Bowl.
I’m told the crowd was mostly dressed in Eagles gear and went WILD for this game’s bell ringing. Anyway, despite a 30-point night from Bradley Beal, all five Sixers starters were in double-figures with Joel Embiid leading the way scoring 27 and grabbing 12 rebounds and this block:
I love that man so much.
He is all of us. If Big Dick Nick hadn’t brought us the ultimate dream in a Super Bowl, I’d say crown Embiid King of Philadelphia.
Other Scores and Links:
Cavs lose to the Magic in Orlando – Yikes. By 18 too. Lebron can’t be too happy. Tyron Lue left the game with illness as well. He was also quoted saying “there’s no douth about [the Cavs making the playoffs].” Yeah, no shit buddy. You’re in 3rd in the East–the worst excuse of a conference in pro sports right now. DISCLAIMER: I say that as a fan of the team ranked 8th in said terrible conference by a half-game and I don’t want Adam Silver to mess with the playoff format. Go Sixers.
Raptors smack around Celtics in Toronto – A hot take to squat on for the Lebron-haters would be a Boston/Toronto Eastern Conference finals. Just saying…
The 4th just started in the Golden State/OKC game and I probably will finish writing this before the end but good lord do Russ and KD hate each other. Please make this a playoff series, NBA gods.
Marc-Andre Fleury returned to Pittsburgh for the first time since being taken in the Expansion Draft by Vegas. The Pens prevailed over their former netminder 5 to 4 despite a valiant 33 saves from Fleury.
And for good measure, an interesting read from Pro Hockey Talk using the Eagles as an example of what hockey teams can do to bolster their Cup chances going forward. A lot of comparisons are drawn to the Penguins, a weird revelation for me as I realize the absolute validity of the article’s thesis, but a good read nonetheless.Follow @geordo9