Flyers Fire Coach Craig Berube

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After a disappointing season where the team missed the playoffs — and was not that close to making them — the Flyers have fired coach Craig Berube. The team announced the dismissal in a short press release on its website.

Berube was hired three games into the 2013-14 season, when the Flyers fired Peter Laviolette. He had previously spent six years as a Flyers assistant. The Flyers rode a midseason surge under Berube to the playoffs that season, and lost in the first round in seven games to the Rangers. New York eventually won the Eastern Conference.

But this season didn’t go as well. By January, almost every beat writer was speculating Berube might be fired soon. The Flyers were inconsistent. They would play well against good teams and poorly against bad ones. They couldn’t win on the road. They couldn’t score. They couldn’t kill penalties. Really, it was more than inconsistency. Read more »

WATCH: Flyers Win on Unbelievable Goal with 2.1 Seconds Left

After blowing a three-goal lead in the third period, the Flyers nearly ruined Fan Appreciation Night. But Brayden Schenn scored with 2.1 seconds left to give the Flyers a 5-4 win over the Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center last night.

The Flyers have two games left in the season, both at home, and have long since been eliminated from the playoff race. It’s the second time in three seasons the Flyers have missed the playoffs; the last time the Flyers missed the playoffs two times in three seasons came when they missed them for five straight years between the 1989-90 and 1993-94 seasons. Read more »

The Sixers Are Good at Math. The Phillies Aren’t.

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We already know that the Sixers stink. We expect that the Phillies — barring a miracle — will do the same during their forthcoming season. But it turns out they stink in vastly different ways.

The Sixers stink in a very futuristic way, you see, while the Phillies stink in retro fashion.

ESPN did an analysis of all teams in the major professional sports — football, baseball, basketball and hockey — then ranked how committed each is to using advanced metrics (mathematical analysis of everything about a sport that can be quantified) to improve the team on the field.

The Sixers ranked first. The Phillies: Dead last.
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Jeffrey Lurie Enters Competition for Philadelphia’s Worst Sports Owner

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

In case you haven’t noticed, Philadelphia has a sports team ownership problem.

It took last week’s Eagles front office fiasco to get me thinking about this. And the Eagles are the one viable team in this town right now.

Jeffrey Lurie has now owned the Eagles for 20 years. Not only is there no championship of which to speak, but now I’m very leery of the direction this owner provides towards that end. When confronted with in-house bickering of his lieutenants, Lurie caved like a pre-fab house in a stiff wind. His anointing of Chip Kelly as the main architect of the franchise and demotion of Howie Roseman from general manager to vice president of shoulder pads, or some such thing, was not exactly generalship. It was a panic move from a weak leader.
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Are the Flyers Going to Fire Coach Craig Berube?

Craig Berube press conference

Are Craig Berube’s days as Flyers coach numbered?

The team’s beat writers have become a Greek chorus on the subject:

Things have gotten so bad the players are actually defending their coach and blaming themselves. “[Berube] has given us a game plan and we’re not sticking to it in any form,” goalie Steve Mason said after Saturday’s loss. “We’re letting down Chief. We’re letting down ourselves and the Flyers organization’s reputation as a whole. This is not what we’re supposed to be known for.”

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Top 28 Philadelphia Sports GIFs of the Year

It was not a good year for Philadelphia sports. The Eagles lost a playoff game a few days into the new year, and the only other Philadelphia team to make the playoffs was the Flyers — who lost in the first round. This fall’s Eagles started 9-3 and missed the playoffs, the Sixers gutted their roster intentionally in order to be bad and the Union missed a wide open net in the final minutes and lost in extra time of the U.S. Open Cup. And the Wings moved and became the New England Black Wolves! Ugh.

But it was a good year for sports GIFs. One was Twitter’s introduction of inline GIFs in tweets. Never before was it so easy (for me, at least) to share stupid little sports moments with the world instantly. It became so easy to share GIFs one of mine was retweeted an obscene amount of times.

The Buccaneers’ Danny Lansanah preventing the Steelers Le’Veon Bell from making a first down gesture was undoubtedly the sports GIF of the year. But there’s no way to connect this to Philadelphia — Lansanah went to Harrisburg, which as close as I can get it — so it will have to remain outside the scope of this column.

Despite the bad year for Philadelphia sports, there was no shortage of great sports GIFs. If this sounds familiar, it’s pretty much the same spiel I did in 2012, when I last did this feature. It has not been a great few years for Philly sports. But the GIFs this year were, perhaps, better than ever. Presenting the best ones I made in 2014.

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Flyers Goalie Makes History in Comeback Win

Flyers goalie Rob Zepp became the oldest goalie to win his NHL debut since 1926 as the Philadelphia Flyers rallied for a 4-3 overtime win over the Winnipeg Jets last night. Zepp turned 33 in September.

The Flyers trailed, 3-1, in the third period, but a pair of goals from Vincent Lecavalier — just his third and fourth of the year — tied it for Philly. After Claude Giroux knocked the puck away from the Jets’ Dustin Byfuglien, Jakub Voracek scored just 10 seconds into overtime to give the Flyers their first overtime win since October 28th.

Zepp, 33,a career minor leaguer, made his first NHL start due to two reasons: Top goalie Steve Mason injured his back in practice last week, and the Flyers were playing the second game of a back-to-back on Sunday. Ray Emery played in the Flyers’ 7-4 win on Saturday.

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The Flyers Are Worried They Could Get the Mumps

Though they beat the Devils last night, the Flyers have struggled to a 10-13-5 record this year. How could things get worse? How about if the team were infected by the mumps!

There’s currently an outbreak of mumps in the NHL. (“The recent outbreak of mumps has emerged as one of the most bizarre yet compelling storylines of the 2014-15 NHL season,” ESPN reports, which makes hockey sound pretty boring if the mumps outbreak is among the most compelling stories.) The mumps outbreak started with the Anaheim Ducks, then spread to the Minnesota Wild — where five players caught it — as well as the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils. Eleven NHL players have caught the mumps this year.

The Devils were actually missing two players who have the mumps last night in their 4-1 loss to the Flyers.

The Flyers are taking precautions to avoid a mumps outbreak.

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Flyers Lose on Last-Second Heartbreaker

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San Jose Sharks left wing Matt Nieto (83) scores the game-winning goal during the third period against the Philadelphia Flyers, Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, in San Jose, Calif.

On Monday, Flyers chairman Ed Snider told the Inquirer he’d “never seen anything like it in all the years I’ve been in hockey.” Except on their first line, the Flyers weren’t scoring.

On Tuesday, the Flyers weren’t exactly inspired by the team owner’s words: They lost to the Sharks, 2-1, on a San Jose goal with 11.5 seconds left. It was the Flyers fifth straight loss.

The Flyers are now 8-13-3 — they’ve lost two-thirds of the games they’ve played this season. They are 1-8-1 in their last 10.

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Forbes: Flyers 7th-Most Valuable Team in NHL

Comcast has a few quirky items in its portfolio. Comcast Ventures backs a sports gambling site. Comcast owns theme parks based on a fictional boy wizard. The company also owns a ticketing company that is worse than Ticketmaster.

But the strangest business Comcast owns has to be the Philadelphia Flyers, a hockey team that usually does pretty well — but hasn’t won the Stanley Cup in almost 40 years, and sometimes still seems to be stuck in the 1970s. But not in how much the team is worth! Yesterday, Forbes posted its annual valuations of NHL teams, and the Flyers are the 7th-most valuable team in professional hockey.

Forbes values the Flyers at $625 million, based on revenue of $136 million last season and an operating income of $11 million.

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