CSN Philly is reporting former goalie Ron Hextall is the new Flyers GM, while Flyers GM Paul Holmgren is becoming the team president. Hextall was the team’s goalie during much of the 1980s and 1990s; Holmgren had held the GM slot since 2006. Chairman Ed Snider said that Holmgren will be “working on the business side more” as well as “giving us depth” in personnel decisions.
Hey, remember early in the NHL season, when Claude Giroux couldn’t even get named to the Canadian National Team for the Olympics? That was a low point in the hockey year, for sure.
It got better.
AP reports that Giroux is now a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award — the most outstanding player in the NHL, as voted on by the other players. The other finalists are Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks.
The three are also finalists for the Hart Trophy, given to the player deemed most valuable to his team.
Giroux ended the 2013-14 season with 28 goals and 58 assists.
Via Crossing Broad, video from an in-stands fight between Flyers and Rangers fans during Tuesday night’s playoff game. CB writes: “There are no good guys here. We have to consider the accounts which described Rangers fans as provoking the fight all night long. But what we see here is just a whole bunch of idiots on both sides.”
We can wait at least one more day to apportion blame for the Flyers’ early playoff exit, because they haven’t exited: Wayne Simmonds played magnificently Tuesday night, scoring three goals to spark a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers and stave off elimination. Cool.
After giving fans hope with a 2-1 win over the Rangers on Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers went back to Madison Square Garden for Game 5 and were never really in it. The Flyers fell into a 3-0 hole 36:20 into the game and lost, 4-2. They now trail the series, 3 games to 2, and are one game away from elimination.
The Flyers say the series is not over, sometimes directly (“This series is definitely not over,” goalie Steve Mason says). They’re right! The Flyers play again Tuesday in South Philadelphia; it would be embarrassing if the players thought the team were already eliminated and forgot to show up for the game. But it sure looks like it might be over soon: The Flyers have been outplayed for most of the series, and are lucky they weren’t eliminated in five or even four games.
My grade school was terrible at basketball. The St. Martha’s teams I played for did not win a game in either 7th or 8th grade. I was not yet five feet tall and not very good, so I didn’t play much. One night we were losing big to St. Dominic’s; I remember it well because it was played in a gym where some parts of the sideline were concurrent with a radiator. There was not much to be excited about. On the bench I asked a teammate what he was doing after the game. “We’re going to Joe’s house,” he said, “to make fun of the other team until we feel like we’ve won.”
When your team loses, moral victories are important. It’s good to have a coping strategy. The Philadelphia Flyers have not won the Stanley Cup since 1975 — a drought so long even St. Martha’s has won a title in that timeframe. Last night, the Flyers lost to the New York Rangers, 4-1, in Game 3 of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Rangers lead the best-of-seven series, two games to one, and they’ve outplayed the Flyers for most of it. Last night’s 4-1 Flyers loss was the best the team’s played all series! If you handle Philadelphia’s perennial sports failures by giving up as soon as you just know, now’s a good time to start giving up.
But, oh, what a moral victory Flyers fans had Tuesday night.
To be clear, Keith Olbermann fired first.
No, he wasn’t fired (although who would be surprised) — he took a shot at Philadelphia Flyers fans by calling them illiterate.
One day later he was back at it on Twitter, taking another cheap shot at us after we shared the story:
— Philly Mag (@phillymag) April 16, 2014
So if Flyers fans are not illiterate, @PhillyMag, how come you only have 50,000 followers?
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) April 16, 2014
In the end, the Sixers even sucked at sucking.
They ended their season Wednesday night just as they started it: with a victory over the defending NBA champion Miami Heat. Given that everybody knew going into the season that the plan was to stink up the joint as much as possible, those two wins are … unforgivable? Because they helped give the Sixers only the second-worst record in the NBA this season — which means the even more putrid Milwaukee Bucks now have the best chance of capturing the top pick — and, with it, perhaps a semblance of a future in professional basketball.
Still, we’re not sure this is the worst season in Philly sports history. Yes, it was bad, but everybody knew to expect it. It’s the stomach-punch seasons — where expectations and achievement misalign badly — that should count. And there are lots of contenders for that prize. Here’s a nominee from each of the city’s major remaining pro teams:
NBC 10 reports: “The Philadelphia Flyers announced this evening that Miley Cyrus’ BANGERZ TOUR, originally scheduled for Tuesday, April 22nd, will now take place on Monday, April 21st. Live Nation rescheduled the concert to accommodate the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Game three of the first-round of the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the Flyers and New York Rangers will take place April 22.”
Which raises the obvious question: Anybody want to guess the over-under on the number of crestfallen Miley fans we’ll see at the arena that Tuesday night?