After Rare Shootout Win, Flyers Playoff Chances Look Really Good

The other day we wrote about how bad the Flyers are in shootouts. Last night, a third-period tip-in goal from Brayden Schenn helped the Flyers tie the Washington Capitals at 1 in regulation. The game was scoreless through the 3-on-3 overtime, and so the Flyers were headed to a shootout.

The Caps have already clinched the President’s Trophy for the best record in the league. They were 4-1 in shootouts going into last night’s game; the Flyers were 2-8. Wouldn’t you know: Nick Cousins and Sam Gagner scored for the Flyers in the shootout and the Flyers upset the Capitals last night. Read more »

WATCH: Flyers Win on Claude Giroux’s Goal With Seconds Left in Overtime

The game-winning goal by Philadelphia Flyers' Claude Giroux.

The game-winning goal by Philadelphia Flyers’ Claude Giroux.

The Flyers are horrible in shootouts. Just terrible. They’re 2-8 in them this season, the most losses in the league and the second-fewest wins. And it looked like last night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets was headed to another shootout.

But then Shayne Gostisbehere and Claude Giroux stepped in. NHL overtimes are 3-on-3, and the Flyers had a 2-on-1 break with about 20 seconds left. But as Giroux attempted to pass it to Gostisbehere, the Jets’ Mark Scheifele tipped the pass into the air. But Gostisbehere dove for it, hit it with his stick, stopped it with his glove, then passed it to a wide open Giroux in front of the net. He scored, and the Wells Fargo Center crowd went wild. Read more »

Can Flyers Goaltenders Recreate Team’s Surprising 2010 Stanley Cup Push?

Flyers goalies Michal Neuvirth (left) and Steve Mason.

Flyers goalies Michal Neuvirth (left) and Steve Mason.

Last night, as we discussed yesterday, the Flyers had a chance to move into playoff position with a win over Chicago. The Blackhawks, though, are one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference — just three points behind the conference leader.

It didn’t matter. Michal Neuvirth made 24 saves on 26 shots and a third-period Radko Gudas goal, just his third of the season, gave the Flyers a 3-2 win. If the season ended now — and that would be really weird, because there are still have 13 games left — the Flyers would be the No. 8 seed in the playoffs.

Many Flyers fans, relentlessly upbeat as far as Philly sports fans go, are starting to get excited. Some are even comparing the team’s recent form to that of 2010. That year, the Flyers made the playoffs on the last day of the regular season and went all the way to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final before being eliminated. Read more »

The Flyers Can Actually Move Into Playoff Position With a Win Tonight

Philadelphia Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds  celebrates his goal against the Detroit Red Wings.

Philadelphia Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds celebrates his goal against the Detroit Red Wings.

The Flyers edged the Red Wings last night, 4-3. Shayne Gostisbehere’s third-period pass deflected off a Detroit skater and went into the net, giving the Flyers a two-goal lead. When the Red Wings scored to cut the deficit back to one, the rookie gave the Flyers the eventual margin.

Michael Raffl also scored twice for the Flyers, who jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first period. Philly outshot Detroit 23-3 in the first.

“I think it was the best start I think we’ve had all year,” said Wayne Simmonds. “It’s the biggest game of the year for us. And everyone was pretty damn pumped.” Simmonds scored the Flyers’ other goal. Read more »

Shayne Gostisbehere Is Your New Favorite Flyer

The Flyers won again last night, moving them just two points back of the final playoff spot in the NHL’s Eastern Conference. They were almost perfect on their six-game home stand, going 5-1; they’ve passed all the other teams vying for a playoff spot and are now squarely in ninth in the conference.

Last night’s win over the Lightning was by far the most exciting game of the Flyers’ recent stretch. Tampa Bay, in first place in the Atlantic Division, was on a nine-game winning streak heading into the game. The Lightning took a 1-0 lead just four minutes into the game; it looked like it could be a long night.

But then the Flyers turned up the heat on defense: They allowed just nine shots through the first two periods, while putting the puck on net a whopping 31 times themselves. Finally, rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere put one past Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to tie the score. Read more »

Flyers Goalie Preserves Win With Incredible Save in Closing Seconds

The Flyers currently sit on the outside of the playoffs, but they have a good chance to make up some ground in the next two weeks: Last night was the first in a six-game homestand. They were tied with the Minnesota Wild going into the third period, but Pierre-Edouard Bellemare’s fourth goal of the season gave them a 3-2 lead.

That lead stood until the final buzzer. But it took an incredible save with just seconds left left by goaltender Michal Neuvirth to preserve the win. The Wild’s Charlie Coyle got the puck after a cross-ice pass and had a wide open net. But Neuvirth recovered somehow and kept it out of the goal. Read more »

5 Takeaways From The Hockey News’ Story on Eric Lindros

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Today, The Hockey NewsKen Campbell published a long profile on Eric Lindros. It’s a story about how Lindros, who was a Flyer from 1992 to 2001, is at peace with his career despite how tumultuous it was: He was the best player in the world for a few years, but he feuded with Flyers management, never won a Stanley Cup and somehow was even linked to Joey Merlino.

(Last year, I wrote about a libel lawsuit Lindros filed against former NHL referee Paul Stewart and The Huffington Post over a column Stewart wrote for the site.)

Campbell’s story is also about how Lindros was a driving force for player safety in the NHL, how he continues to fight now for concussion awareness and how he’s trying to raise money for Dr. Arthur Brown’s research into a way that could prevent the damage caused by concussions.

Here are five takeaways from The Hockey News’ story. Read more »

The History of the Philly Boo

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Mark Gail/MCT/Getty Images

As the clock wound down in the second quarter of the Eagles game against the middling Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the visitors had already piled on four touchdowns. All signs — particularly the Birds’ defense, which resembled matadors and turnstiles — pointed to a rout. In the wake of a heartbreaker loss to the lousy Miami Dolphins the week before here at home, a letdown against the Bucs had season-ending implications. The fans knew this. Which is why, as the players jogged off the field at halftime, a shower of boos rained down. These weren’t your garden-variety “We’re not happy” boos. This was a deafening, guttural roar. A seismic display of frustration. A tsunami of “You suck.” Read more »

Missanelli: 2020 Is Going to Be Like 1980 for Philly Sports

Ron Jaworski (Manny Rubio, USA Today Sports), Tug McGraw ("Tug McGraw Phillies" by Philadelphia Phillies / MLB - ebay.com, front of photo, back of photo. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.); Julius Erving ("JuliusErvingSlamDunk1981" by Jim Accordino. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons.); Bobby Clarke ("Bobby Clarke 1983" by Bruce Bisping - ebay.com, front of photo, back of photo. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.)

Ron Jaworski (Manny Rubio, USA Today Sports), Tug McGraw (Philadelphia Phillies / MLB); Julius Erving (Jim AccordinoCC BY 2.0 via commons.); Bobby Clarke (Bruce Bisping, public domain via commons.)

If you can wait four more years until we get to 2020, sports in Philadelphia is going to be pretty good.

That’s what my crystal ball says. My theory is this: All four teams in Philadelphia right now are at the bottom rung of a ladder, but all four are on a plan to build up from scratch until they get to a championship level. By my estimation, that’s going to take four years for the Eagles, Flyers, Sixers and Phillies. But it’s going to be worth the wait. We’re going to wake up one day, and the year 2020 is going to be just like 1980.

Remember then?

The Phillies won the World Series over the Royals; the 76ers faced the Lakers in the NBA finals (where they came up painfully short, but set the stage for their eventual triumph in ’83); the Eagles were in the Super Bowl (though they painfully lost to the Raiders); and the Flyers were in the Stanley Cup finals (where they just as painfully lost to the Islanders). All four teams played for a championship that year. That was Philadelphia sports’ highest peak.

Let’s look at the state of Philly sports right now: Read more »

Flyers Hosting “You Can Play” Night for LGBT Rights in Sports

The You Can Play project is a group fighting to change the culture around LGBT athletes, coaches and fans in sports. It works to promote LGBT athlete safety, seeking “to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete’s skills, work ethic and competitive spirit.”

As part of a partnership with the NHL — one of the group’s founders is former Flyers scout Patrick Burke, son of Calgary Flames exec Brian Burke — the Flyers will be holding a You Can Play Night on Monday, January 25th, when the Flyers play the Boston Bruins. Read more »

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