Photo credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t know what it is about a Dan Bylsma coached team that always has them turtle up and die once the going gets tough and the not-so-tough don’t get going. Maybe it’s his glasses. Maybe it’s Malkin. It’s not Crosby, because he’s won two gold medals when Bylsma wasn’t by his side. In fact, if you look at the Olympics, Team USA’s final two-game meltdown was essentially a microcosm of the Penguins in recent years. Good. Good. Really good. This team looks like it’s going to win. Fuuuuuuuuup. Nothing. Bottoms out with nary an effort. But would it be too much to ask for the Penguins to even put up a fight against the Flyers once springtime nears? They were outshot 75-48 in two games. They had given up seven straight goals at one point. The Flyers have now won three-straight against the supposed second best team in the Easter Conference. Look at these stats via the Flyers’ city-leading PR department:

Wayne Simmonds recorded two goals and an assist for his seventh career game of three points or more, and his third of the season.

Claude Giroux posted two assists for the second consecutive game.  As of the end of the game (prior to the rest of today’s NHL action), Giroux has pulled into a tie for fifth in the NHL in scoring.  Giroux has not gone consecutive games without a point since Dec. 31 & Jan. 2; in 26 games since then, beginning Jan. 4, Giroux has 12 goals and 20 assists for 32 points.  He has 12 points (4G, 8 A) in seven games in the month of March.

The Flyers killed off four Penguins power plays today and stopped all nine they faced over the the two-game home-and-home series.

The Flyers also held both Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby without a point in both games.

Nice job, bitch and Shrek. Thanks for not showing up. Can’t wait to see in the ‘offs.

Let’s hit it!


But first, a word from our sponsors:

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Tickets. We have rounded up the best available tickets for the NCAA Tournament in Buffalo on Crossing Broad Tickets.

Lefty. Meet Steve Carlton at the Sports Vault in the Exton Square Mall on Sunday, April 6 from 2 – 3:30. Details and tickets here.

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The roundup:

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Mike Schmidt’s mystery illness? Not particularly surprisingly, it was cancer. From

He suffered a major scare last August when he visited his dermatologist to check something on his right hand. His doctor recommended a full-body check, where he found a mole on his back. It was Stage 3 melanoma. Two operations, radiation and chemotherapy followed, but Schmidt arrived Sunday morning at Bright House Field in good spirits, talking about his improved health (recent scans have been clear of cancer) and how he plans to broadcast 13 Sunday afternoon games this season in Philadelphia.

“You get scared of the sun, man, I’m telling you,” Schmidt said, repositioning his body so the sun no longer hit his face as he sat at a picnic table just outside the Phillies’ clubhouse. “It’s an evil thing, but we need it.

“Was it scary? If you sit and ponder the possibilities that come from something like this, yeah, it could be. But I’m also the luckiest man alive that I happened to duck into my dermatologist one day. It was kind of a rough road for two to three months. I’m out of it now. Obviously the moral of the story is, everybody, get your skin checked.”

Gotta watch out for that Yellow King.

Gregg Doyel being the hack-hack-hackiest asshole this side of the nuthouse. He spent five paragraphs defending and explaining the difficulty of putting the brackets together, and then:

I think the committee was up to something funny. And I’ll support that theory by telling you that the committee had to be spending its time being silly, because Lord knows the committee wasn’t spending its time ensuring some basic bracket rules — like, fairness — were being followed.


Great Tweet from Malik Allen during ESPN’s 30 for 30 on the Big East last night:

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Rob Ryan looking like the lovable fatass he is in New Orleans:

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Pic via (@Banditmax)

This needs a shirt, doesn’t it? Orange is the New Beard.

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Watch little Penguins get beat by big Bullies:

Phil Martelli’s grandson is cute. Embrace that hair now, kid:

via Sporting News

Villanova’s defense could take them to the Final Four.

If you want a good Nova related site for said run to Final Four, check out Good people. [Is there a similar St. Joe’s site? For real, asking. I’ll link to it.]

Uh oh, Ryan Arcidiacono gave Milwaukee some bulletin board material:

“I’m pretty sure I saw them one time this year,” Wright said. “They’re a Midwestern team, tough as hell. You don’t come out of those leagues without being really good. When you’re good in those leagues, you’re probably a veteran team.”

For Villanova’s players, some studying is in order.

“I don’t even know what conference they’re in,” guard Ryan Arcidiacono said. “But they’re playing good basketball right now and they won their conference tournament, so it’s going to be tough.”

The Phillies lost 5-0 yesterday and more great signs that Jonathan Papelbon is ready to have a big year:

According to scouts behind home plate, Papelbon’s fastball was 89-91 mph. He allowed three hits and two runs.

“I felt good, but I wasn’t hitting my spots,” he said. “I felt too good. I wanted to get out there and throw harder. My location wasn’t good.

“I just felt really, really good. Hopefully next time I’ll feel just as good and get back to locating.”

Papelbon looks a little thicker than he was at the end of last season. He said he had put on five or six “good pounds” after dropping weight late last season.

“Everybody loses weight toward the end of the season,” he said. “This year we’re trying to be more on top of that with the food in the clubhouse and make sure guys keep their weight on. Eat better.”

Great. Meanwhile, the link to that article includes Tom McCarthy absolutely whitewashing the Phillies’ struggles. “They wound up losing 5-0.” Like the outcome was ever in jeopardy. And then: “They had innings where they had baserunnsers. They just couldn’t string together more than one hit at a time, and that’s why they wound up losing 5-0.” Shill Tom is the worst Tom.

Earthquake shook DeSean Jackson:

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Sam Hinkie literally drove Evan Turner out of town. From John Gonzalez:

There’s an old joke about volunteering to drive an unwanted player to the airport just to get him out of town. Except when the Sixers traded Evan Turner to Indiana, it wasn’t a joke. Sam Hinkie actually hopped in the car with Turner and took him to catch his flight. That had to be an awfully strange ride.

“It was random, for sure,” Turner said. “But I can shoot the s— with anyone. It was cool, man. Hinkie is definitely a cool guy. He comes off as reserved. Sometimes you don’t really know what to take from him at first, but he talks and he’s cool and he has pretty cool stories. It was just a kind gesture. I appreciate that.”

And then Turner took a passive aggressive shot at Hinkie:

“I barely saw him, as opposed to the Rod Thorn situation,” Turner said. “Rod was my man, you know what I’m saying? He could scold me, and then we could talk about something else later. Sam is a different GM and a different president. He does things a little bit differently. We spoke, and there wasn’t any hostility. It wasn’t anything negative or anything like that.”

Meep, meep. Goodbye.

iPads at games (match, Union):

Voila_Capture 2014-03-17_09-12-46_AMPic via reader Stephen

Couple banging behind UDel dumpster in anticipation of NCAA Tournament seeding.

Jason Kelce doing car bombs at Erin Express:

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Martelli is such a jackass:



Special guest Jay Wright joins me on Crossing Streams. Enough said. Listen or downloadSubscribe with iTunesListen with Stitcher. All are mobile-friendly links.

On Cord Snipped, Dan and I discuss what Comcast’s takeover of Time Warner means for your cord-cutting. Listen or downloadSubscribe with iTunesOr listen with Stitcher. All are mobile-friendly links.