Photo credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

I want so, so bad to be mad at the Flyers (players and coach) right now. I need a boogeyman, a scapegoat. I can’t blog without a boogeyman or scapegoat. Problem: there isn’t one. The Rangers are just really good. I mean, sure, you can blame Claude Giroux for not being able to elevate his game and for the times he swings his stick (at puck and other players) like a frustrated toddler. You can blame Scott Hartnell for not being very good with the puck. You can blame Old Man Timonen for being really slow. You can blame Braydon Coburn for making bad passes. You can blame Hal Gill for moving like a character from Minecraft. You can blame Jason Akeson for being the most terribly one-dimensional player in the history of hockey with no discernible skill set other than having above average offensive awareness and a great butt. You can blame Michael Raffl for weighing 10 pounds and getting pushed around like an empty trash gets pushed around by the wind gusts that precede a thunderstorm. You can blame Brayden Schenn for being really not that good. And you can blame Vinny Lecavalier for being old. But those are simply all known traits that come to the forefront when you’re playing against a team that is better, faster and stronger in every way. The Rangers beat the Flyers to pucks (out-muscle them when it’s a tie), shutdown their breakout, block their shots, capitalize on opportunities, kill penalties and, for the most part, don’t make stupid turnovers. They’re just… better. They’ve been the better team every game this series. And that is the result of buoying a good defense and goalie with seemingly every available player over the last few years (Rick Nash, Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis).

The good news: Despite all their faults, for which blame can be directed at Paul Holmgren, the Flyers are a good team. They can still win the series. They can win another round– they’re better than the Penguins and Blue Jackets. Their problem right now is that they’re matched up against a superior team which plays the type of defense that has always troubled slow Flyers teams. Once again, the OB are lacking skill players. But… they can still win this thing.

Let’s hit it!


But first, a word from our sponsors:

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Playoff gear. Every size but large of and Wolf currently in-stock. Those will ship later this week. Get one.

Doc. Meet Roy Halladay at Sports Vault this September. Details and tickets here.

Free ride. Uber is sponsoring us this month and offering CB readers a FREE ride up to $20. All you have to do is signup and provide some basic information. Great service. Great offer. Great way to support the site.

More. Already have all of our shirts? Then may I recommend checking out Philly Phaithful.

Tickets. There are tons of tickets remaining for Game 6, starting at $81.


The roundup:

Mike Missanelli’s interview with Lenny Dykstra on Friday was one of the best sports interviews ever.

I think this is Jason Akeson’s ass. It’s good.

Zac Rinaldo gives Rangers fans the middle finger.

Hal Gill is a big block of a man, and he’s no longer very good at hockey. In one shift, he managed to bungle a scoring chance and allow a Rangers goal. The Twitter results for his name after that were priceless:

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Next game, expect to see Erik Gustaffsssonsoffufufsossofufffson:

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via (@BobRbrts)

Is this the most New York reaction ever to a penalty?

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No idea who Sam is talking about here, but surprisingly it’s not me:

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Roy Halladay is a pilot. He also now has man boobs:

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Ryan Braun, still the worst person on EarthH/T to (@phanaticBRO)

The Phillies’ bullpen still sucks:

They have tried just about every tactic. They signed a big-money closer. Looking for a bargain, they added fringe veterans on palatable contracts. They handed important roles to young arms. Then, when all that failed, they offered $12 million to one of the game’s most reliable setup men.

And, still, the same faults lamented by general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. in 2012 and 2013 have emerged in 2014.

The failure extends to the development staff, a unit in which Amaro promised changes last winter. He fired longtime minor-league pitching coordinator Gorm Heimueller and installed Carlos Arroyo, a fixture in the Phillies system, to oversee the pitching progress. New standards for strike-throwing were implemented; a pitcher must demonstrate a certain amount of competency before being promoted to the next level.

How Derrick Gunn gets all those post-game interviews:

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Deadspin’s extended Donald Sterling tape and a quotable guide to his racism.

Well, this is great:

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via the entirety of Twitter

The Eagles probably won’t draft Johnny Manziel.

Steve Francis wearing his own jersey to the Rockets game. He’s no longer on the team.

Dr. Jack Ramsay passed away. Here’s a CSN feature about him.

Rihanna braless at Nets game.

Hottest fictional sports movie characters.



Yeah, I know, we haven’t had a Crossing Streams in a while. One coming this week. Maybe. Listen or downloadSubscribe with iTunesListen with Stitcher. All are mobile-friendly links.

Dan and I discuss on Cord Snipped the new Amazon TV and watching Phillies games online.  Listen or downloadSubscribe with iTunesOr listen with Stitcher. All are mobile-friendly links.