Posts for flyers

Just One Philly Player on Forbes’ Highest Paid Athletes List

Kevin Kinkead - June 5, 2018

It’s two-time Arena Bowl champion Dan Raudabaugh.

Just kidding.

It’s JJ Redick, who checks in at #86 on the list with $23.5 million in combined salary and endorsements from June of last year to June of this year.

That’s it, just one Philly player, though Joel Embiid and Jake Arrieta will enter the top-100 next year with their beefy deals. Carson Wentz will be there when/if he gets a long-term deal.

Otherwise, the list is pretty interesting, with a top five of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Conor McGregor (who hasn’t fought in almost a year), and Neymar Jr. All five made more than 90 million dollars, with Ronaldo pulling in $47 million in endorsements alone.

The ridiculous purse of the Mayweather/McGregor superfight was strong enough to put both fighters in the top five. Mayweather got a $275 million payday in his only boxing match dating back to September of 2015.

The rest of the top ten is LeBron James, Roger Federer, Steph Curry, Matt Ryan, and Matthew Stafford. There are some head-scratchers on the list, with Alex Smith clocking in at #20 overall ($41.4m), Jimmy Garoppolo at #28 ($36.2m) and Ryan Tannehill at #32 ($35.2m). Gotta find that franchise quarterback, no matter what the cost.

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How in the World is Vegas’ Success “Bad” for the NHL?

Kevin Kinkead - May 21, 2018

I was browsing Twitter dot com this morning when I came across Anthony Gargano’s opinion on the Las Vegas Golden Knights:

“It’s about real fandom.”

Hmm, alright, I disagree, but I’ll play along.

Sure, it’s not like Las Vegas hockey fans are desperate for the Stanley Cup. They haven’t been waiting since 1967, like Toronto fans. They aren’t St. Louis, Vancouver, Buffalo, or Washington, who have never won a title. They aren’t any of the eight other teams that joined the NHL after 1979 and still haven’t won a cup.

By the same token, I’d assume Flyers fans, who have been waiting since 1975, would at least be annoyed to see an expansion team cruising through the playoffs while enduring a slow rebuild under Ron Hextall and Dave Hakstol.

So if you wanna roll your eyes at Vegas’ success or say it’s “corny,” I get that. It’s corny that a brand new team comes into the league and rips off a bunch of wins while diehard fans of traditional hockey teams get to enjoy another first-round playoff exit.

But I’m not sure what fandom really has to do with anything. Is there some rule in place that you have to suffer through 20 years of losing before you’re allowed to win? Do you have to “pay your dues?” Do you have to endure a Joe Jurevicius or Rodney Harrison situation before Nick Foles comes along? It’s such a Philadelphia way of thinking, that a “low” must predate a “high,” and if it doesn’t, it’s somehow not authentic.

People have somehow twisted the Vegas story into a narrative that “this is bad for the NHL,” and I don’t know why that’s being tossed around. I find the story compelling. I’m watching the playoffs with more interest than ever before.

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You’re Never Going To Get Who Had Horrible Claude Giroux Takes

Kyle Scott - April 26, 2018

Ah yes, it’s a traditional unlike any other in Philly. No, I’m not talking about Philly TV personalities tweeting about their glam night at [insert local charity dinner] where they, and other celebutants, can get their rocks off under the guise of philanthropy. I’m talking about the annual blame the captain calls on the heels of yet another Flyers playoff defeat.

Today, we have two entrants, one of whom has a pile of poop for a head, and another who just likes to hate things.

First up, Marcus Hayes.

I’ve been waiting to do this for a while now, and so it is with great pleasure that I bring you this dramatic reading of portions of Hayes’ piece taking Claude Giroux’s comments about fans booing substantially out of context: Continue Reading

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The Real Reason the Flyers’ TV Ratings Dropped 25%

Anthony SanFilippo - April 26, 2018

Many believe Flyers fans are expressing their distaste with the team’s seeming perpetual mediocrity both at the box office and with their remote control.

In short, the arguments have been that clusters of empty seats at the Wells Fargo Center for playoff games coupled with declining TV ratings mean that apathy has set in among the Orange and Black faithful, who not so many years ago were dubbed “stepford fans” for being robotically conformist to whatever the organ-eye-zation did and said.

Maybe the fan base is changing. Maybe Millennial fans are not like their Gen-X predecessors or the original Baby Boomers who made Philadelphia akin to a Canadian city when it came to hockey fandom.

Maybe they are getting tired of mediocrity. Maybe they are more discerning about how they are going to spend their entertainment dollars than those fans that came before them.

And then I saw this series of Tweets traipse down my Twitter timeline the other day – the first from a Canadian reporter who does some work for the New York Times (quoting Sports Business Journal), and then the rest from the site manager of Broad Street Hockey, the SB Nation fan site, and her cohorts: Continue Reading

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The “Philly Fan” Myth Will Never Die, Will It?

Tim Reilly - April 26, 2018

Toward the end of the Flyers’ dispiriting Game 6 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, a number of fans saw the looming specter of another premature playoff exit and decided they had enough – to drink. As Penguins winger Bryan Rust slid the puck into the Flyers’ empty net to put his team up by a score of 8-5, beer cans rained down on the Wells Fargo Center Ice.

“There’s heavy artillery flying all over down here,” analyst Pierre McGuire reported. A lengthy delay ensued as the Flyers ice crew worked quickly to clear the playing surface.

It didn’t take long for the criticisms to roll in from the social media universe. “Flyers fans throwing things on the ice: a playoff tradition like no other,” Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Mike Sielski tweeted. Even Pittsburgh radio host and columnist Mark Madden, who is a big fan of Crossing Broad, took a shot at the Flyers’ fan base:

Madden’s assessment was more or less in line with other Twitter reactions to the scene. And then there were the media takes, like this offering from Pittsburgh 97.3 The Fan’s Colin Dunlap. “Flyers fans are trash. Philadelphia fans, by and large, are trash,” Dunlap declared in a piece that could have used an editor. The Washington Post‘s Cindy Boren called the display “one of the most Philly fan things ever.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Jason Mackey reported that Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford was incensed by the antics of the crowd.

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The First of Many Postmortems: An Assessment of the Flyers in 29 Steps

Anthony SanFilippo - April 23, 2018

My first thought was to be reactionary.

After the Flyers season came to a crashing end Sunday in a classic Flyers manner – blowing a two goal lead – it was easy to put the target on this team, who ended up playing 88 games this season, winning 44 of them and losing 44 of them, as still not being ready for prime time.

It would be easy to target the coach – as I have for much of the season. The goaltending – for the umpteenth time. The defense – for their inherent lack of ability in getting the puck out of their own zone. The star players – who couldn’t score.

It would be easy to target all the negatives – and some negatives deserve to be highlighted – but the biggest takeaway of all of this is that even though the Flyers took a small step forward – making the playoffs after a one season hiatus, and doing so with a lot of young players in the lineup, there is still a long way to go before they can compete with the likes of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

And that’s the one thing that is going to make the upcoming offseason so crucial for the Flyers. They need to finally address holes in their roster via trades and free agency and need to stop trying to get by with band aids – marginal NHL veterans who provide no scoring punch.

It’s almost certain that a number of players who played in Sunday’s loss won’t be back. This Flyers team will have a much different look to it when training camp begins five months from now, but will it have a different feel? Or will we still look at how the roster has been put together and consider them a borderline playoff team, much as they have been the past six seasons, which includes three first round exits and three seasons where they missed the playoffs entirely?

So, I thought, let’s examine this roster, the impact each player had on this first round loss to Pittsburgh and what the future holds.

But, before we do, some telling statistics:

  • The Flyers allowed eight goals in an elimination game for the fifth time in franchise history (1979, 1982 [nine goals], 1985, 2001, 2018). That’s a lot.
  • The Penguins scored at least five goals in eight of the 10 games played against the Flyers this season, and all five of the games played in Philadelphia. That’s got to be considered completely unacceptable.
  • The Flyers allowed 28 goals in the six games against the Penguins – tying a franchise record for most goals allowed in a playoff series and setting a franchise record for any series fewer than seven games.
  • Jake Guentzel scored four goals in the series clincher against the Flyers, becoming the first player since Mario Lemieux in 1989 to score four goals in a playoff game against the Flyers (Lemieux had five).
  • Guentzel and Sidney Crosby each finished the series with six goals and seven assists for 13 points – more than two points per game, as the Flyers had no answer for their line.
  • Game 6 was the first time the Flyers lost a playoff game under Dave Hakstol where the team scored more than one goal. in his previous seven losses, the Flyers were shut out four times and scored one goal three times.
  • Continuing on the last bullet, in Hakstol’s four career playoff wins, the Flyers have outscored their opponents 13-4. In Hakstol’s eight losses, the Flyers have been outscored 38-8.

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The Flyers Gift Their Fans (At Least) One More Home Playoff Game

Tim Reilly - April 21, 2018

It was all but over.

After two listless performances on home ice, the Flyers limped into Pittsburgh facing a 3-1 series deficit against a Penguins team looking to hoist the Stanley Cup for the third straight season.

The patient clung to life – barely. All that remained was for Sidney Crosby to administer last rites, Evgeni Malkin to drive the final nail into the coffin, and the local beat writers to shovel dirt on the grave that would serve as the final resting place of the 2017-18 campaign.

And then something unexpected happened. The Flyers showed a pulse.

They didn’t deserve to win. The Penguins dominated large stretches of the 2nd and 3rd periods while the Flyers took bad penalties and relied on Michal Neuvirth to cover for poor play in the defensive zone. Pittsburgh claimed a big advantage in the faceoff circle, possessed the puck for much of the contest, and consequently had the Flyers chasing the game instead of dictating it.

Neuvirth was spectacular, except when he wasn’t. The two goals he conceded were incredibly soft. The first came after Neuvirth carelessly turned over the puck, leading to extended offensive zone time and a wraparound goal delivered by Penguins forward Bryan Rust. Neuvirth was able to get to the post to stop the shot, but somehow the puck squeaked through his pads.

The second goal was equally inexcusable given the situation. Jake Guentzel took a pass from Crosby, depositing the puck through the five-hole and into the back of the net. Neuvirth’s second period nadir put the orange and black in a 2-1 deficit. If they had put forth the effort they exhibited in Games 3 and 4, the series would have ended.

Instead, the Flyers battled back. A short-handed tally from Valtteri Filppula tied the game late in the second, while a Sean Couturier blast from the blue line late in the third pulled the Flyers ahead. Matt Read sealed the victory with an empty net goal, and the Flyers lived to play another day.

Given the evidence of the past week, the result seemed improbable, but in the context of the longer arc of the Flyers’ season, the Game 5 triumph was not unusual.

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Embarrassing

Anthony SanFilippo - April 19, 2018

Sean Couturier has been such an integral part of the Flyers this season.

So, it’s only right that he got a little bit of love league-wide on Wednesday when he was announced as a finalist for the Selke Trophy, awarded to the best two-way forward in the NHL.

Couturier has long been just on the outskirts of this award, and has finally cracked the top three in voting, joining stalwarts in this category Patrtice Bergeron of Boston and Anze Kopitar of Los Angeles.

It’s a credit to Couturier, who had a breakout offensive season to go along with his excellent defensive play as a shutdown forward.

Wait… what’s that? There was something else that happened last night involving the Flyers? Really? Did I miss it? What was it? A playoff game? Stop. You’re pulling my leg. There was playoff hockey played in Philadelphia last night? Seriously, am I on the Carbonaro Effect? Where are the hidden cameras? I want to see a magic trick!

No, you’re not kidding? There was a game last night? What happened? Anything? Oh, I didn’t miss much. The Flyers were blown out by the Penguins again? Oh, right, right, right. That’s what that sound was. It sounded like something sucking the life out of the city was emanating from the Sports complex. I tried to stay away so I wouldn’t turn into a zombie.

Yeah people, the Flyers played another playoff game yesterday – and, as per usual, it wasn’t pretty. Continue Reading

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