Philadelphia Flyers Remain in the Hunt for a Playoff Position

Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 Sunday during a matinee game in Philadelphia, keeping them four points away from a wildcard position in the 2015 National Hockey League Playoffs.

Flyers captain Claude Giroux opened up the scoring with a power play goal in the first period, assisted by Mark Streit and Jakub Voracek. The Flyers went up 2-0 in the second period when alternate captain Wayne Simmonds scored with assists from Streit and Giroux.

However, the Capitals responded later in the second period. Tom Wilson and Joel Ward scored for Washington, tying the score 2-2 going into the third period.

15 minutes and 47 seconds into the final period, Michael Del Zotto scored a slap shot that made it by Capitals goalie Braden Holtby. Chris Vandevelde and Voracek were awarded assists on the play. Flyers goalie Rob Zepp is now 5-1-0 when named the starting goaltender this season.

With the win, the Flyers were two points behind the Boston Bruins for a wildcard playoff position for a brief amount of time. However, the Bruins defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 6-2 Sunday after the Flyers win. This keeps Boston four points ahead of Philadelphia, three points ahead of the Florida Panthers, and still in a playoff position.

The Flyers play the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday in Raleigh, North Carolina. There are 22 games remaining on Philadelphia’s schedule, each one important for their playoff hopes.

Written by:  Joseph Markle

IUP Journalism 2015

Why the Next 28 Games are Important for the Philadelphia Flyers

Did-Matt-Read-come-back-too-soon

The Philadelphia Flyers are now trailing the Boston Bruins by 8 points for a playoff position with the 2-1 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadians Tuesday night

The Flyers have won 4 out of their last 6 games, with both losses coming in an overtime and shootout period. Therefore, they have gained 10 points in the last 6 games. This sort of surge is needed for any sort of playoff hope.

Being 8 points behind the Bruins means that the Flyers are 4 games out of a playoff position. In hockey, teams get 2 points for each win and one point for each overtime or shootout loss.

In the overtime loss, Matt Read scored the Flyers lone goal with an assist from Wayne Simmonds. The two goals scored by the Canadians were by Tomas Piekanec and David Desharnais.

However, the Flyers posted significant statistics during Tuesday night’s game. Although they were out-shot 41-24, the Flyers posted 25 blocked shots and 30 hits. The Canadians blocked 14 shots and had 15 hits during the game.

The Flyers are now 23-22-9 on the season, just above .500. Their next game is away against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday at 7:00 p.m. in Nationwide Arena.

Written by:

Joseph Markle

IUP ’15

Journalism

The Legend of Bobby Grier

I had to write the following essay for my Sports Journalism course. I enjoyed learning about the courage of Bobby Grier and the University of Pittsburgh football program. I thought some of you might too.

How could a team that lost 7-0 in the 1956 Sugar Bowl still manage to win, in spirit?

The Sugar Bowl that year was much more than a game. It was a risk. It was a bold move. It was the day that Bobby Grier became the first African-American to play football in the Sugar Bowl.

1956 was obviously a much different time in the United States of America for African-Americans than it is today. Today, the president of this country is part African-American. Today, every college and professional football team has African-Americans playing on it.

But the way this country works, and the way football works, is much different today than it was in 1956.

The University of Pittsburgh Panthers played the Georgia Institute of Technology Yellow Jackets in the 1956 Sugar Bowl. Georgia was a much different place for African-Americans in 1956, than it was in Pennsylvania.

“The South stands at Armageddon. The battle is joined. We cannot make the slightest concession to the enemy in this dark and lamentable hour of struggle,” said Marvin Griffin, Georgia’s governor at the time.

Was Griffin referring to the Civil Rights Movement? Was Griffin referring to the desegregation of schools? Was Griffin referring to Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., or Malcom X?

No. Griffin was referring to a 19-year-old African-American teenager named Bobby Grier.

And what did Grier do to spark such an emotional and passionate statement?

He wanted to play football against Georgia Tech in the 1956 Sugar Bowl.

Griffin proposed to “forbid the athletic teams of the university system of Georgia from participating in games against any teams with Negro players, or even playing in any stadium where unsegregated audiences breathe the same air.”

This shocked the Pitt players, but it was not something totally uncommon to the Deep South during this time period. The fact that something like this was said less than a century ago is unfathomable.

“This can’t be that bad,” Grier said.

Georgia Tech students and players, infuriated with the governor’s proposition, decided to march on his mansion. There was no way that one player was going to stop Georgia Tech from competing in the Sugar Bowl.

The game itself was low-scoring. The end result left Bobby Grier crying.

Was he crying from happiness for being able to play? Was he crying from the amount of taunting he received? Was he crying because Pitt lost the game?

The answer to the last question is yes. But, it holds more significance than a simple one-word answer.

Bobby Grier was flagged for pass interference, which gave Georgia Tech a first-and-goal that led to them scoring a touchdown. The end result of the game was 7-0.

“I was crying because it was because of me we lost.”
But Bobby didn’t lose that day. Pitt didn’t lose, either.

They won. Because if it wasn’t for this one day in history, this one 60 minutes of football, it might have taken years, maybe decades, for someone as courageous and valiant as Bobby Grier and the University of Pittsburgh football program to have an African-American compete in the Sugar Bowl.

Will the Philadelphia 76ers ever win?

The Philadelphia 76ers lost to the San Antonio Spurs 100-75 in San Antonio, Texas, Monday, reassuring they are the worst team in the National Basketball Association.

The Sixers, now 0-10 on the season, are the last team in the NBA without a win. During their embarrassing 123-70 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, fans became so bored they started reading the newspaper to pass time.

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Keep in mind, this picture was taken before the end of the first half. It seems that the Sixers have a lot of work to do to save their 2015-2016 season, even being only 10 games into the 2014-2015  season.

The Sixers chose Joel Embiid as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft. However, the injury to his foot continues to delay the possibility of him having any sort of impact on the team.

The active players on the Sixers, that were supposed to have an impact, are doing anything but that. The 2013 No. 6 overall draft pick Nerlens Noel was expected to stand out among other players on the squad. After playing eight games, Noel is averaging 6.6 points per game, 5.9 rebounds per game and 1.6 assists per game. He is shooting 40% from the field, according to ESPN.com.

2013 Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams hasn’t been playing horribly, but has only competed in three games so far this season. He is averaging 16 points per game, 6 rebounds per game and 4.7 assists per game, according to ESPN.com. It seems as if his focus has been more on Stephen A. Smith than winning games for his team.

In case you haven’t heard of what has been occurring between MCW and Smith, Carter-Williams accused Smith of playing a character in the locker room, in an essay he posted to the Players Tribune. Maybe this was said out of anger, or perhaps frustration. Regardless, it doesn’t help the Sixers win games.

The one glimmer of hope on this Sixers squad is shooting guard Tony Wroten. Wroten is averaging 19.1 points per game, 3.9 rebounds per game and 6 assists per game, according to ESPN.com. However, it takes more than one player performing to win games.

Starting 0-10 is tough for any team, but the schedule the Sixers will be facing in their upcoming games doesn’t exactly provide any hope to Philadelphia fans. Their next five opponents are the Boston Celtics (3-6), Phoenix Suns (6-5), New York Knicks (3-8), Portland Trail Blazers (8-3), and Brooklyn Nets (4-6).

One thing that distinguishes these next five opponents from the Philadelphia 76ers? They all have won at least one game.

Philadelphia faithful are not so quick to forget the 26-game losing streak the Sixers had during the 2013-2014 season, which is tied for the longest of all time in the NBA. As of now, they are on pace to surpass that streak without a single win on the season.

Written by:

Joseph Markle

Indiana University of Pennsylvania ’15

Journalism

Writer’s note:  Allen Iverson, if you can read this, THEY NEED YOU.

Mark Sanchez and the Philadelphia Eagles Defeat Carolina Panthers 45-21

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The Philadelphia Eagles and backup quarterback Mark Sanchez defeated the Carolina Panthers 45-21 on Monday Night Football in Philadelphia.

Sanchez finished with 332 yards, two touchdowns, and completed 20 of 37 passes. Cam Newton, Carolina’s quarterback, finished with 306 yards, two touchdowns, three interceptions, and completed 25 of 40 pass attempts.

The most surprising player of the game?

That would have to be Eagles rookie wide receiver Jordan Matthews. He caught both of Sanchez’s touchdown passes and racked up 138 yards on seven receptions.

Jordan Matthews’ best game statistically before Monday night? Week 3 against the Washington Redskins, in which he racked up 59 yards and two touchdowns.

Eagles running back Darren Sproles was also a key component in the win. Sproles had an 8-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter, and a 65-yard punt return touchdown later in the first.

With the win, the Eagles remain in first place of the NFC East. However, the Dallas Cowboys are not far behind. The Eagles are now 7-2, while the Cowboys are 7-3.

The Eagles play the Green Bay Packers next week, and the Cowboys have a bye week. Both teams will play each other on Thanksgiving day.

Nick Foles and the Future of the Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles suffered a crack in his collarbone against the Houston Texans Sunday, leaving the team in purgatory between playoffs and an unsuccessful season.

The injury makes Foles unable to play for the next 6-8 weeks, according to ESPN.com. Mark Sanchez, notorious for the “butt-fumble” that put him number one on SportsCenter’s “Not Top 10” for 40 consecutive weeks, replaces him as the starter. (video of the butt-fumble below)

       Foles isn’t the only player on the Eagles, but he plays a key role in head coach Chip Kelly’s offense. Players like running back LeSean McCoy and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin will look to help Sanchez in the next upcoming weeks.

However, Eagles fans shouldn’t look to the past when thinking of the team’s future success. At least, when it comes to making the playoffs this year. After Foles was injured, Sanchez completed 15 of 22 passes for 202 yards, threw two touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions.

These statistics aren’t terrible for a quarterback that hasn’t started a game since 2012. However, the last time Sanchez started, he was benched by Jets head coach Rex Ryan after throwing three interceptions. Another distinct fact about the last time Sanchez started, he had the worst QBR in the NFL at 25.8, according to ESPN.com

So, is it time to worry for Eagles fans?

Not quite yet. The Eagles sit at the top of the NFC East division with a record of 6-2, right in front of the Dallas Cowboys who are 6-3. The Eagles play the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football Nov. 10. It will be a key game on how Sanchez can handle the speed of Chip Kelly’s offense as a starter.

Key Career Quarterback Statistics

Nick Foles                                                                                                    

  • Completion Percentage: 61.6%
  • Passing Yards:  6,753
  • Career Touchdowns: 46
  • Career Interceptions: 17
  • Career Fumbles: 10
  • Quarterback Rating: 94.1

Mark Sanchez

  • Completion Percentage: 55.2%
  • Passing Yards: 12,294
  • Career Touchdowns: 70
  • Career Interceptions: 71
  • Career Fumbles: 26
  • Quarterback Rating: 71.9

*All statistics according to ESPN.com

Los Angeles Kings @ Philadelphia Flyers Oct. 28, 7 p.m.

The Philadelphia Flyers look to continue a 2-game win streak against the Los Angeles Kings Oct. 28, at 7 p.m. in Philadelphia.

     However, the Kings look to continue a 6-game win streak by getting number 7 on the road. They have out-scored opponents 22-12 so far this season.
     After starting 1-3-2, the Flyers have reached .500 and are now 3-3-2 after defeating the Detroit Red Wings at home and the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road. Both wins were important for the team, the coach and playoff hopes.
     Playoff hopes? Isn’t it only the fourth week of the National Hockey League sesason?
     Yes, however the key to the Flyers success this season lies in the ability to win games, and consistently. Backup goalie Ray Emery was the net-minder during the last two wins.
     But how can you blame goaltending? Coach Craig Berube seems to view the goalie as one of the key aspects of his team.
     However, the goalie doesn’t exactly win games. The Flyers’ problem lies on the defensive side of the rink, as well as generating plays that put the puck in front of the net. They were out-shot 37-17 in the 4-2 win against the Red Wings.
     With Los Angeles players like Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter and Marian Gaborik, look for the Flyers to try to keep the puck away from the goaltender.
     Key players on the Flyers offensive side will be Wayne Simmonds and captain Claude Giroux.
Simmonds has started the season with 5 goals and 2 assists in 8 games. Giroux has 2 goals and 8 assists thus far, and both players will be looking to add to these statistics tonight.
    Key players for the Los Angeles Kings will be centers Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli. Carter has started the season with 5 goals and 7 assists. Toffoli has now racked up 4 goals and 8 assists.
Game Notes:
-The Kings are 38-80-16 all time against the Flyers.
-The Kings are 1-8-1 in their last 10 games on the road against the Flyers.
-The Flyers have scored 9 goals in their last two games, being out-shot 62-50.
-After starting 0-1-1, the Kings have now won 6 straight.
-The Kings currently sit in second of the Western Pacific Division. The Flyers are currently sitting in second to last of the Eastern Metropolitan Division.
Story by:
Joseph Markle
Indiana University of Pennsylvania ’15
Journalism Major