Sunday Night Hockey: Flyers Aim to Spoil Detroit's Home Streak

Sunday Night Hockey: Flyers Aim to Spoil Detroit's Home Streak

Fresh off of yet another ass-whooping by the New York Rangers, things aren't pretty in Flyerville. Kimmo Timonen sounded off on his team's lackluster performance, as did many a fan. If the loss was good for anything, hopefully it was a needed reality check. Placement in the standings doesn't much matter, and the Flyers have a tough road ahead if they want to catch the conference leaders, who won again today and still have two games in hand after tonight's game.

For the time being, the Flyers need to forget about the Rangers. Their best shot at true revenge won't come until the playoffs, if at all. There are more immediate issues to handle though, starting tonight in Detroit, where the owners of the league's second best record will try to steal a piece of asterisked history from the Flyers.

You've probably already heard some of the hype surrounding the Red Wings' home winning streak, which is one game behind a decades-old mark of 20, held by the 1975-1976 Flyers and the 1929-1930 Bruins. Of course, neither of those clubs had the benefit of shootout wins, another reason to hate the post-OT skills comp. Travis pointed this out well at BSH:

During this streak, the Red Wings have won three games in the
shootout. Those would have been ties in 1976 or 1930. If we're taking
that into consideration, this Red Wings streak really lasted 12 games,
and it ended on January 12 against Phoenix.

Record or no, the Wings' success at home is a little salt in the wound of the Flyers' struggles at the Wells Fargo Center. There were a few stories in the press about the home woes, but none scratched the surface of answering what, if anything in particular, is the problem. Is it mere coincidence?

Backup Battle
Bryz is still not 100%, so Bob is again in goal, but Bryz will back him up. Detroit will start Joey MacDonald while Jimmy Howard remains out due to a broken finger. MacDonald has started the previous three games, winning the most recent two. If you include the game MacDonald entered when Howard got hurt, he has a 2-1-1 record with a 1.57 GAA and .935 save percentage. On the Flyers' injury report, Jake Voracek was nicked up yesterday, so Kyle Wellwood has been recalled and will play tonight.

Speaking of the shootout, we always hope the game ends before that, but particularly tonight. The Red Wings have won six of them since New Years (including one on Friday), losing only one.

Wings by the Numbers
Detroit is 4th in goals per game and 6th in goals against, but their special teams marks are  nothing special (16th PP, 21st PK). Hopefully their power play doesn't find the same mojo the Rangers did yesterday.

As usual, the Red Wings are led by the great playmaker Pavel Datsyuk (41 assists, 55 points), Johan Franzen (21 goals), perennial Norris candidate Nicklas Lidstrom, but they're plenty deep as well. They currently have 10 players with double-digits in goals; the Flyers currently have nine.

If the Flyers can get their act together after yesterday's beatdown, we could be in for a hell of a game. Either way, enjoy your Sunday night.

NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

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NBC Sports Philadelphia Internship - Advertising/Sales

Position Title: Intern
Department: Advertising/Sales
Company: NBC Sports Philadelphia
# of hours / week: 10 – 20 hours

Deadline: November 20

Basic Function

This position will work closely with the Vice President of Sales in generating revenue through commercial advertisements and sponsorship sales. The intern will gain first-hand sales experience through working with Sales Assistants and AEs on pitches, sales-calls and recapping material.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Assist Account Executive on preparation of Sales Presentations
• Cultivate new account leads for local sales
• Track sponsorships in specified programs
• Assist as point of contact with sponsors on game night set up and pre-game hospitality elements.
• Assist with collection of all proof of performance materials.
• Perform Competitive Network Analysis
• Update Customer database
• Other various projects as assigned

Requirements

1. Good oral and written communication skills.
2. Knowledge of sports.
3. Ability to work non-traditional hours, weekends & holidays
4. Ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment
5. Must be 19 years of age or older
6. Must be a student in pursuit of an Associate, Bachelor, Master or Juris Doctor degree
7. Must have unrestricted authorization to work in the US
8. Must have sophomore standing or above
9. Must have a 3.0 GPA

Interested students should apply here and specify they're interested in the ad/sales internship.

About NBC internships

Penn State begins daunting Big Ten stretch with statement win over No. 19 Michigan

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Penn State begins daunting Big Ten stretch with statement win over No. 19 Michigan

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – It was 11:23 p.m. Saturday night – James Franklin, poised to address reporters in the Beaver Stadium media room, knew the time because he checked a cellphone lying before him – and Penn State’s coach said that would allow him exactly 37 minutes to enjoy the 42-13 victory over Michigan (see observations).

After that it was time to move on, time for the second-ranked Nittany Lions to prepare for the next step down a treacherous path. That involves a visit to No. 6 Ohio State next weekend, with another trip, to No. 18 Michigan State, to follow.

Franklin wasn’t about to discuss the Buckeyes within that precious 37-minute window. There will be time enough for that in the days to come.

But what seems apparent is that the Lions have the ability and adaptability to run with the Big Ten’s big dogs – that if they lose next week, it will be because of the Buckeyes’ strengths, not their weaknesses.

On Saturday night PSU was as good as it has been against a quality team in Franklin’s three-plus seasons on the job, outgaining the No. 19 Wolverines, 506-269, and unleashing Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley for three touchdowns apiece.

“Everybody’s been saying we haven’t been playing anybody this year,” wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton said. “Obviously we played somebody today.”

Somebody who came away pretty, pretty impressed.

“They hit us on quite a few plays that we have defensed well this year,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said. “I thought their execution was really good tonight, right from the beginning.”

As in, the second play from scrimmage. That’s when Barkley lined up in the Wildcat – a formation the Lions hadn’t shown all year – and zipped 69 yards for a touchdown. He then capped their second possession by scoring on an option pitch, something else PSU hadn’t done much this season.

Franklin had said in the days leading up to the game that the Lions had something up their sleeves, that they were waiting to spring some stratagems on the Big Ten heavyweights. The wrinkles, he added Saturday, were things they had worked on during the preseason.

“The fact that we have some recall helps,” he said.

So too did the fact that they had a week off to prepare for the Wolverines.

“We watched, probably, seven different games of Michigan film,” Hamilton said. “It really helped a lot.”

Michigan cut the gap to 14-13, but then the Lions ran away and hid. It was difficult to find fault with any aspect of their performance, though Franklin tried. He thought the defense could have handled sudden change better, seeing as Michigan charged downfield for a touchdown after McSorley threw a first-quarter interception.

Barkley tried, too. On a day when he generated 176 all-purpose yards – 108 of them on the ground – the Heisman hopeful fixated on his second-quarter drop of a McSorley pass, on a wheel route down the left sideline.

“Sometimes I overthink and I just put myself in bad situations,” Barkley said. “I should have just caught it first. I was thinking score. I was thinking about catching the ball. I felt the safety. I felt his presence. I wanted to try to make him miss and find a way to get into the end zone.”

He atoned with a 42-yard TD reception in the fourth quarter, though he juggled that one, too.

“I was able to run through it,” he said. “It humbles you again, makes you realize you’ve got to put a little more work in. You’ve got to find a way to make those plays.”

Especially now that the celebration, brief as it was, is over. It’s time to take another step down a treacherous path, time to find out where it might lead.