Flyers

Will Flyers regret not spending on defense?

Will Flyers regret not spending on defense?

While we’re still sorting out the latest version of the Flyers defense, what seems clear after two games is that the Flyers' blue line may be no better than the collective unit they put on the ice last season.

Ivan Provorov and Shayne Gostisbehere are a bonafide top pairing that blends Provorov’s steady unflappable presence to go along with Ghost’s dazzling playmaking ability, and together they have found a successful workable chemistry.

Although not ideal, Andrew MacDonald and Robert Hägg are a serviceable second pairing as Hägg continues his development.

However, this defense could be a slight downgrade if Christian Folin continues to have the adventurous moments that led to a rough and bumpy first period in Colorado Saturday, where the Avalanche came hard at the Flyers with an aggressive forecheck. Folin appeared to wilt under the pressure with a number of turnovers and costly mistakes, including one that led to J.T. Compher’s goal and a 2-1 Colorado lead. 

By the looks of Monday’s practice, Radko Gudas appears to be the right defenseman on that third pairing with Travis Sanheim for the home opener, but it’s only a matter of time before an injury beckons Folin back into the lineup. 

Remember, last season, Dave Hakstol was forced to employ ten different defensemen through the first 14 games as they attempted to fill in the holes left by a myriad of injuries. Extreme as that may have been, it was also an eye-opener to how vital depth at defense can be. 

If you want to know how quickly the wheels can fall off, the Flyers finished with a 3-6-6 record last season just in the games Andrew MacDonald missed from October to December, so one can only imagine how the Flyers would be crippled if they had to make due without Provorov or Gostisbehere for an extended period.  

Folin’s one-year, $800,000 agreement suggests he was willing to accept just slightly more than the league minimum to stay in the league, and for the Flyers it was a depth signing to replace Brandon Manning, who the team chose not to bring back, and eventually signed with the Chicago Blackhawks for two years and $4.5 million.  

Still, there was money to spend. 

With their current 23-man roster, according to CapFriendly.com, the Flyers are a healthy $8.7 million under the cap ceiling. 

One can argue the Flyers should have looked long and hard at Calvin de Haan, who opted to sign in Carolina for four years and $18.2 million, or possibly pursued Ian Cole, who elected to join the Colorado Avalanche on a three-year contract for $12.75 million.

In all likelihood, Ron Hextall explored the idea of spending up in an effort to upgrade his defense, but only on his terms, which would have required moving outside his comfort zone of term and cost. However, that’s typically the nature of free agency, where the marketplace is one that favors the player, not the buyer.

While no one regretted Manning’s departure, there was certainly hesitation surrounding Folin’s arrival and how he could stabilize a third pairing regardless of who he was teamed with. 

Even if the Flyers had added de Haan or Cole over the next three to four years, their presence wouldn’t have necessarily held back a younger player like Phillipe Myers from making and even contributing to next year’s team. In addition, MacDonald and Gudas will be free agents after the 2019-2020 season, so unless they’re re-signed, Hextall will be searching for an alternative. 

But there’s quite the spending disparity heading into a season with increased expectations. The Flyers are paying just $16.5 million for their defense, which puts them at 25th in the league, compared to the $47.4 million allocated to the forward position, which ranks as the fourth-highest.

The Flyers can only hope that keeping that money in their back pocket won’t eventually bite them in the butt.

More on the Flyers

Jeremy Roenick sells stunning mansion with full baseball field in backyard

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Realtor.com

Jeremy Roenick sells stunning mansion with full baseball field in backyard

Jeremy Roenick first listed his Scottsdale-area home in 2012 and it finally sold last month. The weird thing is, his home could be one of the more beautiful Philadelphia athlete homes I have ever seen, and I have written up a bunch of them.

Originally purchased in 2005 for $3.8 million, Roenick listed it for sale in 2012 for a cheeky $11.7 million. It sold on April 1 for a final price of $3.3 million, which, when you see the inside and the backyard, might be an absolute steal.

Built in 1997, this seven bedroom, 7.5 bath estate of 18+ acres is one of the more stunning homes you’ll see. Everything on the inside looks custom, including the bathroom with a copper tub, massive closet and a bedroom that is giving off log cabin vibes. The property and views are truly stunning and the entertaining space is just as elegant as the inside of the home.

Outside you’ll find an open air dinning and living room with a very large pool. If you have kids, they’ll absolutely love the wiffleball field, which is complete with dirt infield, backstop and outfield wall. There’s also a three-hold golf putting green as well.

Just look at this place.

Congratulations to whoever purchased this home, it looks like a beauty.

2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule, live stream: Blues can advance to Cup Final with Game 6 win over Sharks

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USA Today Images

2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule, live stream: Blues can advance to Cup Final with Game 6 win over Sharks

Craig Berube and the Blues are one win away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.

They can earn that victory Tuesday night when they host the Sharks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final.

Including the playoffs, the Blues are 49-24-8 under Berube, who took over Nov. 19 as interim head coach.

For some context on the Blues' run, St. Louis visited the Wells Fargo Center Jan. 7 with the same number of points as the Flyers. The Blues were 29th in the NHL at 16-19-4 and 36 points, while the Flyers were 30th at 15-20-6 and 36 points.

St. Louis has never won a Cup, but it's on the verge of being one step closer to a title.

Below is the schedule for Day 39 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. You can watch the entire playoffs on the networks of NBC. 

San Jose Sharks at St. Louis Blues (STL 3-2)
Game 6, Western Conference Final
8 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN | Live stream here