Flyers

'Keith the Thief' was more than just a GM

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'Keith the Thief' was more than just a GM

They called him “Keith the Thief.”

It was a title bestowed upon Keith Allen by the Philadelphia media in the 1970s and the Flyers general manager wore it with every bit of pride as that famous, flaming orange jacket that he insisted on being photographed in.

This is how Keith Allen, the greatest general manager in Flyers history, earned the nickname with these trades:

• Darryl Edestrand and Larry McKillop to Hershey for Barry Ashbee.

• Mike Walton to Boston for Rick MacLeish and Danny Schock.

• Serge Bernier, Jimmy Johnson and Bill Lesuk to Los Angeles for Bill Flett, Ed Joyal, Ross Lonsberry and Jean Potvin.

• Brent Hughes and Pierre Plante to St. Louis for Andre Dupont and a third-round pick.

• Potvin and a future player to the Islanders for Terry Crisp.

• A first-round pick and future considerations (Doug Favell) to Toronto for the rights to re-acquire Bernie Parent and a second-round pick.

• Larry Wright, Al MacAdam and a first-round pick to California for Reggie Leach.

And that’s just the trades.

We haven’t talked about the players he drafted. Such as Bill Barber, Bill Clement, Jimmy Watson and Tom Bladon.

Or the crucial checking-line free agent center he signed in Orest Kindrachuk.

Take a good look at the names above because just about every one of them formed the Flyers’ two Stanley Cup rosters in 1974 and 1975.

Oh, Allen also convinced club chairman Ed Snider to take a gamble on a very successful coach in the minor ranks named Fred Shero, who Snider admitted he had never heard of before the Flyers hired him in 1971 on pure “gut” instinct, Allen would later say.

“One of the best general managers of all time,” Bob Clarke said on Tuesday night upon hearing of Allen’s passing at the age of 90.

He had lived most of his retirement years in Florida and was especially fond of Marco Island.

Parent and Clarke may have been the two Flyers in history most responsible for the two Cups on the ice, but without question, Allen was the genius behind the scenes, willing to take risks and make judgment calls based on little more than first-hand accounts minus formal scouting reports.

What he left behind was the legacy upon which the Flyers built their hockey empire in Philadelphia.

He started with the Flyers even before they were officially awarded a franchise, coached the team through 1969-70, then succeeded Bud Poile as general manager.

As Flyer historian Jay Greenberg pointed out, in the 14 years Allen sat in the GM chair, seven of his clubs reached the league semifinals while amassing 100 points. Meanwhile, 13 of his players would appear in the Cup Final.

“Keith Allen always found a way to bring exceptional talent to Broad Street and weave it into the fabric of a team that would succeed and endure at the highest level, because in Philadelphia, for his Flyers and their fans, no other level was acceptable,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.

“The National Hockey League sends heartfelt condolences to Keith's family, to his friends and to the Flyers organization, which has lost one of its patriarchs.”

Allen was elected to the NHL Hall of Fame’s “Builders Category” in 1992.

“Keith was the first coach in the history of the Philadelphia Flyers and a man for whom I have tremendous respect,” Snider said.

“In my mind, he was and always will be one of the greatest general managers in the history of hockey. He was known as 'Keith the Thief.' I never knew of a bad deal he made.

“This team would never have reached the level of success we have had over the past 48 years if it were not for Keith.”

Funny thing is, every player who played for him, idolized him.

“Keith was one of those men you rarely come across who was fatherly, grandfatherly to all of us players and families,” Clarke said. “And yet was tough enough and strong enough to do the things that were necessary so that we had the right players to win a Stanley Cup.

“Every player who ever played under his leadership liked Keith. Everybody traded liked Keith. One of the few men in hockey, and maybe the only man, who everybody liked. Didn’t have a person who disliked him in the world. A wonderful, wonderful man.”

His personality was such that Allen often referred to the beat reporters covering his team as “his boys.”

In the formative years leading up to and surpassing the Flyers' two Cups, Allen developed close personal bonds with those who covered his team. They weren’t house men, but Allen treated them like insiders.

“Come to the bar, boys, we’ve got something to talk about,” he would say as the beat reporters joined him.

On more than one occasion, Allen would talk about the team and potential moves he might make, with the understanding it was off the record.

You don’t find that kind of trust among GMs and reporters these days, but it existed back then.

Quite simply, Keith Allen was a man who trusted himself and his judgment about people in and even around the game of hockey, above all else.

It’s why the Flyers won and were able to create a legacy of winning that endures to this day.

Flyers vs. Canadiens NHL playoffs: Game 2 live stream, storylines, more

Flyers vs. Canadiens NHL playoffs: Game 2 live stream, storylines, more

The Flyers on Friday will look to take a 2-0 series lead when they play the Canadiens in Game 2 of their best-of-seven first-round playoff set.

Let's get into some essentials:

When: 3 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 2 p.m. ET
Where: Scotiabank Arena
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• The Flyers have seen a wide range of contributors through four games in the NHL's return-to-play tournament. Balance was integral to their turnaround in 2019-20 and it has been important so far in the tournament.

The Flyers are 4-0-0 (three wins in the round robin, one over the Canadiens) and have outscored the opposition 13-4. The scary thought about the ceiling being even higher is that their top-five goal scorers from the regular season have yet to tally a marker. Travis Konecny (24 goals), Kevin Hayes (23), Sean Couturier (22), Claude Giroux (21) and James van Riemsdyk (19) have combined for nine assists but no goals — and everyone knows they can score some goals, too.

Those numbers are a true testament to the Flyers' drastically improved depth.

• Did the Flyers get underneath the skin of Montreal goalie Carey Price during their 2-1 win in Game 1?

The veteran netminder does not like being bumped or obstructed, which was evident Wednesday.

The Flyers' two goals came with a man right in front of Price. Look for a heavy emphasis on that in Game 2 and moving forward.

• The last time the Flyers took a 2-0 series lead in the playoffs was 2012 against the Penguins during the first round. They won the series and have not won one since then.

Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Joel Farabee
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Travis Konecny
Nicolas Aube-Kubel-Derek Grant-Jakub Voracek
James van Riemsdyk-Nate Thompson-Tyler Pitlick

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Philippe Myers
Shayne Gostisbehere-Justin Braun

Goalies

Carter Hart
Brian Elliott

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2020 NHL playoffs: Schedule, scores, updates, odds, game times, TV channels and live streaming

2020 NHL playoffs: Schedule, scores, updates, odds, game times, TV channels and live streaming

The first round of the NHL playoffs kicked off Aug. 11 and are officially in full swing. Between the two bubble cites in Edmonton and Toronto, there has been more than enough hockey to go around. While it’s every fan’s dream to have hockey on for the greater part of the day, there is a lot to keep up with — given the amount of games played daily with their turnaround times. 

So, in an effort to keep everyone up to date for each series in the first round — we created this playoff tracker. Consider this your one-stop shop for everything and anything you need to know. From who has the edge in the series, odds on who has the better chance at advancing per DraftKings, schedules, analysis and where to stream — it’s all right here for the taking.

This will be updated daily with the latest news and information from all eight series. 

East 
 

Blue Jackets vs. Lightning 

Series is tied 1-1

Series odds: CBJ +180 TB -225

Game 1: The puck dropped at 3:09 p.m. ET, but no one knew at the time it was going to run over six hours. This first game became the second-longest playoff game in the modern NHL era, going into five overtimes. You would think the team that had the goaltender that mad a record 85 saves, would have been the winners, but that wasn’t the case. 10:27 into that fifth overtimes, Brayden Point scored that game-winning goal for the Lightning on Joonas Korpisalo.  

Game 2: Blue Jackets’ net minder Joonas Korpisalo has brought his A-game in the first two games of this series. After stopping 85 shots in game one, he stopped 36 of 37 Thursday to help his team to a win over the Lightning. 

Remaining schedule 
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 — 7:30 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 — 3 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Wednesday, Aug. 19 — time TBD
*Game 6: Friday, Aug. 21 — time TBD
*Game 7: Saturday, Aug. 22 — time TBD

Bruins vs. Hurricanes 

Series is tied 1-1

Series odds: CAR +110 BOS -132

Game 1: After the Blue Jackets-Lightning game going far over the allotted time for their game, this series’ first game was pushed to the following day with an 11 a .m. start time. This now gave them back-to-back games to open the series. Also going into double overtime, Selke finalist Patrice Bergeron scored the game-winning goal. 

Game 2: The hurricanes were out for revenge Thursday night when they faced the Bruins in their second matchup of the series. Even though Boston finally started clicking on their power play (scoring two goals, after having no luck prior since the round robin began), it wasn’t enough to overcome the Hurricanes. 

Remaining schedule 
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 — 12 p.m. ET (Watch on NBC)
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 — 8 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Wednesday, Aug. 19 — time TBD
*Game 6: Thursday, Aug. 20 — time TBD
*Game 7: Sunday, Aug. 23 — time TBD

Capitals vs. Islanders 

The Islanders lead the series 1-0

Series odds: NY -167 WSH +137 

Game 1: Norris Trophy finalist John Carlson was back in the lineup for the Capitals, but still wasn’t enough to help his team to a win. The Islanders scored four unanswered goals to rally back after being down two to take the first in this series. 

Remaining schedule 

Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14 — 8 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
Game 3: Sunday, Aug. 16 — 12 p.m. ET (Watch on USA)
Game 4: Tuesday, Aug. 18 — 8 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Thursday, Aug. 20 — time TBD
*Game 6: Saturday, Aug. 22 — time TBD
*Game 7: Sunday, Aug. 23 — time TBD

Flyers vs. Canadiens 

The Flyers lead the series 1-0

Series odds: MTL +340 PHI -455

Game 1: The Flyers had a great jump at the start of the game, but things quickly shifted in favor of the Canadiens about 10 minutes in — and then they continued to control he game through well into the second period. If it wasn’t for Carter Hart, the Flyers would have been in deep trouble. 

Remaining schedule 

Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14 — 3 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSP)
Game 3: Sunday, Aug. 16 — 8 p.m. ET (Watch on NBC)
Game 4: Tuesday, Aug. 18 — 3 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSP)
*Game 5: Wednesday, Aug. 19 — time TBD
*Game 6: Friday, Aug. 21 — time TBD
*Game 7: Sunday, Aug. 23 — time TBD

West 

Flames vs. Stars

Series is tied 1-1

Series odds: CGY -109 DAL -112

Game 1: The Flames came out swinging right from the jump to try and get an early edge on the Stars. Along with the strong efforts of goaltender Cam Talbot, Flames’ Dillon Dube dominated through that first period, scoring the first two goals. Matthew Tkachuk and Corey Perry also dropped the gloves early on, making for quite an entertaining first 20 minutes of hockey. 

Game 2: In one of the most intense games of the day, the Stars and Flames went to battle in the third period. Things were a little too close for comfort when the Flames came from behind, scoring twice with less than ten minutes to play — but in the 59th minute, Stars’ Jami Oleksiak gave his team the go-ahead goal and carried them to a win. 

Remaining schedule 
Game 3: Friday, Aug. 14 — 10:30 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
Game 4: Sunday, Aug. 16 — 2 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Tuesday, Aug. 18 — time TBD
*Game 6: Thursday, Aug. 20 — time TBD
*Game 7: Saturday, Aug. 22 — time TBD

Blackhawks vs. Golden Knights 

The Golden Knights lead the series 2-0 

Series odds: CHI +1150 VGS -2500

Game 1: When the puck first dropped, the two teams looked far more balanced than they should have for a first and 12th seed. It might have taken some time, but the Golden Knights eventually shifted their gears into motion and never looked back. The third period put the Blackhawks away, when Reilly Smith scored not one, but two power play goals against Corey Crawford. 

Game 2: If there’s one thing that holds true in the playoffs, it’s that you should never underestimate Patrick Kane. In the second period, he tallied an assist for every Blackhawks goal. Their third goal, curtesy of Dylan Strome, tied the game and was the last one scored in regulation. Just over seven minutes into overtime, Reilly Smith scored the game-winning goal, officially getting the Golden Knights their second win of the series. 

Remaining schedule 
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 — 8 p.m. ET (Watch on NBC)
Game 4: Sunday, Aug. 16 — 6:30 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Tuesday, Aug. 18 — time TBD
*Game 6: Thursday, Aug. 20 — time TBD
*Game 7: Saturday, Aug. 22 — time TBD

Coyotes vs. Avalanche 

The Avalanche lead the series 1-0

Series odds: ARI +445 COL -625

Game 1: The scoring opened up late in the third period with the Avalanche, who then tallied a second goal in just 10 seconds. They didn’t stay silent for long and scored the third and final goal of the game just over a minute later. The Coyotes were shut out and had a mere 14 shots on goal. 

Remaining schedule 

Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14 — 2 p.m. ET (Watch on NHL Network)
Game 3: Saturday, Aug. 15 — 3 p.m. ET (Watch on CNBC)
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 — 5:30 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Wednesday, Aug. 19 — time TBD
*Game 6: Friday, Aug. 21 — time TBD
*Game 7: Sunday, Aug. 23 — time TBD

Canucks vs. Blues 

The Canucks lead the series 1-0

Series odds: VAN -120 STL +100

Game 1: It’s safe to say the first two periods were very evenly matched — if the Canucks scored on the power play, the Blues followed suit, if the Canucks had an unassisted goal, so did the Blues. Going into the third period, it could’ve been anyone’s game, but Vancouver finally found the stride they were looking for, scoring three more times. With three power play goals and only 22 shots on goal, the Canucks left Blues’ net minder Jordan Binnington flustered, leaving the first game of the series with a .773 SV%. 

Remaining schedule 

Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14 — 6:30 p.m. ET (Watch on NHL Network)
Game 3: Sunday, Aug. 16 — 10:30 p.m. ET (Watch on CNBC)
Game 4: Monday, Aug. 17 — 10:30 p.m. ET (Watch or stream on NBCSN)
*Game 5: Wednesday, Aug. 19 — time TBD
*Game 6: Friday, Aug. 21 — time TBD
*Game 7: Sunday, Aug. 23 — time TBD

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