Keith Jones

Flyers Talk podcast: 24-team NHL playoffs? Keith Jones helps us analyze it all

Flyers Talk podcast: 24-team NHL playoffs? Keith Jones helps us analyze it all

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall are joined by special guest Keith Jones, the former Flyer and current NHL analyst.

From looking at the NHL's 24-team format, the obstacles ahead and more, let's dive in:

0:30 — What do we think of the 24-team format?

6:00 — Which hub city should the Flyers prefer? (Note: Western Conference cities are a possibility for the Flyers, as well.)

12:25 — Jones loves the historic 24-team plan

15:30 — Why the Flyers are in a good spot

17:00 — Jones discusses bracketed version vs. reseeded version

19:00 — Does the timeline create concerns about next season?

21:00 — Jones believes Flyers have a "very good chance" in this field

22:30 — The farm has kept Jones busy!

23:45 — Should the NHL go with reseeding or a bracket style?

29:30 — Are the Flyers built for a run?

36:20 — The Flyers won't be hurting for motivation

41:40 — A taste of the "Marathon on Ice"

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How Keith Jones is keeping busy with no live hockey to analyze

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NBCSP

How Keith Jones is keeping busy with no live hockey to analyze

During this time of social distancing, we’re checking in with those in the Philly sports world to see How They’re Keeping Busy. Up first, former Flyer and analyst on 94 WIP and NBCSN Keith Jones.

What are you doing to keep busy during these strange times without live sports?

Keith Jones: I'm fortunate right now that I can still do morning radio on 94 WIP. I'm doing that my usual two days a week and add in a couple more along the way. That's been really nice. I feel very fortunate that I've been able to do that. It gives you some sense of normalcy. I think anyone who can continue doing what they've been doing is very lucky. So I consider myself lucky in that regard.

How are you getting your sports fill?

KJ: I've watched a lot of horse racing. It was one of the few things that continued on from some tracks. I have watched TVG and NBCSN a bit when horse racing has been on. I've also watched a lot of the big races on replay. I've always enjoyed the horse races. That's been a nice little escape. Not sure how much longer that will last.

Tip(s) for everyone stuck at home who may be stressed?

KJ: I've done pretty much every chore that I have down at the farm, including cleaning out the garage, getting the fences all repaired and ready for spring season, and doing organization of all my office stuff. I don't think I've ever done more cleaning in my life. Anything I can do to keep moving.

Specific content you’d recommend to others? Anything you’re binging/reading/listening to?

KJ: I'd like to pretend that I read but I haven't read a book since college. That was the only book I read my whole life. I didn't even read my own. I've watched a lot of Netflix, old movies, etc. Saw one of my favorites, Clear History, the other day, with Larry David and Jon Hamm. I got to hang out with them through hockey and the St. Louis Blues, so that was cool. There's a Formula 1 show on Netflix called Drive to Survive that I really enjoyed. I'd recommend it to anybody looking for something that's sports related but also behind the scenes. I've never been a fan of Formula 1 racing but I've developed a real liking for this show and all the insights and perspectives it shows you in terms of being a top athlete in that sport. It's much more interesting than I thought it would be.

Is there a local business or charity you’re supporting during these tough times?

KJ: If you were thinking of getting a dog, go to your local shelter and check. You're stuck at home, what's a better time to break in a new dog. I think when you're out walking outside as so many of us have been doing, you look a lot cooler with a dog. And if you don't want to adopt one, you can often foster one for a few months.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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'Disturbing' goals could mean 1 of 2 things with Brian Elliott

'Disturbing' goals could mean 1 of 2 things with Brian Elliott

You don't want to play the Penguins at their game.

If you try, then good luck.

The Flyers were left picking up the pieces after experiencing the two-time defending champs at full force Wednesday in a 7-0 Game 1 catastrophe, a black eye to open this best-of-seven first-round playoff series.

"They're loaded with talent," NBC Sports hockey analyst Keith Jones said of the Penguins Thursday on Philly Sports Talk. "And if you don't find a way to draw them into a game that they don't like to play, which is an aggressive and irritating game, if you allow them to play, they're going to beat you up on the scoreboard — and that's exactly what they did."

The Flyers can tweak styles and matchups, but to avoid that Pittsburgh storm, they ultimately need at least a semblance of steadiness in net.

They haven't gotten it once this year in five meetings against the Penguins and the results haven't been too pretty, with Wednesday's being the ugliest. Brian Elliott surrendered five goals on 19 shots before being pulled with 10:59 left in the second period.

As Elliott skated off the ice, the Flyers' biggest question entering the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs grew even larger.

Are there any answers in sight?

Petr Mrazek, the current backup acquired in February, went 3-6-3 with a 3.70 goals-against average and .880 save percentage since March 1, while Michal Neuvirth, who is still day to day with a lower-body injury, has played just 28:07 since Feb. 19.

Furthermore, Elliott is only three contests into his return from core muscle surgery on Feb. 13, which put him out of game action for 53 days. In his first outing back, he yielded three weak goals to the Hurricanes. He then blanked a bad Rangers team two days later in the regular-season finale, but faced only 17 shots during a 5-0 rout.

"He is by far the best goaltender that the Flyers have and showed us early in the season and through the middle part that he can be a very good netminder, but he has not shown that since his return," Jones said. "His shutout against the Rangers, I don't even think that counts. The game against Carolina, there was a couple of goals that were disturbing. And the game [Wednesday], two of the first three I didn't like and I just didn't like the fact that he didn't look like himself, and that's, in my mind, due to a goaltender that's either really rusty or still having issues."

The day prior to his first game back, Elliott admitted to the situation not being ideal.

"Obviously if there was more time, it would help," he said April 4. "But we don't have that."

So what's next for the Flyers? Dave Hakstol will turn to Elliott in Game 2 Friday night (7 p.m./NBCSP), but the leash might not be long.

"I think there's a conversation that has to take place between the head coach and the goaltender, that being Brian Elliott, to make sure that he is confident that he can go out there and play the game to the best of his abilities with no limitations," Jones said. "You're not going to beat the Penguins if your goalie is not at 100 percent. Missing that much time is difficult, you hope it's rust — if that's the case, then you give him the opportunity to find his game in Game No. 2."

And if he doesn't, the Flyers will be stuck in the same storm that's only brewing.