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Series in Review: Flyers-Islanders 1980

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The Broad Street Bullies were five years removed from their second consecutive Stanley Cup title and had made another appearance in 1976 in the Final, so they were still among the class of the NHL in 1980.

Earlier in the season, the Flyers had pulled off a record-setting unbeaten streak of 35 games, something that is still unmatched to this day. The Flyers swept their way through the Edmonton Oilers in three games, then defeated the Rangers in five games and the Minnesota North Stars in five games to cruise into the Stanley Cup Final with an 11-2 record.

The team meeting them in the Final was the New York Islanders, who had defeated the Los Angeles Kings in four games, the Boston Bruins in five games and the Buffalo Sabres in six games to reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in their franchise history. Little did anyone know at the time that Al Arbour’s Islanders were about to embark on a four-year run that would turn them into a dynasty. But the first of four straight Cups for the Islanders didn’t come without a little controversy.

Here is a look back at the 1980 Stanley Cup Final between the Flyers and Islanders.

Continue reading "Series in Review: Flyers-Islanders 1980" »


Plenty of Prospects On The Board At The Start of Round Two

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Eagles decided to fix their most glaring issue in the first round by taking burner Jalen Reagor at 21.

It is a pick that many fans have taken issue with but these fans, I am willing to bet, could not name a single other player on TCU's offense. That's because there is no one else. An inaccurate quarterback throwing to a single receiver without a run game. It's a wonder his stats don't pop out; he must be a bust.

It's also ridiculous to see these fans pick on Reagor's 5'11" height while they also clamored for the 5'9" KJ Hamler, who has actually had injury issues, for the past few months.

The Birds, however, are happy with their pick and now sit waiting for pick 53 to make their next selection and the position of the player they take may force a move.

The Eagles suddenly have a packed roster at both receiver and in the secondary, so a pick at either of those positions may very well force a trade or release of a player like Alshon Jeffery or Rasul Douglas.

The good news is that with their glaring need addressed, the Eagles can now go with more of a best available approach.

Continue reading "Plenty of Prospects On The Board At The Start of Round Two" »


Eagles Add Speed With First-Round Pick

Reagor

By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

After weeks of next to no news on the sports front, the NFL began their 2020 draft.

The Eagles, for the first time since they drafted Carson Wentz, had more than seven picks heading into the event.

Much to the dismay of fans however, the top three receivers were off the board with the Cowboys taking CeeDee Lamb at pick 17 and the Birds chose not to trade away their future for one receiver.

Instead, the Eagles stayed put at 21 and took an explosive playmaker.

Continue reading "Eagles Add Speed With First-Round Pick" »


Report: Top SHL Scorer Intends to Sign with Flyers

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By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

In the middle of this time with little activity, there could be some Flyers news on the horizon. Though international signings cannot become official until the NHL finalizes new international transfer agreements, the Flyers are expected to land one of Sweden’s top players.

Linus Sandin, a 23-year-old winger playing for HV71 in the Swedish Elite League reportedly intends to sign with the Flyers, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. Johnston also reports that there were multiple NHL offers on the table for Sandin with the Bruins being reported as one of the teams interested. He had attended the Bruins development camp in 2019.

Continue reading "Report: Top SHL Scorer Intends to Sign with Flyers" »


Series in Review: Flyers-Oilers 1987

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

It could be argued that the best Stanley Cup Final in history is the one that took place in 1987. The Flyers were the top team in the Eastern Conference, led by a rookie goaltender, a wealth of scoring talent and a strong defensive core that was second-best in the league in goals against. 

The Oilers were the top team in the NHL, largely considered one of the greatest teams of all-time and voted the best NHL team of all-time. They had the league’s best player, a number of other bonafide stars, a defensive stalwart and a goaltending dynamo and overall the league’s number one offense.

When the two teams met in the Stanley Cup Final, what ensued was a battle of wills that featured two epic comebacks and nearly saw the Flyers top a legendary team in a seven-game war. Even the greatest player in the league called Flyers netminder Ron Hextall the toughest he ever faced. 

Here is a look back on a series epic that fell just short, the 1987 Stanley Cup Final between the Flyers and Edmonton Oilers.

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Report: NHL No Longer Considering Neutral Sites for Return

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

For several weeks, all major sports leagues have exhausted every resource to find a way to get back to playing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that is sweeping the nation and the world.

There are going to be many contingencies and caveats to making a return. Any sport that returns to playing is going to require that all players get tested and remain in isolation of some form to maintain their health during the resumption of the season. It will also mean that fan attendance is at least limited and more likely eliminated altogether in this time of social distancing that is required to curb the effects and spread of the virus.

That said, any return to sports would be welcome by people who are currently in isolation with not much else to do other than catch up on old television programs, movies and other indoor hobbies. For sports fans, an event like the NFL Draft, being held virtually this year, is going to be welcomed simply because it presents live sports coverage of any kind. The longer things go on without sports, the more welcome it will be when they return, even if it means no one can be there in attendance.

For a few weeks, the NHL was exploring some options on returning and one possible scenario was to hold games in neutral locations where the risk of outbreak seemed to be more in control than metro areas. The University of North Dakota was floated as an option. So were sites in New Hampshire and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. 

According to a report from Greg Wyshynski at ESPN, that scenario is no longer being considered by the NHL. The two main reasons this idea "never got off the drawing board" was due to issues with player accommodations, facilities for league and team staff and the inability to allow multiple broadcast crews to provide coverage of potential Stanley Cup playoff games.

Continue reading "Report: NHL No Longer Considering Neutral Sites for Return" »


Series in Review: Flyers-Rangers 1997

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

In 1997, the Flyers were two years removed from their first trip to the Eastern Conference Final since 1987 and had the pieces in place to make a run. They had a veteran goalie, a defense with a solid mix of veterans and budding young players and a top line that put immense fear into the opposition.

Their playoff run to this point reflected it. The Flyers handled the Penguins in five games in the quarterfinals. They downed the Buffalo Sabres in five games in the semi-finals too. In both series, they had stormed out to a 3-0 series lead and despite a Game 4 slip, finished the job with relative ease.

The conference final was no different. After the Eric Lindros-led went through Mario Lemieux and the Penguins, another passing of the torch took place when the Flyers faced the Rangers in the conference final.

Here is a closer look at the 1997 Eastern Conference Final between the Flyers and Rangers.

Continue reading "Series in Review: Flyers-Rangers 1997" »


Simmons expects to return if play resumes

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

With all the pandemonium that is going on it is always good for some positive news to come about. Sixers fans can rejoice and have a sigh of relief this morning when word finally broke on Ben Simmons’ injury status. 

After weeks of wondering and speculating the wait is over. ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan reported that the pain is Simmons’ lower back has “all but dissipated.” The report also stated that if basketball is to return this season that Simmons will take the floor. 

Simmons went down with this injury at the end of February and was forced to miss the final eight games before the NBA season was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Having Simmons at full health is great news for the Sixers moving forward. If by a miracle the NBA can conduct its season the Sixers will now have their All-Star point guard ready to go. 

This is great news in the long-term as well. With this news coming out right around two months since going down it gives off the impression that this will not be an issue for the future. 

Back injuries can be tricky and it would have been terrible news if this were to be a nagging issue for the 23-year-old superstar who just signed a max extension last summer.

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Mike Mamula isn't a Draft Bust! Here's Ten Eagles Picks That Are

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By Michael Lipinski, Section 247 Show

Let’s get right into it, Mike Mamula gets a bad rap as the Philadelphia Eagles biggest draft bust of all-time.  The 8th overall pick in the 1995 NFL Draft is often called a workout warrior, combine superstar, a waste of a pick, and a bust. Some choose to call Mamula the worst draft pick in Eagles history but it is not the case.

A brief history lesson for those not in the know.

The Eagles traded their first (12th overall) and third round picks to Tampa Bay in order to move up to the eighth pick and take Mamula.  The Boston College star was coming off a senior year in which he compiled 73-tackles, 17-sacks and a unanimous All Big East selection.  He followed with a record setting combine where outperformed almost everyone athletically.  He was considered the perfect complement to defensive stalwarts William Fuller, Andy Harmon and the replacement for Reggie White who left two-seasons prior.  

Through his first four season in Philadelphia, Mamula played in 62-games, 58-games started, recorded 186 total tackles, 26.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, one interception, and two defensive touchdowns. He added 23-tackles and 5.5 sacks through an injury plagued 2000 season which was his last in the NFL.

Pro Football Reference compares Mamula’s first four years to former Dolphins star and NFL Hall of Famer Jason Taylor.  If you include the injury riddled 2000 season, Mamula’s 5-year's compares to Jacksonville’s Yannick Ngakoue

That is the same Yannick Ngakoue that many Eagles fans were begging for earlier in the off-season. 

Yes, the Eagles should’ve drafted Warren Sapp but they didn’t.  The truth is Mike Mamula was not that bad of a draft pick.

Mamula Stats

In no order here are ten Eagles draft picks that are much worse than Mamula. We are talking REALLY bad even some criminals.

 

OT Kevin Allen, 1985 1st Round (8th overall)- Kevin Allen lasted one season in the NFL and calling it an epic disaster might be too nice. Allen gave up eight sacks to the New York Giants in his first start. Former coach Buddy Ryan termed Allen a “USFL reject.”  Allen was suspended from the NFL before the 1986 season for repeated cocaine use. He was subsequently jailed for rape, serving 15-months of a 33-year sentence. The Eagles drafted Allen ahead of Pro Bowlers Al Toon, Jim Lachey, Eddie Brown, and Jerry Gray. Allen was also selected ahead of a wide receiver from little known Mississippi Valley State. Jerry Rice went on to be the greatest wide receiver of all-time.  

OT Bernard Williams, 1994 1st Round (14th overall)- Bernard Williams started 16-games for the Eagles on his way to being named to the NFL’s 1994 All-Rookie team. His success in South Philadelphia was short lived however. Williams never played another NFL game after his rookie season due to failed drug tests. He never played in the NFL again. 

DE Jon Harris, 1997 1st Round (25th overall)- Jon Harris played 24-games in the NFL over two seasons and did nothing. He was traded by the Eagles after the 1998 season and never played another game. Notable players drafted after Harris include Pro Bowlers Trevor Pryce (28th), Tiki Barber (36th), and Sam Madison (44th).

Continue reading "Mike Mamula isn't a Draft Bust! Here's Ten Eagles Picks That Are" »


Series in Review: Flyers-Penguins 2000

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Before the Flyers sat of the cusp of reaching the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in four years, they had to get into the conference final. They faced long odds to do so.

You see, in the 2000 Eastern Conference semi-finals against Pittsburgh, the Flyers fell into a hole and were one mistake away from facing the near-impossible 3-0 deficit. An unlikely hero emerged and gave the Flyers some life. 

When the Flyers evened the series up in an all-time classic game, all momentum had shifted for good. The Flyers rolled back at home and finished off the series in six games.

Here is a closer look at the next series in our Series in Review sequence, a look at the 2000 Eastern Conference semi-finals between the Flyers and Penguins.

Continue reading "Series in Review: Flyers-Penguins 2000" »