YWT: The Philadelphia Flyers Podcast - YWT #128 - A New Campaign

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The YWT Podcast is back for another week and we finally have a regular season game to review. The Flyers opened things up on Friday night, falling to the Vancouver Canucks, 5-4, in a shootout after a dramatic late third-period comeback.

Kyle Collington and Kevin Durso recap the game, take a closer look at Carter Hart's second period, discuss some other areas of the game, and look ahead to the week with three games at home against Seattle, Boston, and Florida.

Join the guys as they break it all down. 

You can listen to this episode of the podcast below and be sure to subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Amazon Podcasts and Podbean

You can also watch the episode and subscribe to watch all episodes of the YWT Podcast on YouTube.

As always, we want you to follow the podcast on Twitter @YWTpodcast and follow Kevin Durso on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.


Phillies: 5 Free-agent Closers for 2022

 

By Tal Venada, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

For some Philadelphia Phillies fans, the offseason is a time to be an armchair GM with a wish list Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations, would love. Realistically, though, it’s mostly wishful thinking to plug every hole with decent talent, let alone top-shelf stars.          

 

Priorities First:

While the Phillies may find a DH for the middle of the order and a solid center field defender for affordable prices, a top fireman will be an expensive and necessary expenditure. Yes, there is more than one closer available, but there are also many franchises to compete with for the best.            

IN OTHER WORDS:

“There are more teams looking for pitchers than there are pitchers. That's why it's pricey.” - Brian Cashman

With the first published estimates for arb-eligible players, I’ve adjusted the total available to $37.4 million AAV (average annual value) if the new CBA (collective bargaining agreement) has $212 million AAV as the CBT (competitive-balance threshold). But keep in mind, free agency will be slower because the current CBA ends on Dec. 1.    

If the Fightins go over the CBT during the winter, it will be by $5 million max allowing for $15 million AAV additional at the trading deadline. So, decisions will be to fill their biggest needs, and Dombrowski has stated they are a leadoff man, a center fielder, a right-handed heart-of-the-order bat and a closer.  

Continue reading "Phillies: 5 Free-agent Closers for 2022" »


Week 29 Recap: So. Freaking. Close.

By Siobhan Nolan, Contributing Writer

Playing in Canada for the first time since 2019, the Union nearly grabbed all three points against CF Montreal, but were forced to split the points after a dramatic stoppage time goal by the home team.

The first half of the match largely saw a push-and-pull between the midfielders on both sides, with neither the Union or Montreal able to progress very far into each others’ halves. Montreal heavily relied on their wingers to try and break through the Union’s defense, but Kai Wagner and Olivier Mbaizo shut down any attacks by the Canadian side.

Wagner got a scoring opportunity about 14 minutes in, but it was Montreal who would open up the scoring in the 33rd minute. The home team enjoyed a plethora of set pieces, and were eventually able to capitalize off of a combination between playmakers Djordje Mihailovic and Matko Miljevic to go ahead 1-0.

In the second half, Jim Curtin rearranged his formation to more resemble a 4-2-3-1 that put Paxten Aaronson and Quinn Sullivan take on wider midfield positions. This formation shift allowed Alejandro Bedoya to push forward and try to find Kacper Przybyłko in the box, but no one materialized on the other end of Bedoya’s cross.

The second half also saw a lot more Union control of the game, and consequently, their equalizing goal. Jamiro Monteiro stood over a free kick from far out, and Jakob Glesnes made a perfectly-timed run near the goal. The ball found its way through the defensive wall on the edge of the 18-yard box and glanced off the foot of Montreal goalkeeper James Pantemis into the goal, officially credited as an own goal.

This didn’t deter Montreal from trying to find their go-ahead goal, but Homegrown goalie Matt Freese did a spectacular job of knocking the ball out of danger for the Union’s defense. In a save worthy of the great Andre Blake, Freese held up a 67th minute counterattack by expertly following the ball, getting his hands on it, and safely falling on the ball to stop another scoring chance.

A go-ahead goal would be scored shortly after, courtesy of a beautiful Wagner free kick. The left-back stood over the set piece from a tight angle on the right side of the box, and was able to send a streaking shot directly into the opposite side of the net to put the Boys In Blue ahead 2-1.

All seemed to be going well for the away team, and as the game ran into stoppage time, it was looking pretty certain that they would come away with all three points. However, their hopes would be dashed by Sunusi Ibrahim, who beat out Wagner to find space on a shot that Freese had no chance of saving to bring the final scoreline even at 2-2.

Man of the Match: Wagner did what he does best and largely controlled the left side of the field, which helped immensely to take the pressure off of the young and relatively inexperienced Freese. His free kick would’ve (and, frankly, should’ve) been the game-winning goal, which only further proves his invaluable abilities as an equally talented defender and attacker.

The Main Takeaway: A point on the road isn’t terrible, but it’s frustrating that the match slipped out of the Union’s hands in the dying moments of the game. However, the performance overall was solid. Homegrowns Freese, Aaronson, and Sullivan continued to show the league that the Union academy is still churning out convincing young talents. Union players that were returning from international break integrated seamlessly back into the team. It’s a disappointing result, but it’s good that this team isn’t satisfied with a mere point and a positive performance. Every point matters, every game is a must-win, and that mentality showed in this game, which will only fortify the Union as they finish out the rest of their road trip.


Flyers 5: Takeaways from Friday’s Flyers-Canucks Game

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

If the first game of the season is often a first impression, this was a first impression in a multi-act play.

The Flyers’ first act couldn’t have gone any better. It was flat-out dominant at times. The second was shades of the season just past. Most of the third was a similar energy to that dismal season a year ago – just rather lifeless overall. Then came the rally, another frantic dash to the finish that came complete with a bank shot by the captain.

While the Flyers didn’t win the game, you certainly sensed the new energy with so many new faces. But you also got another sign of how chemistry may be instantaneous among teammates off the ice, but can take some time on it. It’s only one game, and there’s no reason to overreact to anything that happened until the patterns persist.

Here are five takeaways from the Flyers’ 5-4 shootout loss to the Canucks.

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Flyers Rally, Drop Opener to Canucks in Shootout

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

For their opening act, it really couldn't get much better for the Flyers. They were fast. They were winning battles. They were creating turnovers. They were really doing it all.

Then in the second period, all of the demons of last season came back into the picture. The Canucks struck for four goals in the second period and the Flyers were left shellshocked and rather lifeless. That was until the final three minutes of the third, when a power play helped them get some life and rally back. Two goals in 65 seconds somehow evened the score again.

It ended as a 5-4 loss in the shootout for the Flyers on Friday night at Wells Fargo Center.

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Report: Ben Simmons Allegedly Tried to Get Out of Game 7 Against Atlanta

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

ESPN’s Ramona Shelbourne is reporting that embattled star Ben Simmons nearly missed Game 7 of the Sixers-Hawk series because of a close contact with a masseuse who received an inconclusive COVID+19 test. 

Okay, that seems fair enough considering the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. But the Sixers organization “questioned whether Simmons had actually seen the masseuse—or was just trying to get out of playing as he battled the basketball version of the yips.”

Say what?

Simmons, who wants to be traded, allegedly lied to the organization so he wouldn’t have to play in a pivotal game.  It’s almost unfathomable.  Michael Jordan did everything in his power to PLAY a game while he was down and out with the flu.  No one is comparing Simmons to Jordan, but the expectation is that a player plays. Hell, his own teammate, Joel Embiid, played with a damaged knee.

There's only one word to describe Simmons...

 

The Sixers organization shouldn’t let this guy anywhere near the team and needs to move on from him as soon as possible.


Watch: Zach Ertz Meets with the Media After Being Traded to Arizona

By Michael Lipinski, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

Earlier today, the Eagles traded Zach Ertz to the Arizona Cardinals for cornerback Tay Cowan and a 2022 fifth-round draft pick.  The trade ends the three-time Pro Bowler’s eight-year career in Philadelphia. 

An emotional Ertz met with the media and talked about his time with the Eagles and his love for Philadelphia.

Watch:

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Bucs Top Birds, as Eagles Season Sinks into Despair

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Where to begin with this one? The fact that Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni’s offense ran the ball a grand total of one time in the first half? Or the maddeningly inconsistent play of quarterback Jalen Hurts? Last night’s 28-22 loss to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers personified everything we’ve come to learn about the 2021 Eagles. And it isn’t good.

 

Let’s start with Sirianni. The Eagles are a woefully under-coached football team. Sirianni’s pass-only offense is ineffective and downright bizarre. Why a first-year head coach would choose to defy basic football principles and completely abandon a rushing attack is beyond comprehension. Even Pop Warner league coaches realize the importance of establishing a running game to dictate pace and control time of possession. Sirianni, seemingly, never got this playbook. 

 

Or, one wonders, if the Eagles laughable offense is the result of an influence above Sirianni? Exactly how much pull does Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie have when it comes to play-calling? Some suggest that Lurie, ever the Hollywood showman, adores the spectacle of passing and forgoes football logic in favor of offensive fireworks. But Eagles fans know that the most entertaining aspect of fandom is experiencing victory, not marveling at ill-conceived, pass-happy offenses. Sirianni, and perhaps Lurie, have insulted the fanbase by rolling out an offense that resembles something closer to the Philadelphia Soul than the Philadelphia Eagles. And for what purpose?

Continue reading "Bucs Top Birds, as Eagles Season Sinks into Despair " »


Flyers-Canucks: Game 1 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

It's a new beginning for the Philadelphia Flyers. It's a team trying to focus on putting a disappointing and frustrating season in the rearview mirror. It's a team that brings a number of new faces to the lineup. And it's all about to begin in this 2021-22 season.

The Flyers open things up on Friday night at Wells Fargo Center going against the Vancouver Canucks. After last season, it's already refreshing for the Flyers to be facing a team from the Western Conference that they haven't seen in quite some time. It also marks the first chance for this new group of players to make their mark on the team and start the season off on a positive note.

Game time is at 7 p.m.

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Zach Ertz Traded To Arizona Cardinals

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Eagles secured yet another loss on prime time this week and fell to 2-4 on the season. This put them in a situation that would seem to force their focus to shift heavily to the future of the franchise.

On Thursday, news broke that teams were calling on Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert looking to see if they might be available in trades.

Ertz found himself on the top of a list of players that the team was looking to move in return for draft compensation and became the first major trade during the 2021 season.

Continue reading "Zach Ertz Traded To Arizona Cardinals" »