Exorcising the Devils, and a Clean Sweep
Tim Panaccio has Ken Hitchcock summing up his team's 4-1 series victory over the Devils by saying, "we beat a hall of a hockey club." Bob Ford thinks the Flyers will be in good shape going into Round 2, because, whoever their opponent is will be a tired team which had to survive a Game 7. If you recall, the grueling 7-game series against Toronto last year left the Flyers' tank empty when they faced Ottawa in the second round. Rich Hofmann asks Hitchcock which seriers victory was more satifying, beating Toronto last year, or knocking off the Devils. "Knocking off the champions" was the answer. Ed Moran says that with the way Keith Primeau is playing, this could be the best chance in the past few seasons for the Flyers to compete for the Stanley Cup.
Todd Zolecki has the game story of yesterday's walk-off homer by Doug Glanville, leading off in the bottom of the 9th, producing a clean sweep, and a 4-game winning streak for the Phils. Phil Sheridan says maybe its a good thing the Phillies didn't get to build their park in Center City, because the way homers are flying out of Citizens Bank Park, the windows in Liberty Place may have been in the line of fire. Zolecki hears from visiting pitchers, who are complaining about the additional home field advantage of the visitors' bullpen, and its very close proximity to the fans. Speaking of the fans, Ted Silary says Glanville heard the Philly faithful get on him earlier in the game, but was glad he could send them home happy. Paul Hagen was a bit concerned about the timing of Larry Bowa's taking starter Randy Wolf out of the game, but things managed to work out in the end. Kirk Willison laments Comcast's stubborn refusal to allow satellite carriers to add Phillies games to MLB's Extra Innings subscription. Comcast might be able to get away with this with the broadcasts for the teams they own (Flyers and Sixers), but their doing this with a team they do not own, and for which they are simply a "broadcast partner," smacks of arrogance.
Over the weekend, Joe Juliano says the Sixers lost yet again. No, not another game, but their drawing to get a better pick than the Raptors, who they tied for 7th worst record in the league. The Sixers will now have 36 ping pong balls out of 1000 to land the #1 pick. I think Howard Eskin has a better chance to become an honorary member of Iverson's posse. Phil Jasner quotes Maurice Cheeks saying "there is no Philadelphia situation" three times in the span of as many sentences. Where there's smoke...
Jim Nolan chronicles the rising popularity of local (and now national) media member, Stephen Anthony Smith. The highly opinionated Smith, currently working under a six-figure, multi-year contract with ESPN, is looking to get paid, and has managed to pick up a few detractors along the way.
Both the active locals are out of action tonight. Those still in need of a sports fix can catch an NBA playoff double-header on TNT, with Grizzlies/Spurs at 8, followed by Rockets/Lakers at 10:30. NHL enthusiasts can enjoy a couple of Game 7's tonight, with ESPN carrying Canadiens/Bruins at 7:30, followed by ESPN2's coverage of Flames/Canucks (what are ESPN ratings like for all Canadian match-ups such as these?)