All posts by PhillyPhil

All Philly guy. Should probably work for the NHL network. If you gave me a loaded gun with 2 bullets in a room with Crosby, Lebron, and Brady, I would shoot Crosby twice, pistol-whip Brady, and just laugh at Lebron until he starts crying and flopping. Lets go Flyers.

This One’s For Philadelphia

ap-eagles-celebration-bears.jpg

Finally. It’s here. The Philadelphia Eagles are in the freaking Super Bowl. It doesn’t even feel real yet, and if you’re anything like me, you don’t have any idea what to think. Going up against the Evil Empire in the Belichick and Brady led Patriots is a pretty scary thing. Ten Super Bowl appearances, five wins, and currently going for their third in the last four years, this team is no stranger to winning. Seems like just about every year the Patriots are favorites to win the whole thing. Some Pats fans don’t even watch games until the postseason this is just so routine to them. But hey New England, this is our year. Take your five rings and deflated footballs and go back to Massachusetts. We deserve this one. Philadelphia deserves this one for all that we have been through. We have had so many of its sports hopes and dreams crushed. Not this year. This year just feels different. This year is for Joe Carter hitting a three-run homerun to bury the Phillies in 1993. This year is for Patrick Kane sneaking an impossible goal by Michael Leighton in overtime and watching the Blackhawks celebrate the Stanley Cup on our home ice. This year is for the Lakers crushing our spirits in 2001 by winning four straight to win the NBA finals after Allen Iverson stepped over Tyronn Lue in a Game 1 victory. This year is for our 2005 revenge. This year is for Philadelphia. When the Birds come running out of the tunnel to “Dreams and Nightmares” the Patriots are going to piss their pants and Philly fans across the country are going to have goosebumps shooting down their spine. These fans, this city, this team have waited seemingly forever to have a year like this. A year when the doubters were countless. Before the season even started the predictions had us winning no more than 7 games. Well we won 13 and two playoff games. It seemed like this team could do nothing right. Time and time again they would go out there and demolish a team and still hear criticism. Remember when the argument was that they never played a good team and all their wins were easy? Or how about when Carson Wentz went down and people wrote our season off. In the Divisional round of the playoffs this team held the Falcons to just 10 points (and don’t forget both scores were off turnovers). The same experts who said watch out for a streaking hot Atlanta team coming into the playoffs were also the same experts to downplay the Eagles after beating a “not-so-good” Falcons team. After the whole world gave them no chance to beat the Vikings and their stout defense, the Eagles DESTROYED them by 31 points… an absolute bully beat down. So go ahead, give a 40-year old Brady and a so-so defense the edge in this game. Give us no chance. Remind us how we have never won and how all the Patriots have done is win… it just makes us hungrier. We love being the underdogs because that is what Philadelphia is about. Blue collar, hard working, passionate people who thrive when doubted. Tell us your “expert” picks in the pregame show, I have a feeling they’ll be wrong once again.  A Super Bowl victory is going to be the only thing to finally give this team their respect and oh boy is it going to feel good. Malcolm Jenkins said he thought he was going to go deaf during the NFC Championship game because of how loud it was and I can’t wait to see how crazy these fans get all the way in Minneapolis. Eagles fans already made two away games in LA home games this year when they took over the Coliseum and the Stub Hub center. Now they are going to take over U.S Bank Stadium on Sunday. We are projected to outnumber Pats fans 3-1 at the game. An Eagles Super Bowl victory will mean everything to this city and these players know that. We have waited since 1933 for this. We are the most passionate fans in all of sports and man do we deserve this. This one is for us. This one is for Philadelphia. Go Birds.

10/10 Would Recommend Being a Philly Fan Right Now

The absolute worst time of the year for all of sports is amongst us, and there is virtually nothing to talk about. Aside from the MLB, all professional sports are in the dull stages of their offseason. The NBA and NHL initial days of free agency have passed where big names seem to never stay put. By now almost all the star players have found a new home and there isn’t much to discuss there. The NFL is holding camps, but the preseason hasn’t started yet so there isn’t a lot of excitement there. So logically, the only exciting thing left to talk about pertaining to sports is… how great a time it is to be a Philly fan.

 

NBA- Sixers

#TrustTheProcess. I felt like I had to start with this team just from all the attention they’ve drawn in the last year. The team has been in rebuild mode for about five and some change years now by consistently being bottom dwellers in the league. I have to admit, I was skeptical of the whole “process” thing at first since year after year they would land high end draft picks but still manage to finish in the basement of the standings. Now however, it all seems to be panning out. With all the recent additions of Saric and Redick, on top of number one draft picks in Simmons and Fultz, there’s reason to believe. And how can we forget about our superstar center Joel Embiid. I know it took forever for him to play some games but I mean, how do you not like this guy? The team is built for success, and with literally everyone leaving the East, playoffs look like more and more of a possibility this year for the team of youngsters.

NHL- Flyers

Fun Fact: The Flyers have made it to the conference finals in their 50 year history more times than they have missed the playoffs. This team has been a staple franchise in the NHL for quite a while, so the recent disappointing seasons are huge WTF to Flyers fans as this has really only happened once before in the early 90’s. However, since Ron Hextall became General Manager in 2014, he has given the Flyers a “Trust the Process” of their own. He accumulated prospects such as 2016 Rookie of the Year Runner-Up Shayne Gostisbehere, Ivan Provorov, Alex Lyon, Nolan Patrick, German Rubstov, and much more. The prospect pool of the Flyers ranks top-5 on any expert’s list. Their young defense corps has been preached for years, it’s just a matter of time until they crack the roster since Hextall believes in keeping the kids in the minors until they’re fully developed. Well… the time has FINALLY come. He has burned some bad contracts and let players walk in free agency while proving to be a wizard of trading to clear up room for them. This coming year it is projected we will see SIX top-tier rookies on the squad with a boat load more to come in years to follow. You don’t know how exciting that is? Check out what the Leafs did this year with their youth-injected lineup. The team wont make as much of an immediate impact as the Sixers will since their division is the hardest in the league will, but look for them to make deeper playoff runs in a few short years with the core of Giroux, Simmonds, and Voracek leading the way for the kids. Is it October yet?

NFL- Eagles

031817DorialGreenBeckham

Wentzylvania baby. Yeah there definitely is a lot of hype for a guy that was no more than average after his first four starts. But if you’re an Eagles fan who watched every game, you know Carson’s rookie problems were more because of his team than his actual skills. They already improved by signing Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, and LeGarrette Blount. DGB is gone thankfully, and Ryan Mathews figures to get less touches so he cant blow anymore games with his fumbles (@ Detroit 2016). According to PFF, this team has the best offensive line in the league, so up yours Dallas. That’s to compliment what I think is a top-5 front seven. The defense is the most underrated aspect of the team (minus the corners). You have absolute machines in Brandon Graham and Jordan Hicks. Hicks was rated the best linebacker in coverage and Graham, despite only 5.5 sacks, put more pressure on the quarterback than anyone in the league last year besides Khalil Mack. That’s to go along with Fletcher Cox, Malcolm Jenkins, and newly acquired Tim Jernigan. This team has much to prove but all the pieces to be a legit contender.

MLB- Phillies

For the first time in over a decade the Phillies opening day roster didn’t include Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, or Ryan Howard. All the players from the 2008 team are gone and it’s a little depressing. They may take the most time to be competitive out of all the Philly teams, but they have shown some promise. The team is young and includes future star players like Aaron Nola, Odubel Herrera, and an absolute stud in Aaron Altherr. Many question marks surround the team and some of their youngsters like shortstop JP Crawford, but they do have some depth in the farm system and reasons to be optimistic. It seems like every game the Phillies are in it until about the 6th or 7th inning when they let the game slip away which is not a bad sign for a young team. More experience and a couple new faces should bring them back to their old winning ways.

The youth movement in Philly is in full effect. The Sixers have had a top three pick for the last four years. The Flyers scored a number two pick with a little bit of luck thanks to the lottery after being completely robbed of Patrick Kane in 2007 by that same lottery system. The Eagles had the number two pick in 2016 and the Phillies had the number one pick in the same year. With all the high draft picks, the teams all seem to have a face of the franchise set for the future. Philadelphia is in a nine year drought since their last championship, and before that, well… it’s been a while. Now I’m not going to pull a typical Philly fan and say we’re winning the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, NBA Championship, and World Series this year, but boy do we have some good young teams that might take us there in the near future.

Mock NHL Expansion Draft

Stanzo’s Editor’s Note: Posting this a mere 3 hours before the expansion draft as names have already started to leak is classic BTB Sports. But your boy Phil wrote another dope article so shut up and read it.

For all the people who closely follow the NHL, or even just their home team, this week is like a week long Christmas morning. On Saturday, the 30 NHL teams submitted their protected lists consisting of 7 forwards, 3 defensemen, and 1 goalie, or just 8 positioned players. Following that, the newest addition to the NHL, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, get to draft one player from each team that hasn’t been protected. They had until this morning to submit their list and the team will be revealed tonight at 8pm. Yesterday Adidas revealed all new (although most are generally the same) jerseys that the teams will carry for this coming year. The full schedule will be announced Thursday at 3pm, and to top off an eventful week, the draft will be held in Chicago on Friday at 7pm. An all around crazy week for hockey fans with loads of excitement surrounding this Vegas team.

 

It’s important to note that with the 30 players Vegas will be selecting from a plethora of talented players left unprotected that they have some restrictions and have to meet guidelines.

  1. Vegas must select 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders.
  2. Vegas must select a minimum of 20 players who are under contract for the 2017-18 season.
  3. Vegas must select players with an aggregate Expansion Draft value that is between 60-100% of the prior season’s upper limit for the salary cap. (So roughly 43$ million)

 

Now Vegas can go many directions with this draft. Some of the guys available are older, more expensive players that they may take just to make it to the cap minimum. Some guys will be younger, less expensive, and maybe not as proven in the League, but could provide key depth for their future. There are rumors regarding teams offering their first round pick in this years draft  in exchange for Vegas not selecting their unprotected players. Vegas could go with this route and aim to stockpile draft picks and build their organization from within. Whatever way they decide to handle the draft, these are the players I see most fitting with the newest expansion team.

 

*I didn’t take into account potential trades to keep players protected since the Vegas GM has noted they have locked in at least six trades already

 

 

Anaheim Ducks

Johnathan Bernier (G). Bernier will most likely be the backup net minder in Vegas, or even trade bait  since the team has plenty of goalies to choose from. Backups in the league are becoming more and more necessary to make a deep run at the cup and this guy is the perfect fit for that.

 

Arizona Coyotes

Alexander Burmistrov (F). At just 25, the 6’1 180 lb center has great potential. He is a former first round pick and given the right teammates, I believe he can prove his offensive talent.

 

Boston Bruins

Malcolm Subban (G). Yes this is PK Subban’s little brother. Kid will probably sit in the minors till he proves to be more consistent, but the most valuable on the B’s unprotected list.

 

Buffalo Sabers

William Carrier (F). Gonna be honest here… didn’t know who this guy was but a lot of experts had him being selected so i’ll roll with it. He’s 22 and was a second round pick so that probably has something to do with it.

 

Calgary Flames

Matt Stajan (F). He’s 33 but can be a key depth guy with 401 points and almost 1000 games under his belt.

 

Carolina Hurricanes

Lee Stempniak (F). People may disagree with this since Carolina has some younger guys that Vegas can go with, however Stempniak can score and this is good for the Knights for two reasons. One, they will need some sort of offense outside of the younger, undeveloped guys they are going to draft, and the veteran can provide that. Two, he can be dished out at the trade deadline to a team needing a quick fix to their offense in return for some key pieces.

 

Colorado Avanalche

Mikhail Grigorenko (F). This guy is huge. 6’3 210 lbs as a center is pretty big. He’s a physical youngster that can score. Still has time to develop since he’s only 23.

 

Columbus Blue Jackets

Sam Gagner (F). The Jackets are in trouble. They’ve got key guys unprotected like Jack Johnson and Josh Anderson (17 goals last season). Assuming Columbus doesn’t work out a trade to keep those guys, Gagner would be the pick. Experts are picking Matt Calvert to go to Vegas.. why? Gagner is the same age, body size, and holds much more experience and talent. The circus continues for the former sixth overall pick.

 

Dallas Stars

Cody Eakin (D). The Stars are gonna miss this guy. A solid and proven blue-liner with some offensive flashes.

 

Detroit Red Wings

Peter Mrazek (G). Another very solid goaltender to the Knights. Why he was left unprotected for the 33 year old Jimmy Howard I will never figure out. They have virtually the same stats.

 

Edmonton Oilers

Griffin Reinhart (D). Another young prospect with tremendous size at 6’4.

 

Florida Panthers

Johnathan Marchessault (F). Here’s a list with some really good names on it. Ultimately, I went with Marchessault, despite his size at 5’9, because he’s coming off a year in which he scored 30 goals. Another great young forward.

 

Los Angeles Kings

Brayden McNabb (D). The LA defensemen is a great kid to have in your system. He’s a shut down defenseman that can play good minutes down the road. Sorry Kings fans, you’re still stuck with Dustin Brown.

 

Minnesota Wild

Eric Staal (F). I don’t know what Minnesota’s GM was thinking leaving their leading goal scorer unprotected for a guy who has one proven season (Granlund). Staal is a guaranteed 20 goal scorer, and the time is now for Minnesota. They need guys like him on their team if they want to make the push deep in the playoffs.

 

 

Montreal Canadians

Nikita Nesterov (D). This is a promising young blue-liner. He’s just as good or even better than some of the other defenseman Montreal can offer.

 

Nashville Predators

James Neal (F). Unless there’s a trade we don’t know about, Neal will be the one to go. They should’ve protected Scissons in my opinion, but Neal is great option for Knights. This guy can really play. Could be extremely valuable trade bait at the deadline.

 

New Jersey Devils

Dalton Prout (D). Another guy I really don’t know much about but he’s young!

 

New York Islanders

Ryan Strome (F). Screwed with a capital F. They’re close to the cap as is, so replacing whoever they lose will be tough. They’re probably dealing out a first round pick(s) to the Knights to protect guys, and  Mikhail Grabovski still isn’t cleared to play. I would love to see Vegas fuck them over and take one of the three guys they’re going to beg to keep protected in Haan, Nelson, and Strome.

 

New York Rangers

Michael Grabner (F). They have a questionable list of players left exposed including Jesper Fast and Tanner Glass. These are key depth guys to a Rangers team that values its scoring since Hank seems to be not his usual King-like self these days. I would’ve exposed Nash, he sucks. Grabner is a scorer, something Vegas will need a lot of to keep pace in their division.

 

Ottowa Senators

Mark Methot (D). A phenomenal, physical, shut down defender. Ottawa couldn’t protect him and its a shame they will be losing such a valuable piece to their playoff run.

 

Philadelphia Flyers

Michael Neuvirth (G). This was a tough choice for me. Michael Raffl is a solid two way forward that can play anywhere in the lineup that may catch Vegas’ eye. However, Neuvy was drafted in Washington by the Vegas GM and he speaks very highly of the Flyers backup goaltender. Stay away from Jordan Weal Vegas, he’s ours.

 

Pittsburgh Penguins

Marc-Andre Fleury(G). Everyone knows it. The inconsistent goaltender waved his no-movement clause just so he could go play for the Knights. He should be the starter and steal them some wins out in the City of Lights.

 

San Jose Sharks

Mikkel Boedker (F). At first I was thrown off to see Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, and Joel Ward on the exposed list. But then I remembered the entire Sharks core is from like the 1990 draft. I would love to see Vegas’ GM take one of those guys just to troll them. Boedker is a solid depth guy.

 

St. Louis Blues

Robert Bortuzzo (D). Guy’s a lock down defender at 6’4. Should be valuable for the Knights.

 

Tampa Bay Lightning

Andrej Sustr (D). I’ve always thought the Lightning had a very underrated defense since Victor Hedman gets all the praise. Outside of him, they have a lot of key pieces including Sustr, who is a very solid pickup by Vegas.

 

Toronto Maple Leafs

Seth Griffith (F). Honestly I had no clue who to go with on the Leafs list. So I followed the trend and went with another young forward.

 

Vancouver Canucks

Luca Sbisa (D). At 27 this guy has almost 500 games played. He can be a valuable leader to the youngsters of the team while still developing himself.

 

Washington Capitals

Nate Schmidt (D). Holy talent. There’s a lot of free agents on Washington’s exposed list that can still come back so thats not an issue. They sort of schemed the system by doing that. Schmidt is on the younger side of the list to choose from for Vegas. His playoff experience is a great asset to own.

 

Winnipeg Jets

Marko Dano (F). A prospect that has shown flashes of offensive talent in Winnipeg.

 

 

 

Everyone wants to see Vegas compete in their first year and with this roster I’m sure they will. Look for plenty of trading to be done once this list is announced.

Even Charles Barkley Knows The NHL Playoffs Are Better Than The NBA Playoffs

“I’m just glad to be here because the NBA playoffs have not been great, but the Stanley Cup playoffs have been amazing”

Charles Barkley, Game 4 Stanley Cup Finals.
Before I begin, I would like to make a disclaimer that I am completely 100% biased in this argument. But I hope to shed some insight on the reasons why the uneventful NBA playoffs don’t even compare to the electrifying and mind-boggling NHL playoffs.

There is no doubt that the NBA playoffs had far more successful ratings than the NHL playoffs, especially in the finals. This is completely embarrassing and blows my mind. The NBA playoffs have been an absolute disaster. We had two teams, Warriors and Cavs, in their third consecutive finals. A finals matchup that was predicted as far back as the preseason. As if that wasn’t boring enough, I want to add in the fact that both teams had a combined one, yes ONE, loss leading up to the finals. I mean, if you’re the other 28 teams in the league why even bother? The NBA has the same predictable outcome every year, and while I can say the finals are entertaining, the rest of the playoffs are just an utter disgrace. The league cares more about the drama in the league and how much money they are making than actually seeing good basketball being played. I woke up after game 3 to see headlines following the Warriors taking a 3-0 lead reading, “How Much Money The Warriors Will Lose If They Sweep”. C’mon…. You’re kidding right?

Image result for nba and money

Hop on over to the best sport on the Earth (biased like I said) and we see nothing but pure talent, excitement, and 3 months of unpredictable play being showcased by true athletes. To sum it up, just take a look at the finals. We had a Cinderella 8 seed in Nashville, going up against the second seeded Pittsburgh team who barely even got there. Yes they were a favorite to repeat, but they had to beat a deep and talented Columbus team, the two time reigning Presidents trophy Capitals in the second round (could’ve easily been a conference finals matchup but we have the new playoff format to thank for that), and a relentless Ottawa team in the conference finals who took the Penguins to seven games and a double overtime in that game. Nashville swept a cup favorite in Chicago in the first round…. who saw that coming (I did). They then went along to dominate the rest of the playoffs despite being the 16th out of 16 teams to get in. They showed immense amount of heart in their series with Pittsburgh, and despite being on the losing side, they put on one hell of a show. These guys in the NHL playoffs are playing through torn ACL’s, broken feet, and torn hamstrings after playing a FULL 82 game season, while the NBA rests their players in the regular season because they know they are gonna need them in the finals. What a joke.

Image result for hockey players tough

The NHL is by far the better, more entertaining, and tougher sport. It is really such a shame the lack of attention it draws. Ill leave you with this commercial about what it means to win the cup.