Years since both conference finals in Stanley Cup playoffs lasted 7 games

After a devastating 53-20 loss to the Packers at Lambeau Field, the Eagles are staring at the reality that they’re not an elite team. They have lost their last three games to teams currently with winning records.

In the first Sixers Notebook of the season, Eric Fisher looks for opportunities for the Sixers to get their first victory. He also expresses concern about Nerlens Noel (pictured), wonders how Tony Wroten will adjust once Michael Carter-Williams returns and suggests the Sixers may eventually regret trading away point guard Elfrid Payton on draft day.

The trio of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker won its fourth championship together as the Spurs shook off a slow start in Game 5 and crushed the visiting Heat, 104-87, to wrap up a lopsided NBA Finals.


A quick look at 10 sports stories in the news…

1. Kelly, players: McCoy is wrong When asked about LeSean McCoy’s comments regarding Chip Kelly favoring white players, Eagles head coach says, “He’s wrong,” and adds that race is not a factor used in evaluating players. Eagles players also ridicule idea that Kelly lets race affect his decisions as head coach. Kelly says he tried to call McCoy twice, contacted his agent to get in touch, but has not spoken to McCoy. OTAs (Organized Team Activities) end today.

2. Bradford expected to do 7-on-7 drills Eagles head coach Chip Kelly says QB Sam Bradford’s rehabilitation from ACL tear is on schedule and he is expected to participate in 7-on-7 passing drills next week. Kelly also says Walter Thurmond moved to safety, where he will get opportunity to start. Nolan Carroll appears to be top candidate at CB opposite Byron Maxwell. Kelly adds that Allen Barbre switches from right guard to left guard, which happens to be where Evan Mathis, who did not attend OTAs, lines up.

3. Amaro apologizes after backlash Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. apologizes for saying fans “don’t understand the game. They don’t understand the process. There’s a process. And then they bitch and complain that we don’t have a plan. There’s a plan in place, and we’re sticking with the plan.” Amaro made the comments in a story on csnphilly.com when asked about accelerating pace for moving prospects up from minors to big league.

4. Syndergaard helps Mets sweep Phillies Mets hit 4 home runs, including one by rookie pitcher Noah Syndergaard, as they cruise to 7-0 victory over visiting Phillies, completing series sweep. Mets win 7th straight series win over Phillies, who have lost 6 of last 7 games. Syndergaard strikes out 6 in 7 1/3 shutout innings. Phillies Sean O’Sullivan gives up 11 hits, 7 runs in 5 2/3 innings. Phillies have off day Thursday before opening homestand Friday (7 p.m.) against Rockies.

5. Blackhawks force Game 7 Blackhawks score 3 times in less than 4-minute span of 1st period to jump out to 3-goal lead, then hold off visiting Ducks, 5-2, to force Game 7 (Sat., 8 p.m.) in Western Conference Finals. Ducks cut deficit to 3-2, but Andrew Shaw scores 16:28 into 3rd period, adds empty-net goal to seal victory. On Tuesday, Derrick Brassard registers hat trick, adds 2 assists as Rangers’ top line shreds host Lighting in 7-3 Game 6 victory, forcing Game 7 Friday (8 p.m.) at Madison Square Garden. Brassard’s linemates, Rick Nash and J.T. Miller , each contribute goal, 3 assists.

6. Warriors join Cavaliers in finals LStephen Curry scores 26 points, Harrison Barnes adds 24 as Warriors roll to 104-90 triumph over visiting Rockets in Game 5 of Western Conference Finals, advancing to NBA Finals for 1st time since 1975. Warriors will face Cavaliers in NBA Finals. On Tuesday, LeBron James scores 23 points, Kyrie Irving adds 16 in return to lineup from knee injury as Cavaliers complete sweep of Eastern Conference Finals with 118-88 blowout of visiting Hawks.

7. Listen to Phillies, Flyers, Sixers talk Listen as Ron Opher, Josh Landsburg and Eric Fisher discuss the Flyers’ hiring of Dave Hakstol, what the Sixers may do with the No. 3 pick and the trade value of Cole Hamels and the resurgent Ryan Howard and Chase Utley during PhillyPhanatics.com’s Blog Talk Radio show. To listen to the show, please click here(To listen to past shows, please click here)

8. FIFA officials indicted U.S. indicts 14 current or former officials of FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, for corruption charges related to awarding of international tournaments, including the World Cup. Seven FIFA officials arrested in Switzerland and threatened with extradition to U.S.

9. Montoya, Edwards race to victory  Juan Pablo Montoya, back in IndyCar racing after time spent in Formuala One and NASCAR, wins Indy 500 15 years after he won the race the first time.  Later Sunday, Carl Edwards ends 31-race winless drought by capturing NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte. NASCAR comes to Dover next Sunday (1 p.m.) for FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks.

10. Goerges ousts Wozniacki Julia Goerges upsets 5th-seeded Caroline Wozniacki, 6-4, 6-7 (4), at French Open. In other women’s matches Thursday, top-seeded Serena Williams survives scare with 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 triumph over Anna-Lena Friedsam; 4th-seeded Petra Kvitova escapes with 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-2 victory over Silvia Soler Espinosa; and 16th-seeded Madison Keys cruises to 6-0, 6-3 win over Belinda Bencic. In men’s matches Thursday, top seed Novak Djokovic, defending champion Rafael Nadal advance in straight sets. Third-seeded Andy Murray needs four sets to beat Joao Sousa.

(Listen live to PhillyPhanatics.com’s weekly Internet Blog Talk Radio program this Sunday from 6:30-7 p.m. — or call in to express your opinion or ask a question — by calling 805-727-7014. To listen to past shows, please click here)


Nationals 2, Phillies 1
NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championships
Maryland 10, Syracuse 8
North Carolina 16, Duke 7
(at PPL Park)

Phillies 8, Nationals 1
Soul 71, Tampa Bay 27
NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships
Denver 11, Notre Dame 10 (OT)
Maryland 12, Johns Hopkins 11
(at Lincoln Financial Field)

Nationals 4, Phillies 1
Union 2, N.Y. Red Bulls 0
NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championships
Championship game
Maryland 9, N.Carolina 8
(at PPL Park)


Mets 6, Phillies 5
NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships
Championship game
Denver 10, Maryland 5
(at Lincoln Financial Field)

Mets 5, Phillies 4 (10 innings)

Phillies at Mets, 1:10 p.m.

No games scheduled

Rockies at Phillies, 7 p.m.

Rockies at Phillies, 3 p.m.
Las Vegas at Soul, 6 p.m.
(at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City)
Union at D.C. United, 7 p.m.
Collegiate Rugby Championships
(at PPL Park)

Rockies at Phillies, 1:30 p.m.
FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks, 1 p.m.
(at Dover)
Collegiate Rugby Championships
(at PPL Park)


Phillies Notebook: Howard rediscovers old form

Ryan Howard is playing like the Ryan Howard of old instead of like an old Ryan Howard. Can his resurgence -- and Chase Utley's -- continue? If so, what will that do for his trade value? Eric Fisher examines these ...
Phillies Notebook: Howard rediscovers old form

Is punishment fair?

Are the penalties given to the Patriots for DeflateGate fair? Too harsh? Too lenient? Make your opinion heard in Voice of the Phanatics.

Media swing and miss

Media reports that Mike Babcock was likely to be the Flyers’ next coach were as inaccurate and irresponsible as the multitude of stories suggesting the Eagles were likely to acquire Marcus Mariota during the NFL Draft.

Time for trades is now

Cole Hamels’ return to excellence and the resurrection of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley should spur Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. to aggressively pursue trades. This trio’s value is unlikely to get much higher than it is right now.

Top 10 Phillies sluggers

With Ryan Howard rediscovering his power, we present the Top 10 players on the Phillies’ career home run list. Four members of the 2008 World Series championship team make the list. Can you guess the Top 10 before looking at the list?

Heel Turns: Major trouble for TNA

May - 23 - 2015 Reporter: Achilles Heel Respond

The Greek God of Wrestling examines the impact, if you’ll pardon the pun, of Destination America’s decision to cancel TNA’s Impact Wrestling. Achilles Heel also review Payback and NXT Takeover, reminds fans of CHIKARA’s weekend doubleheader and looks forward to Elimination Chamber and an intriguing interview on WWE Network.

Fish ‘n Chips

May - 20 - 2015 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Eric Fisher’s weekly column on a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the Hextall & Hakstol combination, a protest by Union fans and Sixers GM Sam Hinkie’s spin on the NBA Draft lottery.

NBA preview: Shining stars lead the way

May - 19 - 2015 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

NBA MVP Stephen Curry (pictured) tries to lead the Warriors past the Rockets and into the NBA Finals for the first time in 39 years. In the Eastern Conference, LeBron James and the Cavaliers try to knock off the well-balanced Hawks.

Will Sixers be able to get their man at No. 3?

May - 19 - 2015 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The 76ers didn’t move up or down in the NBA Draft during Tuesday’s draft lottery, remaining at No. 3. But will Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell still be available at No. 3 or will the Sixers pick a power forward or point guard Emmanuel Mudiay?

Luck of the Draw

May - 19 - 2015 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The NBA Draft lottery will determine how high the 76ers will pick, and how many selections they will have, in the first round of the NBA Draft in June. The Sixers could have three of the top 11 selections — or just one pick as low as No. 6.

Hakstol hiring indicates new direction

May - 18 - 2015 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Instead of hiring one of the well-known available coaches, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall made the unusual choice of hiring a college coach, the University of North Dakota’s Dave Hakstol, who doesn’t have any NHL coaching experience.

Ducks score 3 goals in 37 seconds