Career assists for Flyers captain Claude Giroux

Eric Fisher’s weekly column about a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the Sixers’ pursuit of the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft, why this should also be a good draft week for the Flyers, and reports that Nelson Agholor had a good minicamp.

Eric Fisher’s weekly column about a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the fragile nature of the Sixers’ foundation, signs that the Flyers have a bright future, and the success of two older players at Wimbledon.

Eric Fisher’s weekly column on a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the Dallas Cowboys’ fast start, the legendary career of the late Bill Campbell and how NASCAR’s new Chase format may have elevated anger levels.


A quick look at 10 sports stories in the news…

1. Couturier, Flyers edge Bruins Sean Couturier registers 1st regular-season hat trick of career as Flyers edge visiting Bruins, 4-3. Carter Hart makes 39 saves. With James van Riemsdyk’s hat trick Tuesday during 7-4 triumph over visiting Wild, Flyers have hat tricks in consecutive games for 1st time since 2002. Flyers win after falling behind 2-0 for 2nd straight game. Oskar Linblom also scores for Flyers. Claude Giroux, Ivan Provorov each register 2 assists, with Giroux recording 500th career assist. Flyers to visit Canadiens on Saturday (7 p.m.). Flyers place forward Dale Weise on waivers.

2. Sixers visit Pacers Sixers begin difficult stretch against top opponents tonight (7 p.m.) when they visit Pacers. On Tuesday, Sixers make 21 3-pointers during 149-107 decimation of visiting Timberwolves. Joel Embiid leads Sixers with 31 points, 13 rebounds. Ben Simmons contributes 20 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists. Jimmy Butler adds 19 points against his former team. Wilson Chandler, Jonah Bolden chip in with 14 points. apiece. Robert Covington, Dario Saric return for 1st time since Sixers sent them away in Butler trade. Saric scores 11 points; Covington doesn’t play due to injury. Sixers sign veteran Corey Brewer to 10-day contract.

3. Pederson: Wentz is QB Eagles head coach Doug Pederson ends suspense by stating that Carson Wentz will be Eagles’ starting quarterback next season. Wentz recovering from stress injury in back

4. Phillies meet with Harper Phillies met with free agent outfielder Bryce Harper on Saturday in Las Vegas. Majority owner John Middleton, team president Andy MacPhail, GM Matt Klentak, manager Gabe Kaper part of Phillies’ contingent. No agreement reached. Phillies continue to negotiate with free agent infielder Manny Machado. Phillies hire coach Bobby Dickerson, whom Machado was reportedly close to while with Orioles. In other Phillies news, team signs all arbitration eligible players except pitcher Aaron Nola. Nola’s side asking for $6.75 million; Phillies’ offer is $4.5 million. Arbitration-eligible players who sign 1-year contracts are infielder Cesar Hernandez ($7.75 million); third baseman Maikel Franco ($5.2 million); outfielder Aaron Altherr ($1.35 million); and pitchers Vince Velasquez ($2.249 million), Jose Alvarez ($1.925 million), Hector Neris ($1.8 million), Adam Morgan ($1.1 million) and Jerad Eickhoff ($975,000).

5. Eagles’ magic runs out Eagles’ attempt at game-winning drive ends when Nick Foles’ pass goes through Alshon Jeffery’s hands and is intercepted by Marshon Lattimore deep in Saints territory at 2-minute warning, virtually sealing Saints’ 20-14 victory. Saints will host Rams next Sunday (3 p.m.) in NFC Championship Game. Eagles jump out to 14-0 lead in first 11 1/2 minutes, scoring 2 TDs before Saints register 1st down, but Eagles offense doesn’t do much rest of game. Saints offense plays keepaway with long drives, cutting Eagles’ lead to 14-10 by halftime and taking 17-14 lead with 1:40 remaining in 3rd quarter after drive that eats up 11:29. On Eagles’ final possession, they reach Saints 27 before interception. Foles, in what may have been his final game as Eagle, completes 18 of 31 passes for 201 yards, 1 TD, 2 interceptions. Eagles only rush for 49 yards.

6. Rams rush past Cowboys C.J. Anderson rushes for 123 yards, 2 TDs and Todd Gurley rushes for 115 yards, TD as Rams defeat visiting Cowboys, 30-22, to reach NFC Championship Game. In Saturday’s early game, Chiefs hold Colts without 1st down until final 2 minutes of 1st half en route to 31-13 victory achieved without Patrick Mahomes throwing TD. Chiefs will host 2nd-seeded Patriots, who blow out visiting Chargers early in 41-28 victory, next Sunday (6:30 p.m.) in AFC Championship Game. In other NFL news, Jets hire former Dolphins head coach Adam Gase. Broncos hire Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who helped Bears become No. 1 defense. Broms promote offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens to head coach. Bucs hire Bruce Arians to be head coach. Arians keeps his Temple connection by hiring former Jets head coach Todd Bowles as his defensive coordinator. Cardinals hire former Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury as head coach.

7. Owls keep rolling Shizz Alston Jr. drills 7 3-pointers en route to 23 points, Quinton Rose adds 19 points as Temple defeats host East Carolina, 84-75, for 7th win in past 8 games. In another local game Wednesday, La Salle holds visiting George Washington to 14 first-half points, but drops 59-56 decision. On Tuesday, Chris Clover scores 18 points, including go-ahead 3-pointer with 59 seconds remaining as host Saint Joseph’s knocks off Atlantic 10-leading Davidson, 61-60. Hawks break 4-game losing streak despite Lamarr Kimble, Pierfrancesco Oliva missing game with injuries.

8. Flyers trade Weal Flyers trade center Jordan Weal to Coyotes for minor-league defenseman Jacob Graves, 6th-round pick in this year’s NHL Draft. Weal, an unrestricted free agent after this season, registered 3 goals, 6 assists in 28 games this season. Weal has speed, but production was inconsistent and often committed penalties in offensive and neutral zones. Weal acquired in 2016 trade that sent veterans Vincent Lecavalier, Luke Schenn to Kings. Graves, 23, was playing for Norfolk in ECHL.

9. Temple hires Carey as head coach After Manny Diaz leaves after 18 days to become Miami Hurricanes’ head coach, Temple hires Rod Carey as head coach. Carey spent last 6 seasons as head coach of Northern Illinois. Huskies compiled 52-30 record, went to 6 bowl games during Carey’s tenure.

10. Sixers to retire Malone’s number Sixers to retire No. 2 worn by Moses Malone, a Hall of Famer and 3-time NBA MVP. Jersey to be retired on Fri., Feb. 8 at halftime of game with Nuggets. Malone also to get statue at team’s practice facility in Camden. Malone, a 13-time all-star (including once in ABA), spent just 4 seasons with Sixers, leading them to NBA title in 1982-83 season. Head coach Brett Brown addresses story that Butler has challenged him about his role in offense. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, citing “league sources,” Butler has confronted Brown about the offense, including a recent film session in Portland in which Butler was considered “disrespectful” by some witnesses, according to ESPN. Brown characterized Butler’s objections in less harsh terms, explaining that Sixers don’t run many pick-and-rolls and isolation, which Butler used with other teams. Sixers sign swingman Haywood Highsmith to 2-way contract. He fills spot created by release of Demetrius Jackson. Highsmith averaging 13.7 points, 7.1 rebounds with Delaware Blue Coats, the Sixers’ G-League affiliate.

(To listen to past PhillyPhanatics.com’s Blog Talk Radio shows, please click here.)


Hawks 123, Sixers 121

Devils 3, Flyers 2
Georgia 13, Wings 11
Men’s Basketball
Princeton 62, Penn 53
Temple 82, S.Florida 80 (OT)
UNC-Wilmington 97, Drexel 83
Duquesne 85, St. Joseph’s 84
St. Louis 71, La Salle 64

Sixers 108, Knicks 105
NFL Playoffs
Saints 20, Eagles 14
Men’s Basketball
Villanova 90, Creighton 78


Flyers 7, Wild 4

Sixers 149, Timberwolves 107
Men’s Basketball
St. Joseph’s 61, Davidson 60

Flyers 4, Bruins 3
Men’s Basketball
Temple 85, E.Carolina 74
G.Washington 59, La Salle 56

Sixers at Indiana, 7 p.m.
Men’s Basketball
Towson at Drexel, 7 p.m.

Men’s Basketball
St. Joseph’s at St. Louis, 7 p.m.
Xavier vs. Villanova, 8:30 p.m.
(at Wells Fargo Center)

Thunder at Sixers, 3:30 p.m.
Flyers at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Wings at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Men’s Basketball
J.Madison at Drexel, 2 p.m.
R.Island at La Salle, 2:30 p.m.
Penn at Temple, 5 p.m.

No games scheduled


Victory slips through Birds’ grasp

Nick Foles (pictured) and the Eagles appeared to be creating another magical moment, but Foles' pass went through Alshon Jeffery's hands at the two-minute warning and was intercepted, sealing the Eagles' fate in a 20-14 loss to the Saints. ***** After doing ...
Victory slips through Birds’ grasp

Who should be QB?

Who should be the Eagles’ starting quarterback next season, Carson Wentz or Nick Foles? Share your thoughts in Voice of the Phanatics.

Sixers’ mid-term grades

Ben Simmons has been a triple-double machine, but will that be enough to earn an “A” from Eric Fisher? Read the story to find out mid-term grades for Simmons, the rest of the roster, head coach Brett Brown and general manager Elton Brand.

Have faith in Foles

It’s difficult to believe that the latest chapter in Nick Foles’ incredible journey could end with anything other than a victory over the Redskins on Sunday and the Eagles earning a playoff berth.

Most indispensable

As we learned last season, nobody is irreplaceable. And Eagles fans are learning once again why backup quarterback Nick Foles has a place on the PhillyPhanatics.com’s list of the most indispensable Eagles for the 2018 season.

Eagles-Saints: It should be a different game

January - 12 - 2019 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The Eagles must generate more pressure on quarterback Drew Brees (pictured) during Sunday’s playoff game (4:40 p.m.) than they did during their regular-season meeting, which ended with the Saints cruising to an emphatic 48-7 victory.

Putting it on the line

January - 12 - 2019 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

After correctly picking three road teams to cover during wild card weekend, will Eric Fisher stick with the road teams, including the Eagles, during the second round? Read the story to see all of Eric’s selections.

Home teams ripe for upsets?

January - 12 - 2019 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

The home teams for this weekend’s playoff games weren’t impressive during the second half of the season. Could that mean they are vulnerable to being upset this weekend? Could Philip Rivers (pictured) and the Chargers knock off the Patriots? Read the story for Eric Fisher’s analysis and predictions.

Flyers’ mid-term grades

January - 7 - 2019 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere is one of many Flyers having a disappointing season, which is reflected in the paucity of good grades in Eric Fisher’s midseason report card.

Eagles advance — Bear-ly

January - 6 - 2019 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Nick Foles (pictured) connects with Golden Tate for the winning touchdown with 56 seconds remaining, but the Eagles had to wait until Cody Parkey’s field goal attempt bounced off the left upright and the crossbar in final seconds to secure a 16-15 playoff victory.

Eagles enjoy familiar underdog role

January - 5 - 2019 Reporter: Eric Fisher Respond

Khalil Mack receives a lot of attention, but Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (pictured) might be the best defensive player on the field Sunday (4:40 p.m.) when the Eagles open defense of their Super Bowl title against the Bears at Soldier Field.

Side angle of Cody Parkey's missed field goal