The Sixers had an up and down week as usual. When you are 41-39 most weeks will be up and down. What is a concern for me about this week’s results are the losses to two playoff bound teams. Boston shut them down on Tuesday followed by a home loss to New York on Wednesday. They bounced back Friday night with a win over Toronto to finish out the week. Heading into the final week of the season the Sixers stand at 41-39. Orlando comes to town on Monday and the final game of the season will at home against Detroit. The Sixers are guaranteed at least the 7th seed in the playoffs but could still get the 6th. New York currently occupies that spot with a record of 41-28. With Miami or Boston on deck for the first round of the playoffs the Sixers will need to sharpen up their A game and hope they can pull off a first round upset.
The Flyers finished off their season with a 7-4 win Saturday night against the depleted Islanders. It seemed as though they would run away with the number one seed but late season losses caused the Flyers to go into the postseason with a number 2 seed. The concern for Flyers fans is can the Flyers regain that dominance that they showed for the first three quarters of the season? Can they turn on a switch and go back to playing great hockey? The upside is a number of late seasons losses were shoot-outs or close games that just ended on the opposing team’s side. The bad news is the Flyers need to figure out a away to get those close game wins because every playoff game is close. Buffalo will be the first challenge for the Flyers this postseason, the Flyers hold the season series lead at 2-1, the one loss coming on Friday in overtime. Let’s hope they can regain their winning ways and make another run for the cup.
The Phillies are not disappointing at all this season. After sweeping Houston in the opening series the Phillies hosted the Mets starting on Tuesday with a 7-1 loss. Phillies fans booed Cole Hamels as he left the game, but I expect he will be cheered in his next home start. The Phillies regained form on Wednesday and Thursday to take the series 2-1 with wins of 10-7 and 11-0. Friday night they opened their first road series in Atlanta and Lee was charged with 6 earned runs. Victorino misplayed a deep ball to center with the game tied at 3-3 which resulted in 6-3 lead for Atlanta and the Phil’s couldn't recover. Oswalt and the Phillies offense got them back on track yesterday with an impressive 10-2 win. Cole Hamels will get his second shot at a win this season on Sunday to close out the series. After week one of the 2011 season the offense looks great, the bull-pen looks good and the starters are doing their jobs. Sitting at 6-2 the Phil’s will hope to take the Atlanta series today and then go to Washington for a three game series starting Tuesday before coming home for a three game set against the Marlins.
The Eagles really have no news. A judge in Minnesota has warned the league that they better start negotiating before she rules in about two weeks. It is believed that she will rule in the players favor and end the lockout. The problem there is that the NFL owners will immediately file an appeal that would take 4-6 weeks. The season seems in jeopardy as of right now, but things could change in the blink of an eye. The Draft is fast approaching and hopefully the fans can at least enjoy that.
An exciting week is upon us with playoff hockey starting and playoff basketball beginning next weekend. The Phil's should carry us through on off nights and we will keep an eye out for any news on the NFL lock out. In the meantime, go Flyers, Sixers and Phil's.