Postage Stamp Kate Smith

Poll: Should the Philadelphia Flyers retire Kate Smith’s ‘God Bless America’ video?


Being that it was the first NHL game played since the announcement of Osama bin Laden’s death, last night’s rendition of “God Bless America” took on extra meaning. In case you’re not acquainted with the Philadelphia Flyers’ pre-game ceremonies, the team combines the live vocals of Lauren Hart with video tape footage of historic good luck charm Kate Smith for its patriotic pledge.

It’s one of the many traditions that make Philadelphia sports fans unique, but to outsiders, the practice seems a bit … quirky. Smith died on June 17, 1986, yet the team still honors her with that “God Bless America” mash-up. As you can see from this post’s main image, they also erected a statue in her honor.

You have to hand it to the Flyers organization for being so loyal, but at least one Flyers blogger wonders if it’s time to put that tradition to bed. Ryan of Flyers Goal Scored By writes that the team should simply go with current singer Lauren Hart, at least on most nights.

Lauren Hart is perfectly capable of honoring our country, troops, citizens, and the people that protect and make this country run every day on her own. She’s actually very good too. So why not let her take the lead and go the distance?

God Bless America is already unique in and of itself. The organization should stop watering down a legend’s legacy by wheeling her out for every post season contest.

Maybe after a year our two off surprise everyone in a game seven. That would be cool. That would be worth talking about.

So there’s the opinion of one Flyers blogger, but how do you feel about it? Some might think that the team should shelve “God Bless America” for “The Star Spangled Banner” but that could be another poll for another day. Should the Flyers continue combining video of Smith with Hart’s live vocals or just let Hart handle the duty alone? Let us know in the poll below.

Video: Mike Fisher ends Nashville’s nasty goal drought

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No, the Nashville Predators did not forget how to score goals … or at least they were lifted from that amnesia on Wednesday.

Mike Fisher lifted the curse 13:52 into the first period of tonight’s game against the Buffalo Sabres. You can watch that rare beast in the video above.

They had been shut out for three straight games and pretty close to four in pure game time.

On this subject, PHT’s Jason Brough asked Predators GM David Poile if he was considering moving a defenseman to improve in another area earlier today.

Struggling Sabre Tyler Ennis out with upper-body injury

Tyler Ennis, James Wisniewski
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Tyler Ennis can probably relate with the Buffalo Sabres’ opponent on Wednesday, as he’s struggling almost as much as the Nashville Predators.

Perhaps some of that has to do with health?

Whether that’s the case or not, Ennis is out for the Sabres tonight, as the team announced that he’s dealing with an upper-body injury.

The Buffalo News discussed Ennis’ struggles in this article.

“I’d say he’s pressing too much. You can’t make those plays in every situation and in every point you touch the puck,” Dan Bylsma said to the Buffalo News. “ … He’s just got to simplify his game. He is a special player who can make those plays, but he can’t be trying to do it every time he touches the puck.”

He’ll need to wait a while to start getting things together, anyway.

WATCH LIVE: Wednesday Night Rivalry (Flyers-Islanders; Blackhawks-Sharks)

Ryan White, Matt Martin
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You can check out tonight’s Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, and you can also stream them online.

Here are the handy links for the two contests.

First, the New York Islanders host the Philadelphia Flyers.


After that, the Chicago Blackhawks visit the San Jose Sharks.


Braun out with upper-body injury; Zubrus to make Sharks debut

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The San Jose Sharks will be missing a top-4 defenseman tonight when they host the defending champs from Chicago.

Justin Braun has an upper-body injury. His status is considered day-to-day.

“Brauny has been one of our unsung heroes here through the first quarter of the season,” coach Peter DeBoer told CSN Bay Area. “He’s played some outstanding hockey. So, we’re going to miss him, but it’s a great opportunity for Mueller and Tennyson and one of these guys to establish themselves. It’s a great opportunity for us to reward Dillon for how well he’s played.”

Against the Blackhawks, Brenden Dillon will take Braun’s spot on the top pairing alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic; Paul Martin and Brent Burns will stay together on the second pairing; and 20-year-old Mirco Mueller will skate with Matt Tennyson.

Mueller has played just four games for the Sharks this season. In his last game, Thursday in Philadelphia, he received only 9:13 of ice time.

Also tonight, new Shark forward Dainius Zubrus is expected to debut on the fourth line.

Related: Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer