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Playoff Preview: Flyers and Sabres

Stanley_Cup_PlayoffsA look at the opening round meeting.
(7) Buffalo Sabres vs. (2) Philadelphia Flyers
 
@ Philadelphia, Thursday 4 / 14, 7:30pm
@ Philadelphia, Saturday, 4 / 16  5pm
@ Buffalo, Monday, 4 / 18 7pm
@ Buffalo, Wednesday 4 / 20 7:30pm
@ Philadelphia, Friday 4 / 22 7:30pm  **
@ Buffalo, Sunday 4 / 24 3pm  **
@ Philadelphia, Tuesday 4 / 26 TBD  **

** If Necessary

Philadelphia 47-23-12 106 points / Atlantic Division Champions / 3-4-3 in last ten games.
Buffalo 43-29-10 96 points / 3rd place Northeast Division / 8-1-1 in last ten games.

Of all the teams to play in the first round, this is the one the Flyers may have wanted the least. The NHL playoffs are all about goaltending  and the Sabres have a definite edge there. Ryan Miller is a game stealer. He won 34 of the 66 games he played in with a goals against of 2.59. He is a former Vezina Trophy winner  that lead the Americans to a silver medal in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Keep in mind he did suffer an upper body injury late in the season, but seems to have recovered from that. His backup, Johnas Enroth chipped in with a 9-2 record with a 2.73 goals against.
The Flyers will counter with rookie Sergei Bobrovsky who recorded 28 wins with a goals against of 2.59 in 54 games. But "Bob" was yanked early in the season finale against the Islanders after giving up 3 goals on 10 shots in just 12 minutes. Prior to that he gave up 4 goals each in loses to Buffalo and Ottawa down the stretch. Back up and veteran Brian Boucher is close by. Boucher posted 18 wins in 34 games with a goals against of 2.42.
On defense, the edge goes to Philadelphia....even without Chris Pronger. In his first year as a Flyer, Andrej Meszaros was voted the teams top blue liner and lead the way with 8 goals and a plus 30. Matt Carle very quietly had a solid year, also a plus 30 with 40 points. Braydon Coburn has the size and strength to neutralize the oppositions top scorer. Kimmo Timonen is steady back there and Sean O'Donnell adds a degree of toughness. Erik Gustafsson, Danny Syvert and Nick Boytnton will have to step up until Pronger returns.
That leads us to Pronger, out the last month with a broken hand. Will he be back? He says so. When? Nobody knows. But when he does, how effective will he be holding a stick and shooting on the power play? He is key there. And the fact that the Flyers play with a little more edge when the big guy is on the ice.
Buffalo is lead by young, 6'8 Tyler Meyers. The former first round pick is also a Calder Trophy winner as the leagues top rookie last season. Myers 10 goals is second to Jordan Leopold's 13. Leopold is trying to return from a broken hand suffered in late March. His return is uncertain. You won't get alot of offense from Andrej Sekera or Steve Montador, but their steady with good plus/minus numbers.
When Danny Briere and Chris Drury both left Buffalo for free agency, the Sabres set their sights on re-signing one guy long term right away: Thomas Vanek. He has responded with 136 goals in the four seasons since. Briere in the same time span? 103. Along with Vanek, Buffalo has former first round pick Drew Stafford. (31 goals) Stafford had not scored more than 20 goals in a year in his 4 previous NHL season. Jason Pominville and Tyler Ennis are both 20 goal scorers. And 5'5 Nathan Gerbe showed the Flyers his goal scoring skills on the final weekend of the regular season.
The Flyers are just plain deep at the forward position. Four lines with four different styles with the top three able to score goals on a consistant basis. The team has 8 forwards with at least 19 goals each. Plus the addition of Kris Versteeg at the trade deadline along with his Stanley Cup ring won in Chicago last year only makes this group scarier.
For the Sabres to win? Ryan Miller has to be well...Ryan Miller. If the Flyer offense gets going, he will be tested. Second line scorers like Pominville, Ennis and Brad Boyes have to score. Vanek and Staffard need help. The Sabres also will need to continue to take advantage of the power play opportunities. They did not got a lot of chances this season but when they did they did well.
For the Flyers to win? Protect the goaltender! Clear shooting lanes and clear any rebound from out in front of the net. Expect Danny Briere to be big in this series against his former team. The power play needs to improve and take advantage of the fact that the Sabres are one of the leagues worst at giving up short handed goals and the Flyers are one of the leagues best scoring them. JVR are you listening? Now is the time to play consistently like the number two overall pick in the NHL draft. And getting Chris Pronger back will help.
Jeff's Prediction: The Flyers go limping into the post season. The Sabres steal one of the first to two games in Philly and send the Flyboys home for the summer. Sabres in six. Boy I hope I'm worng.
 
WNPV AM 1440 Just back from a day trip to the Hagley Museum in Wilmington, DE. It was fabulous! If you won tickets to this location in WNPV's "Summer Spectacular Ticket Giveaways," make sure you use them before December 31, 2014. You won't be sorry that you took the time to scout out this beautiful estate. It took us less than an hour to get there from Quakertown so it really isn't far at all! But remember, the tickets expire at the end of the year!
WNPV AM 1440 Are you familiar with the Morgan Loghouse on Weikel Road in Lansdale? Want to know more? Tune in today to "Legally Speaking" at 11:10 AM when Liam Duffy, attorney with Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, has as his guest Sarah DiSantis, the Executive Director of the Morgan Loghouse.
WNPV AM 1440 George Toth will have a special guest on his show "Regarding Your Money" this morning. Tune in to 1440 AM at 11:10 AM to hear his conversation with Bob Savage or call 215-855-8211 to join the conversation!
WNPV AM 1440 New Study: Radio An Effective Way To Influence Swing Voters on September 29, 2014 Nationwide Poll Reveals 8 out of 10 Swing Voters Listen to AM/FM Radio on a Regular Basis. Radio Tops Internet Advertising in Credibility by Wide Margin. Alexandria, VA – September 29, 2014 – A new national survey from Vox Populi Polling, a leading polling company that designs and fields surveys to uncover what is happening within the political and public policy landscape, finds radio an extremely effective way to reach swing voters. Research shows that 81% of swing voters say they listen to AM/FM radio on a regular basis. Moreover, voters across the political spectrum report that radio ads are more credible than the ads they see on the internet by a 56-35 margin, which increases to a 62-38 margin among low turnout voters. The survey, commissioned by Katz Media Group, examined how much influence radio has in the electoral marketplace. The sample size for the survey was 1,059 active voters and has a +/-3.0% margin of error. Other key findings from the survey include: Swing voters spend 10% more time with radio daily than the average American voter. 67% of swing voters listen to FM regularly, while 14% are exclusively AM radio listeners. 65% of low turnout Republicans and Democrats say they listen to FM music on a regular basis. 61% of swing voters agree that radio is a good way for political candidates to reach them. “As political campaigns shift gears into the final stretch, they will increasingly focus on the all-important swing voters and radio is an extremely effective way to reach and influence them,” said Vox Populi pollster Brent Seaborn. “Our research indicates radio is even more effective in reaching those who are undecided or may change their mind before Election Day. Radio should be a key part of any political advertisers’ strategy.” “This research illustrates that radio is both a habitual and influential medium for reaching voters who can make the difference on Election Day,” added Stacey Lynn Schulman, Executive Vice President of Strategy, Analytics & Research at Katz Media Group. “In the race for credibility, radio outshines online advertising by a wide margin in the minds of still impressionable voters.”
WNPV AM 1440 The Power Of Women As women work later into life and control more financial assets more than half of women say they are upgrading the quality of products and services in their lives. In a study on Boomer women purchasing habits, one 55-year-old woman commented, “Advertisers don’t seem to understand that most of the wealth in this country is in the hands of boomers and older people”. As they upgrade quality, on average, women over the age of 50 spend more than women between the ages of 20 and 49. Boomer women have or control the most discretionary dollars of all. Add in Boomer customer women's role as ‘purchasing officer’ for consumer goods and for corporations and agencies, and, in effect, you have an American Women's Economy that accounts for over half of the U.S. GDP — about $5 trillion.” Men and women are as different “shop-ologically” as they are biologically What’s important to men is typically not important to woman. In EVEolution, Faith Popcorn discusses "a series of marketing axioms built around the reality that women and men are as different shop-ologically as they are biologically." There are clearly gender based differences including: perceptions, attitudes and communications styles. There are also gender generated differentiated responses including: priorities, decision processes and purchase outcomes. Getting Boomer women to join your brand is not one single step. There is no magic bullet. It's a systematic rethinking of how you present your plan to them consisting of dozens of subtle shifts and fine alterations. Marti Barletta, author of Marketing to Prime-Time Women, tells us “women start the process by asking around and pursue the ‘perfect answer.’ They seek more information and investigate more options.” And your sales success doesn’t end with their purchase. Remember, what they buy, they sell. They’ll tell all who's willing to listen the good, bad and ugly of their experience. If it’s been good, they are loyal and will easily recommend you to others. Boomer women want you to speak to their heads and to their hearts — to connect • A woman steps into an elevator, hits the button for the 10th floor and before she reaches her destination, she’s busily chatting with some woman standing next to her. • She sits down in a restaurant and by the time the glass of wine arrives, she knows the name of the waiter’s acting coach and the next play he has a bit part in. • A woman knows all about who in the office, who on the community board, who in the book or investment club, is seeing a therapist, being investigated, or thinking about changing jobs. It’s not gossip! It’s connecting! Dr. John Gray, author of Men are from Mars,Women are from Venus, claims that such behavior is encoded in their very chromosomes. Women look to connect. And, if you’re successful, Boomer women will deliver more profit to you through being loyal and making more referrals. They want you to sincerely understand them. To recognize their needs, values and dreams. They don’t want to do business with a person that condescends to them. They don’t want to be inconvenienced, made to wait, argue or defend themselves. And finally, Boomer women are three times more likely as men to recommend brands when they know friends are looking for a particular product or service. Although men’s brains are wired differently, if you meet the needs of Boomer women, you’ll most likely meet the demands of men. But not the other way around. Boomer women are not a “niche” market, a segment or a “special interest group” A customer experience based sales approach — creating memorable and lasting impressions — leads to building stronger, more personal relationships with Boomer women customers. There is a great advantage to approaching Boomer women through creating experiences that touch them in a very personal way to build trust and sustainable dialogue with her. Sales is theater and success comes from creating experiences and staging every customer interaction to engage customers in a profound way. And, Boomer women are loyal to sales people who understand that and serve them well. They are less likely to defect. Once a relationship exists, there less due diligence needed because Boomer women spend more time on the initial decision and less on subsequent decisions. We know they can’t be reached effectively using the same traditional strategies that have worked with men. You need to become very savvy about: • How Boomer women make decisions • What motivates them to purchase • How they respond differently than men Ignore them at your peril. About the author: Jim Gilmartin, president, Coming of Age

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