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Caps submit Schenn cross-check on Kuznetsov to NHL for review


Caps submit Schenn cross-check on Kuznetsov to NHL for review

Wednesday's Game 4 between the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia didn't reach the same level of physicality as Game 3 in which the Flyers melted down in the third period of a blowout loss, but one play did stick out as particularly dirty.

Late in the second period as Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth froze the puck, Brayden Schenn turned to Evgeny Kuznetsov and cross-checked him in the knee. This occurred after the whistle had blown and seemingly without provocation.

You can see the play in the video above.

"There's really no way to put it, but that's pretty cheap," Tom Wilson said. "You come in after a whistle and you target a guy's knee like that? There's really no time for that."

Head coach Barry Trotz said it's not the first time the Flyers have done that to one of the Caps' stars this series.

"That's twice," Trotz said. "There was a [Wayne] Simmonds one earlier in the series that was brought up to the league. Once is maybe a coincidence, twice is not."

RELATED: Flyers' discipline helps extend series with Caps

In Game 2, Simmonds also went low on Alex Ovechkin away from the play. Trotz said both plays had been brought to the league's attention, but that he did not know if there would be any response.

"I think that it's a dangerous play," Trotz said. "I think it should not be in our game and any player who's looking to wreck a guy's knee or injure him, especially when the play is dead, that definitely should be out of the game. Every player on every team would tell you that's disrespectful."

The NHL puts greater weight on playoff games when it comes to suspensions (see Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Andrew Shaw's one game suspensions and none for Kris Letang after whacking Viktor Stalberg in the face with his stick) so any supplementary discipline to Schenn seems unlikely.

It is something to keep in mind for Game 5, however, as both the referees and the Caps will be watching to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Said Wilson, "We'll just use that as a little motivation to send those guys home."

Injury updates:

Wilson left Game 4 late in the third period after taking a hit up high from Philadelphia's Brandon Manning. He said Wednesday that he should be "good to go" for Friday.

When asked about Brooks Orpik, Trotz said, "We're going to skate tomorrow. I don't know if he'll skate or not at this point." He also mentioned that he thought Taylor Chorney played "great" in Game 4 in Orpik's place.

The Flyers tweeted Wednesday night that forward Scott Laughton was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons, but that all tests had come back negative. Laughton had to be taken off the ice in a stretcher during the game after a scary looking fall into the boards.

MORE CAPITALS: 5 stats that tell the story of the Caps Game 4 loss to the Flyers

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Capitals are shaking up the coaching staff in Hershey

The Hershey Bears

Capitals are shaking up the coaching staff in Hershey

The contracts of Hershey Bears head coach Troy Mann and Bears assistant coach Ryan Murphy will not be renewed for next season, the Capitals announced Wednesday. Hershey finished in last place in the Atlantic Division and did not qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

“Troy is a dedicated and hard-working coach and we appreciate all he has done for the Hershey Bears,” said Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan. “At this point, we feel a fresh approach and a change in leadership is needed in order for us to continue to develop our young players towards the next level and for success at the AHL level. We also want to thank Ryan for his contributions to the Hershey Bears and wish him all the best.”

Just two seasons ago, the Bears under Mann were playing the Calder Cup Finals where they lost in four games to the Lake Erie Monsters. Mann served as an assistant coach for Hershey from 2009-2013 and was hired as the head coach in 2014. He led the Bears to a record of 162-102-22-18 during his tenure, good for sixth all-time among Hershey coaches in wins.

Mann coached several current Capitals players in Hershey including Travis Boyd, Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Vrana, Madison Bowey, Christian Djoos and Philipp Grubauer, among others. Hershey also currently boasts several of the Caps' biggest prospects such as Lucas Johansen, Connor Hobbs, Riley Barber and Jonas Siegenthaler.

Murphy was with the Bears for all four years of Mann's tenure. He started in video development in Mann's first season and was promoted to assistant coach the following year.

“We’d like to thank Troy Mann and Ryan Murphy for their contributions to the Hershey Bears organization,” said Hershey vice president of hockey operations, Bryan Helmer. “While we are looking to move our hockey club forward, today is certainly an emotional day. I had the pleasure of working with both Troy and Ryan behind the bench for two seasons, and consider them to be great people. We wish both all the best in future endeavors.”

Coaching in the AHL is a tough job as coaches are expected to bring the team success while also developing their NHL club's prospects. There are times when the two goals do not necessarily line up which can make it a difficult balance.

Considering how important it is to develop talent from within, AHL coaches are very significant parts of an organization. Getting the right guy in charge of Hershey won't just boost the AHL team, but will help the Caps down the line with developed players.


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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: And so we meet again

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: And so we meet again

We all knew this was coming, right?

The Capitals will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs for the third consecutive season and for the 11th time in franchise history. Washington has only beaten Pittsburgh once in their previous 10 series. This season gives them the opportunity to get over the second round and Pittsburgh hump once and for all.

Will this year be different? Will the Caps finally take down their arch nemesis? Will they finally advance to the conference final?

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir break down the Caps-Penguins matchup in the Capitals Faceoff Podcast.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page