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Trotz says Philly fans' behavior 'uncalled for'


Trotz says Philly fans' behavior 'uncalled for'

Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov was recovering on the bench after being railroaded from behind by Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare with 7:43 remaining in the Caps’ eventual 6-1 win over the Flyers Monday night when he was hit in the face by a white rubber wristband thrown from the crowd.

A few feet away, Capitals coach Barry Trotz was seething.

One by one, the rubber light-up wristbands that were distributed to fans as part of a tribute to team founder Ed Snider were tossed onto the ice in frustration over the Flyers’ lopsided loss to their division rival.

Capitals left wing Jason Chimera said he’s seen a lot of things in hockey over the years, but …

“Yeah, I’ve never seen that before,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that a few fans ruin it for the thousands of people that came and love to watch hockey. And for the team, too. It cost them a goal. You never want to see that. The money (thrown from unruly crowds) hurts. The plastic wristbands don’t hurt so much.”

No, but Trotz said it gave the NHL a black eye.

“I felt bad for …  it was a tribute to Mr. Snider,” Trotz said Tuesday. “I’m proud of our game and it wasn’t on good display last night. That’s my biggest frustration. We were still playing hockey and I thought it was just a little bit uncalled for. And it got dangerous for not only our players but also for the Flyer players.

MORE HOCKEY: Holtby's injury described as a 'nick' and a 'tweak'

“Those bracelets are white and the ice is white. All you need is Claude Giroux to step on one and snap his leg in half, or one of our guys. To me, that was my biggest frustration.”

Fans began littering the ice with bracelets following Bellemare’s penalty, which resulted in a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety. And despite warnings from public address announcer Lou Nolan, it continued on each stoppage, resulting in the Flyers being assessed a bench minor for delay of game following a goal by Alex Ovechkin with 5:02 remaining.

 “You could tell by the in-house announcer, it was actually quite comical,” Trotz said. “And then they do it and it’s a penalty. But at the same time it is dangerous out there. Fans have to respect that players are going at high speeds out there and if you step on something it just sweeps your feet out and you go ankle first into the boards or snap your leg. That was my biggest frustration.”

Snider’s daughter, Sarena, voiced her displeasure with the unruly fans with a tweet that read: “My dad would've called the wristband throwers a "disgrace" & may have spoken publicly. But he wouldn't look back, only forward.”

Apparently, the Flyers had planned on passing out more of the wristbands for Game 4 on Wednesday night but are likely to change those plans. On Tuesday, cases of the wristbands remained sealed on the event level floor of the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday.

Trotz said he is “not at all” concerned about his players’ safety for Game 4, where the Capitals hope to complete their first sweep in playoff history.

“I think the (Flyers) organization will have a clear message to everybody,” Trotz said.

The Flyers issued this statement on Tuesday:

“Flyers fans are the best in sports.  However, last night a number of individuals behaved in an unacceptable manner.

"Fans have the right to voice their displeasure vocally or by not watching or attending games, but when displeasure is expressed in a way that embarrasses or endangers others, it cannot be condoned or tolerated.  As an organization and on behalf of the overwhelming majority of Flyers’ fans who express their passion in a positive manner, we wish to express our sincere regret."

RELATED: Bellemare suspended one game for Orlov hit

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Trade to Caps potentially offers Jerabek what he never got in Montreal


Trade to Caps potentially offers Jerabek what he never got in Montreal

Defenseman Jakub Jerabek is really happy about the opportunity to play with the Washington Capitals, but it could have come at a better time. The trade came with his parents already on their way from the Czech Republic to visit him.

“It was crazy days past three days because I had my parents on the way to Montreal and they didn't know so it was a big surprise for them,” Jerabek told reporters Saturday after his first skate with the team.

A native of the Czech Republic, Jerabek signed his first NHL contract with the Montreal Canadiens in May 2017. After spending some time in the AHL and struggling to consistently earn a spot in the Canadiens’ lineup, he knew a trade was possible.

“My family, maybe we expected some trade. When its come with Caps and it was Washington, I was really happy.”


Jerabek said he came into the NHL with no expectations and was simply happy for the opportunity, but it is fair to wonder if he was not just the least bit frustrated with how he was utilized by Montreal.

For a player with experience playing for the national team, the Czech league and the KHL, getting only 25 games with a bad Montreal team seems a bit low.

“In first two weeks, I didn't know what's going on because the coaches just told me that I played well, but we just make some competition between the [defensemen] and that I have to wait for my next chance,” Jerabek said. “It was hard, but now I'm happy down here.”

Washington now offers a very different opportunity. In need of help on the blue line, Jeraebek has the chance to earn consistent playing time for a team on pace to reach the postseason.

Jerabek will not play in Saturday’s game against Buffalo, but he was hopeful he would be in the lineup for Monday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.


For now, Jerabek and head coach Barry Trotz are unclear as to what his ultimate role on the team will be. With eight defensemen now on the roster, Trotz cautioned any lineup decision could not be rushed because of the trickle-down effect it will have on the other players.

“You always look at chemistry and all that with your group depending how high that player goes up the lineup, it affects different people,” Trotz said. “In a forward group, if you get a guy that you all of a sudden stick on the first line, there's four other guys that are bumped down and one guy's bumped out.”

The addition of Jerabek, however, offers the Caps another defenseman who can quickly move the puck out of the defensive zone, something the team has struggled with immensely throughout the season. Though he shoots left, he also said he is comfortable playing on the right said and has played there regularly over the past few years. That provides the lineup with some flexibility on the third pair behind Matt Niskanen and John Carlson.

As for Jerabek’s parents, they will be arriving in Washington on Saturday.

“I tried to figure out the situation with them to get them to here and they will come today,” he said. “So I'm really happy.”

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Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread


Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Sabres will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Sabres game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.


The Capitals (34-20-7) take on the Sabres (18-32-11) Saturday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Capital One Arena.


The Capitals-Sabres game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Sabres
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30


Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Sabres game:

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Brett Connolly - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Chandler Stephenson - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Devante Smith-Pelly - Jay Beagle - Alex Chiasson

Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Michal Kempny

Philipp Grubauer starts with Braden Holtby as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek


The Capitals-Panthers game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.