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What Flyers are saying before Game 1 vs. Caps


What Flyers are saying before Game 1 vs. Caps

News, notes and quotes following the Flyers’ morning skate at Verizon Center:

In memory of Ed Snider: The Flyers will wear a commemorative EMS patch on their sleeves in memory of owner and team founder Edward Malcolm Snider, who grew up in Washington and the son of a grocery store owner.

Snider passed away on Monday at the age of 83 after a two-year battle with bladder cancer.

“We know he’ll be watching and he’ll be cheering us on,” Flyers captain Claude Giroux said.

Said Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds: “I know there’s nothing else he wanted to see more than the Flyers to win another Stanley Cup and that’s definitely our goal.”

Flyers rookie coach Dave Hakstol, who guided Philadelphia to a 15-5-3 record down the stretch, said he does not want to see his team use Snider’s passing as a rallying cry.

“I don’t think that’s respectful to Mr. Snider or to his family. But certainly we carry him with us every step of the way.”

Getting in Holtby’s head: The Flyers’ game plan is to get into the crease and under the mask of Caps goaltender Braden Holtby, who has the highest playoff save percentage (.936) in NHL history.

“If he sees the first shot he’s going to stop it every single time,” Simmonds said. “He’s a great goaltender, has been for a few years. He’s had an unbelievable year this year, so it goes without saying you’ve got to try to take his eyes away and battle for those second and third opportunities.”

In their last meeting on March 30, Flyers second-line center Sean Couturier slammed into Holtby and drew a roughing minor when the Caps’ netminder wrestled him to the ice.

“You’ve got to put some traffic in front of him, try to discourage him and frustrate him, so he doesn’t see as many pucks as he wishes,” Couturier said.

Ghost on Chimmer: Flyers rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said he has no ill feelings toward Caps left wing Jason Chimera, who butt-ended him in the midsection during the Caps’ 2-1 shootout loss in Philadelphia on March 30. Chimera was not penalized but received a $5,000 fine for the incident.

“No, it’s hockey,” Gostisbehere said. “It’s going to happen out there. I’m not that type of player. I’m sure he’s not either. It’s the emotions of the game. I’m pretty sure that’s in the rearview (mirror) for both of us and we’re focused on the series.”

Smaller than his listed 5-foot-11, 180, Gostisbehere said he expects to be targeted by the Capitals in the first round.

“It’s to be expected, of course,” he said. “I think any player you want to get under their skin a little bit, but it’s the way you respond. Where it really hurts is the scoreboard, and that’s my focus.”

Gostisbehere, who will turn 23 on Wednesday, has already played 22 more games this season than he did at any point in his college career at Union. He led all Flyers defensemen in goals (17) and points (49).

“I did see a couple points as we went through the stretch run where maybe energy (his) levels were a little bit low,” Hakstol said. “I’ve seen it on the upswing lately. “
Gostisbehere did not practice on Tuesday and said he may have hydrated too much on Wednesday.

“I slept pretty good, actually,” he said with a laugh. “I think I hydrated too much, went to the bathroom a couple times.”

Haters gonna hate:   Simmonds lives in Toronto in the offseason and said he trains with Tom Wilson and Michael Latta. But he agrees with Wilson when he says Flyers fans are going to hate him. In a way, he hopes Caps fans will feel the same about him at the end of this series.

“Any time go into another team’s building and you’re getting booed and they hate you, you’re doing your job right,” said Simmonds, who plays bigger than his 6-foot-2, 185-pound frame. “I actually know Wilson and I’m sure the Flyers fans will hate him, if they already don’t.”

MORE CAPITALS: Williams, Richards give 'street cred' to the Caps

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Touted Prospect Shane Gersich signs with Caps, joins team immediately


Touted Prospect Shane Gersich signs with Caps, joins team immediately

The Caps signed University of North Dakota forward Shane Gersich, a fifth round selection in 2014 and one of the organization’s top prospects, on Friday morning, the team announced.

Gersich, a left shot who is listed at 5-11, 175-pounds, has already joined the team in Montreal, where the Caps play the Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday night.

His contract, which begins this season, carries an average annual value of $925,000.

It’s unclear when Gersich will make his NHL debut, but it could happen at some point in the Caps’ final eight games before the playoffs.


NBC Sports Washington has been told that the primary objective for Gersich in the coming weeks is to get his first taste of the NHL by observing—and practicing alongside—his new teammates in Washington. If the opportunity to get him into the lineup presents itself, then it’s possible he’ll suit up.

The 21-year-old just completed his third season at UND. Here are Gersich’s numbers from junior and college, courtesy of


At UND, the smooth-skating and skilled Gersich also produced this memorable goal vs. Denver:

Gersich has been assigned jersey No. 63 in Washington, according to the Caps’ website.

The addition of Gersich and subsequent subtraction of Travis Boyd, who was reassigned to Hershey on Friday morning, leaves the Caps with 14 forwards on the roster.

“I think he did a great job at rookie camp,” Caps GM Brian MacLellan said of Gersich in July. “He was one of our best players, if not the best player, at camp. Really happy about the way he’s progressed and where we picked him. I think Ross Mahoney did a great job with that pick.”

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Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018 projection: Still too close to call in the Metropolitan Division


Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018 projection: Still too close to call in the Metropolitan Division

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are right around the corner and there is still a lot to be decided.

The Metropolitan Division is going to come right down to the wire as each team seemingly continues to win and put the pressure on the first place Capitals.

With just over two weeks remaining in the regular season, the playoff matchups for the first round of the NHL playoffs are still up in the air with only five points separating the top four teams in the Metro. Washington is in good position with a four-point cushion between themselves and the second place Pittsburgh Penguins.

With both teams meeting on April 1, however, the Caps are still a long way off from clinching the division and earning home ice in the first round.



Eastern Conference (As of Friday 3/23):

1M Washington Capitals (93pts) vs. WC1 Philadelphia Flyers (88pts)
2M Pittsburgh Penguins (89pts) vs. 3M Columbus Blue Jackets (89pts)
1A Tampa Bay Lightning (106pts) vs. WC2 New Jersey Devils (82pts)
2A Boston Bruins (100pts) vs. 3A Toronto Maple Leafs (95pts)

Western Conference (As of Friday 3/23):

1C Nashville Predators (106pts) vs. WC1Anaheim Ducks (88pts)
2C Winnipeg Jets (98pts) vs. 3C Minnesota Wild (90pts)
1P Las Vegas Golden Knights (100pts) vs. WC2 Colorado Avalanche (88pts)
2P San Jose Sharks (93pts) vs. 3P Los Angeles Kings (89pts)


Washington has won only one out of four games against the Philadelphia Flyers this season. That's not an ideal first-round matchup for Washington, but there is still time for the Flyers to climb and overtake Columbus or Pittsburgh in the standings.

What seems unlikely to happen is for New Jersey or Florida to pass Philadelphia. While things remain close near the top of the standings, there seems to be a growing divide between the top-four teams in the Metropolitan Division and the two teams battling for the final remaining spot in the playoffs.

The Flyers may be in fourth place in the division, but they still boast a healthy six-point lead over the Devils who sit in the second wild card.

If we assume New Jersey and Florida will not be able to climb to any postseason position, but the second wild card, that makes the three most likely candidates to face Washington in the first round Pittsburgh, Columbus and Philadelphia.


Metropolitan Division
1. Washington Capitals (93 points, 74 GP, 40 ROW)
2. Pittsburgh Penguins (89 points, 74 GP, 40 ROW)
3. Columbus Blue Jackets (89 points, 75 GP, 36 ROW)

Atlantic Division
1. Tampa Bay Lightning (106 points, 74 GP, 45 ROW)
2. Boston Bruins (100 points, 72 GP, 42 ROW)
3. Toronto Maple Leafs (95 points, 74 GP, 37 ROW)

Wild Card:
WC1. Philadelphia Flyers (88 points, 75 GP, 36 ROW)
WC2. New Jersey Devils (82 points, 73 GP, 32 ROW)

Still in the Hunt:
Florida Panthers (81points, 72 GP, 34 ROW)


Central Division
1. Nashville Predators (106 points, 73 GP, 43 ROW)
2. Winnipeg Jets (98 points, 73 GP, 42 ROW)
3. Minnesota Wild (90 points, 73 GP, 38 ROW)

Pacific Division
1. Las Vegas Golden Knights (100 points, 74 GP, 44 ROW)
2. San Jose Sharks (93 points, 74 GP, 38 ROW)
3. Los Angeles Kings (89 points, 75 GP, 39 ROW)

Wild Card:
WC1. Anaheim Ducks (88 points, 74 GP, 34 ROW)
WC2. Colorado Avalanche (88 points, 74 GP, 39 ROW)

Still in the hunt:
St. Louis Blues (85 points, 72 GP, 34 ROW)