Flyers fan's guide to Stanley Cup Final

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Flyers fan's guide to Stanley Cup Final

NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Boruk, Tom Dougherty and Jordan Hall provide the Flyers fan's guide to the Stanley Cup Final, which begins tonight at 8 on NBC.


Who Flyers fans should cheer for
The Golden Knights are clearly the sentimental favorite and if they win the Stanley Cup, they very well may be the best team story since the Miracle on Ice in 1980. However, let’s make a case for pulling for the Capitals.

Alex Ovechkin has been Sidney Crosby’s long-time nemesis since coming into the league in 2005 and for the anti-Crosby crowd, it was gratifying to see Ovechkin and the Caps finally get over that hump. If you’re looking for a sentimental angle, Barry Trotz is the father of a special needs child, son Nolan, who has Down syndrome, and Trotz enters the Final in the final few months of his contract. Both Trotz, Ovechkin and the Capitals have been repeatedly criticized as just not good enough to win a Cup. Here’s a chance to prove them all wrong. A Washington victory would keep the Stanley Cup in the Metropolitan Division for the third straight year, proving the Flyers compete in the toughest division in hockey.     

Conn Smythe
Right now, it’s all about Flower power. Marc-Andre Fleury has posted some ridiculous numbers through the first three rounds of the playoffs — a 12-3 record with a 1.68 goals against and a .947 save percentage. Even if the Capitals win the Cup, Fleury may still receive the honors in a losing effort as the award is a reflection of the entire postseason.

Prediction: Golden Knights in five
They swept the Kings, never trailed in the Sharks series and reeled off four straight wins over Winnipeg. Vegas is proving how dominant they are and that their regular season was no fluke. They enter the Stanley Cup Final well rested and I don’t think the Capitals will keep up with the Knights' relentless pressure and high-tempo.


Who Flyers fans should cheer for
There is not a lot to cheer about in this country right now, but the Vegas Golden Knights are as good of a story as you will find anywhere. We need it.

I don't get how anyone can actively root against Vegas. An expansion team in the Stanley Cup Final. A team filled with misfits and a castaway head coach who was forced to hail his own taxi after the Panthers fired him.

Everyone loves an underdog and if you're from Philly, you know the rest. Need more reason to root for Vegas? How about Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Luca Sbisa, who, let's not forget, helped the Flyers acquire Chris Pronger in 2009?

Conn Smythe
Win or lose, the Conn Smythe has to go to Fleury. He already has the best save percentage through the first three rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs ever. Unless he allows five goals per game in the FInal — won't happen — I don't see how the Conn Smythe can go to anyone else. Fleury has been the best player throughout these playoffs and it's not even close.  

Prediction: Golden Knights in five
I'm not betting against Vegas anymore. I still look at the Golden Knights' roster and am befuddled at how they even made the playoffs, let alone the Stanley Cup Final. But here we are. I learned my lesson. Vegas wins easily.


Who Flyers fans should cheer for
Ovechkin is a likable player and the Philadelphia sports fan can certainly relate to the Capitals' pain of a championship drought. Heck, if you think you've had it bad, Washington has never hoisted the Stanley Cup, with a lengthy stretch recently of notoriously falling well short of expectations.

However, the Capitals are in the Metropolitan Division and hold a geographical significance to Flyers fans.

Is there anything to dislike about the Golden Knights and their story? Not really. It's pretty neat and if anyone is uneasy about a team winning in its first year of existence, well, the whole league has to deal with that, too.

Conn Smythe
It's hard to believe it won't be Ovechkin if the Capitals come out victorious. He's having an excellent postseason, he's one of the biggest faces in the NHL and if anyone deserves a Cup, it's probably this guy.

Prediction: Capitals in six
The Capitals are so close they can taste it. I simply don't see this group getting this far, exorcising some serious playoff demons, without finishing the job.

Ovechkin, Braden Holtby and the rest just seem laser focused. And not that Vegas will be happy to be there, but it might not feel the same sense of urgency of Washington.

Sean Couturier reveals an interesting nickname and clowns Michael Raffl

Sean Couturier reveals an interesting nickname and clowns Michael Raffl

Sean Couturier has been in Philadelphia for nine years and there's a nickname that hasn't become public.

On Saturday night, the NHL tweeted out a video of Couturier to promote the NHL Gaming World Championship. This is where we learned of this interesting nugget.

Paul Bissonnette, the host of the video, alerts Couturier that he had some dirt on the nine-year veteran from Claude Giroux.

It's revealed that his teammates call Couturier "Elton John" because when going in for a breakaway, he sometimes looks like he's carrying a piano on his back.

That's one you can't live down.

Once the spotlight is taken off Couturier, he chose Michael Raffl as the biggest jokester on the team and started modifying some of his skills and attributes in NHL20.

For example, Couturier gives Raffl a high mark for speed, but pokes fun at his lack of physicality. The body checking attribute came down big time.

For the rest of Couturier's answers, watch the video here:

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Catching up on Carter Hart in live stream, teammates troll in the comments

Catching up on Carter Hart in live stream, teammates troll in the comments

With the season on hold, many of the Flyers have gone back to their hometowns for the time being, until they receive word about what the next step will be for the NHL.

That gave Carter Hart the chance to check in with NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes on Friday night during an Instagram live. There, they talked about a wide range of things, including hobbies, an ugly suit trip and Hart even had a few teammates crash the chat room.

There’s a lot of extra time on the players’ hands right now, so what has Hart been up to? Mostly playing guitar and a lot of NBA2K.

He plays both electric and acoustic guitar, but it’s still a work in progress.

“I just wanted to get into something a little different,” Hart said. “I thought guitar would be the easiest thing to try and pick up, but it’s pretty hard.” 

And with the mention of the NBA, of course Weekes had to check in and see who Hart had been rooting for leading up to the season on pause. Obviously, many in Canada cheer for the Raptors but now that he’s playing in Philadelphia? 

“Living in Philly now, I've got to cheer for the Sixers,” Hart said.

Smart answer from the 21-year-old. And he certainly nailed the dynamic of the fans that he loves playing in front of. 

“If we’re sucking, they’re going to let us know,” Hart joked. “But if we’re winning, they’re behind us.”

Then a conversation that originally stemmed from pizza turned into Hart breaking down a roast session about him from his teammates. Apparently, the team had an ugly suit trip when it was off to Columbus — something that we’ll definitely need to do more research on — but Hart has only a handful of suits on the regular rotation. 

“I only have three suits,” Hart said. “I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to wear this,’ and I show up to the plane and everyone was like, ‘That’s the suit you wear all of the time.’

“I was like, ‘Wow, what do you want from me? You guys hate it anyways.’” 

Of course, it’s all in good fun … at least we hope. 

And soon enough, his buddies crashed the chat. About 75 percent through the stream, Nolan Patrick joined the party and started to have some fun in the comment section.  It wasn’t long before the captain Claude Giroux tuned in as well, coaching the young goalie of how to get to his end point when talking in an interview. Always looking out for the kiddo. Former teammate Dale Weise even joined the chat party, so naturally him and Patrick were joking around. 

It’s safe to say these guys certainly miss seeing each other daily. Hopefully we’ll get more live streams in the near future. 

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