Flyers

Flyers social media team is having a blast, trolls the Capitals, Barstool

Flyers social media team is having a blast, trolls the Capitals, Barstool

The Flyers are surging, hockey is fun, the bandwagoners have arrived and Philadelphia is buzzing for some late spring NHL action in the city.

After taking down Washington for the second time this season on the road, they not only improved to a season-best 7-game winning streak but also pulled behind the Metro’s top dogs now trailing by a single point. The tables can turn as quickly as tonight if the Flyers get the job done against the Hurricanes and the Rangers can pull off a win over the Capitals.

It was no easy feat by any means last night, but with the game being on a national stage — everyone was talking about this showdown.

While the action was heating up on the ice, things were heating up off the ice on the team’s social media accounts.

Let’s just say whoever runs it for the Flyers was NOT having it.

Surely, you remember the fight involving Tom Wilson last night. Wait, let me be a little more specific since there were about 30 of them … the one where good guy Robert Hagg went and defended the captain.

The Capitals decided to retaliate, noting that they didn’t show the whole fight and cut out the gif before the ending.

Here’s where things start to get fun. Of course the Flyers weren’t going to back down, especially now that things were rolling. I’d like to take some form of credit for that by the way, considering I put this into the universe. You’re welcome, Philly.

So, since the team had taken a 3-1 lead, it was used to their advantage with this epic comeback.

The shade didn’t stop there, though. The social account for Barstool’s Spittin’ Chiclets podcast thought it would be smart to hype up goaltender Braden Holtby after he stopped this puck from going in.

First, it’s funny considering that it’s clearly a goal, but since there wasn’t enough visual evidence, the call couldn’t be reversed.

Second, the Flyers scored just moments after this. If you take a goal away from Travis Konecny, odds are he’s going to want to get that back. Spoiler alert: he did.

And to top things off, they made sure to keep things rolling in the morning when the NHL released their most recent power rankings … rankings where the Capitals are still somehow above the Flyers even with their win streak and a series record this season of 3-0-1.

They then proceeded to put them on full blast, pulling up receipts from just a few days ago after winning both games in the home-and-home against the Rangers.

Who knows the next Twitter account that will try to go up against the Flyers? At this rate, they’re just as intimidating as the team itself.

Oh, how the tides have turned in such a short amount of time.

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Ice cream and a memory vs. Carey Price remind us Carter Hart is just a kid ... but ready for the moment

Ice cream and a memory vs. Carey Price remind us Carter Hart is just a kid ... but ready for the moment

When Carey Price was at his most dominant, winning the Vezina Trophy (top goalie) and Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP) in 2014-15, Carter Hart was just 16 years old. 

The precocious but innocent kid had just begun molding his game at the junior hockey level with the WHL's Silvertips in Everett, Washington.

Price was at the sport's pinnacle.

"He was my favorite goalie growing up," Hart said.

On Wednesday, the night before his 22nd birthday, Hart found himself stretching next to Price at the center-ice line in front of the scorekeepers' bench.

There was Hart, on the same NHL stage as his idol, facing him in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The NHL postseason is serious business, requiring the utmost competitiveness and focus. Hart, whose youthfulness often belies his maturity, fully understands the beast that is the Stanley Cup Playoffs. But the postseason makes for special moments and memories. NHL players all looked up to someone at some point. For Hart, he allowed himself to appreciate the storyline ahead.

"Definitely really cool," Hart said last Sunday about the upcoming best-of-seven first-round matchup with Price's Canadiens. "Just had the chance to actually meet him the other week and talk with him for the first time, so that was something pretty cool. For your first playoff series, playing against Carey Price will definitely be a lot of fun; I look forward to it."

Price, who turns 33 years old on Sunday, was unable to spoil the youngster's birthday. By midnight, Hart and the top-seeded Flyers had a 1-0 series lead after earning a hard-fought 2-1 victory over eighth-seeded Montreal. Hart is 3-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and .966 save percentage through three games in the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament.

On the ice, the Flyers were able to celebrate around Hart after he turned away 27 of 28 shots, with 16 of those saves coming in the second period when the Flyers really needed him.

Off the ice, they made sure to celebrate Hart's birthday a little early, making the best of the circumstances in the Eastern Conference's Toronto bubble.

“I think some guys got him some ice cream yesterday after the game and just sang him happy birthday," Shayne Gostisbehere said Thursday with a smile. "He’s been pretty good.”

“Let him do his thing,” Scott Laughton chimed in about Hart.

“Yeah, let him do his thing," Gostisbehere echoed.

After a short and sweet exchange with Price, Hart did his thing in Game 1.

“Just said hello quickly in warmups, good luck and it was just time to go play," Hart said.

If Hart continues to play the way he has this season and to start the tournament, he could remember the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs for much more than a memorable matchup with Price.

But there's a kid in everyone. Then again, Hart is only 22 years old.

"He’s a special kid," Derek Grant said last week. "He’s so calm. He puts his mask on, you don’t know how old he is."

With his mask off, Hart hopefully enjoyed a little ice cream and soaked in the moment.

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Canadiens head coach Claude Julien hospitalized with chest pain

Canadiens head coach Claude Julien hospitalized with chest pain

Canadiens head coach Claude Julien has been hospitalized because of chest pain, the team announced Thursday.

Julien is not expected to return to the bench for the Canadiens' best-of-seven first-round playoff series against the Flyers. Assistant coach Kirk Muller will take over head coaching duties in the interim.

Julien was behind the bench leading Montreal in Game 1 Wednesday night at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The Flyers beat the Canadiens, 2-1, while the series continues Friday with Game 2 at 3 p.m. ET.

Here is a statement from Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, via the team's official website:

Good afternoon. I'm here to inform you of the reason Claude Julien was not here this morning at practice. Claude experienced chest pain during the night. We immediately consulted our doctors and it was agreed to transfer him to the hospital by ambulance. He's presently there and he's undergoing tests to determine the exact nature of his condition. This has nothing to do with COVID.

We don't expect him to be back during this series against the Flyers. Kirk, Dominique [Ducharme] and Luke [Richardson] will share the responsibility, however, Kirk is the associate head coach and he will assume the responsibility of head coach until Claude's return.  

We understand that Kirk does not speak French, but these are exceptional circumstances and we're asking you for your understanding. Out of respect for Claude and his family, I will not answer any further questions about his medical condition.

The veteran coach led the Bruins to a Stanley Cup championship in 2011. The 60-year-old began his NHL head coaching career in Montreal and has been with the club for parts of seven seasons.

"There’s no doubt that there’s a deep bond and a deep respect because we know the jobs that we’re doing," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said about Julien before the series.

Vigneault, 59, also began his NHL head coaching career in Montreal. From 1981-83, Vigneault and Julien were teammates on the Central Hockey League's Salt Lake Golden Eagles.

"I didn't see him after the game," Vigneault said Thursday afternoon in a video interview following practice. "I've known Claude since I was 20, so we go way back, good friends. I'm going to reach out with him; I just found out the news, I want to say 20 minutes ago, just before jumping on the bus. I'm not aware of exactly what happened."

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