The talk these days is all about the Philadelphia Flyers and their mad dash to make the playoffs. They are coming to DC with a new determination, inspired by the death of their beloved owner and founder, Ed Snider, they plan to win this series in his honor. Goalie Steve Mason told reporters Tuesday, “Everything that Mr. Snider did for this organization, for every individual in the organization currently and past, we owe him something special.”
The Flyers had to fight tooth and nail for their wild card spot in the playoffs. There were many who thought they wouldn’t make it but with a win against the Penguins and the Boston Bruins loss to the Senators, they finally secured a chance to take on the Washington Capitals in the first round. Even coming into this series, the Caps are the odds on favorite to win, reports CSNPhilly; however, many others see the Flyer’s year-end surge as a real asset against the Capitals who seemed to show elements of complacency at the end of their regular season.
The Flyers’ players have a pretty good winning attitude coming into the playoffs. Flyers Skate Zone reported that Claude Giroux said “Right now our next goal is to beat the Washington Capitals. We’re going to have to do a lot of good things out there to make that happen.”
Steve Mason expressed concern about the Caps’ net presence and the physical presence of a talented Caps’ team that “come at you from all different angles.”
The Morning Call writes that one of the advantages for the Flyers is center Sean Couturier. Couturier has gained a reputation for himself and often compared to players like Patrice Bergeron and Anzi Kopitar. The Flyers are 35-18-10 when he is in the lineup and ended the season plus 12 in his last 36 games.
Sam Gagner said, “We need all four lines going, all our defensemen going, and we have to play with the tenacity we’ve been playing with,” according to the Inquirer Daily News. One of the primary players they will be counting on to get the team going is right wing Wayne Simmonds. He nearly scored a hat trick in the Flyers last regular season game against Pittsburgh and helped propel the team into the win column. He ended the season with 60 points and 32 goals.
Based on Tuesday’s practice, the Flyers will use the following lines against the Caps:
Voracek Giroux Simmonds
Raffl Couturier Schenn
Read Cousins Gagner
VandeVelde Bellemare White
It’s time for both sides to get ready for a physical battle on the ice. The Caps will roll out their top lines and are making some adjustments to the lower six. Any way you look at it, the next few days will be exciting in Washington and Philadelphia.