The revolving door between the Washington Capitals and their AHL affiliate the Hershey Bears is still spinning as they called up winger Casey Wellman for last night’s game. The Capitals faced the Philadelphia Flyers again after just rallying a 3rd period come back to beat them in their contest on Sunday. Although Wellman jumped right into the action with contributions early in the game, not even the “Great 8” Alex Ovechkin could rally the Capitals for a victory as the Flyers trumped the Caps for the first time this season.
Frequently, the Capitals have been reaching down into the American Hockey League to add more depth to their roster, filling in the blanks from illness or injury. Taking the 130 mile drive from the sweetest place on earth to the nation’s capital recently has been: Michael Latta, Philipp Grubauer, Nate Schmidt, Patrick Wey and Dmitry Orlov. Along with a list of other players, no strangers to the Hershey to Washington and visa-versa trip, relying on the American Hockey League teams for depth has become a part of the game.
“It was a pretty even game. Both teams had their moments,” said Head Coach Adam Oates.
Ovechkin said that the Capitals played a normal game last night. With a game changer coming in the 2nd period, the hard hit on Brayden Schenn by Tom Wilson, put the Capitals in the red as the Flyers netted 2 power play goals. The Flyers, not uncommon to a 3-point lead on the Capitals as they claimed a 3 goal lead for the 2nd time in 3 days, managed to hold on last night.
The big win by the Flyers wasn’t enough to put the controversial hit on Schenn to rest. This hit, seen by the Capitals as a clean hit not even deserving of a penalty has drawn quite the controversy. Of course, the Flyers have a different opinion on what they call the reckless and endangering hit a 2-3 feet away from the boards on one of their top players. These are the types of hits that the league is trying to eliminate from the game, with good reason as there has been a lot of them this season. B. Schenn left the game last night with a mysterious upper body injury.
The young Wilson, 19 years old, has no record with the NHL but could be the next player to receive a suspension. Dangerous hits are getting out of hand in the NHL and that is reflective in the suspensions being handed out by player safety, recently with Shawn Thornton appealing his 15 game suspension. This being Wilson’s first offense, hopefully he will not receive anything outrageous if anything. Wilson, not seeming to have any ill intentions yesterday, announced his arrival in Philadelphia with this tweet:
The Capitals and the Flyers certainly have budded quite the rivalry. With the November 1st line brawl including a goaltender fight and back-to-back home-and-home games with a controversial hit on a top Flyers player, things are definitely heating up. The Capitals and Flyers will take a break from seeing each other but will square off again in back-to-back games March 2nd and 5th. Although Brendan Shanahan will have the final official say about the Wilson hit, the Flyers might have more to add to that when they see the Capitals in March.