Two days after criticizing New Jersey Devils fans after the team was booed during the team’s overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, Taylor Hall scored the go-ahead goal in the third period, put his hand to his ear, turned to the crowd and made a “Let’s hear it” gesture. When asked about it after the team’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Flyers, Hall said there was no ill-will towards New Jersey fans.
“That’s sports,” said Hall on Friday. “I mean, you’re up, you’re down, and that’s just kind of the way the season’s going right now. We play well enough to win and we don’t. So, we’re gonna have to work for our breaks, and no one is feeling sorry for us right now. We know we’re right there. We know this is no time to quit on our game plan or quit on each other. It’s really just about going out there and keep doing the things that we’re doing well and I think wins are going to follow.”
Hall was critical of fans after Wednesday’s games that led many to speculate that Hall may not want to play in New Jersey down the road. The 27-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, and so far has resisted signing an extension with the team, which could leave the Devils forced to trade him sooner than later if they can’t get him locked up to a deal.
- The Courier Post’s David Isaac reports that Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier played hurt on Friday when the Flyers faced off against the New Jersey Devils. The scribe writes that the left-handed Couturier struggled with his left hand or wrist and avoided taking faceoffs Friday, allowing Travis Konecny to take all, but three of the faceoffs when he was bounced from the circle. In the end, Couturier took those three faceoffs, losing them all. It’s not clear when he injured his hand, but it was before Friday’s game. “I’m not feeling 100 percent, but it’s part of a season,” said Couturier. “You got to battle through injuries. I’m just trying to do what I can to help the team win.” Couturier will remain day-to-day for now, although the team lacks quality depth at the center position if he has to miss any time.
- The Washington Post’s Samantha Pell writes that the Washington Capitals are happier with the team’s forward depth this season as opposed to last season. The team brought in three key depth pieces in Brendan Leipsic, Richard Panik and Garnet Hathaway and with impressive play of Chandler Stephenson, Nic Dowd and Travis Boyd. It has given head coach Todd Rierden an opportunity to move players around much easier and create a climate of competition between bottom-line players. “We are in the middle of the process,” Rierden said. “Not even in the middle, but if you were to look at this to start the season, I think numbers wise you would be happy with where we are at standing-wise.”