Thanks to some heroics by Nathan Horton, the 2011 Boston Bruins "Redemption Tour" is continuing it's way through Filthadelphia.
We all remember what happened last year. No need to bring up the past. It's there. It happened. It'll be back in the players minds but more as fuel than a hinderance. We've been asked if we think there's any fear or trepidation facing the Flyers because of last year. Our response: No.
We're looking forward to it.
We said back before the playoffs started that if the Bruins are to win the Cup this year it had to go through Montreal -- beating the Habs on the way to the Cup adds a little extra something sweet to the dish -- and it had to go through Philly -- to make up for that travestyfuck from last year.
This should be a good series. Two teams that play hard, hit hard and play gritty. A little bit more power and less finesse.
May 2 @ Philly 7:30
May 4 in Boston 7:00
May 6 in Boston 8:00
May 8 @ Philly (if needed) 3:00
May 10 in Boston (if needed) TBD
May 12 @ Philly (if needed) TBD
Great schedule. Love that the games are every other day. Fuck you, Lady GaGa.
Not sure who made that graphic. Found it on Facebook. Brierre and Richards jokes never get old.
After the jump... more series preview stuff
Flyers had 22 goals against Buffalo in the first round. Bruins had 17 goals against Montreal. Five of Flyers goals were on the PP; 0 for Boston. First round even-strength scoring was basically even. Regular season Flyers were third most scoring team -- 256 goals. Bruins were fifth in the NHL -- 244. Again pretty close.
Flyers top 6:
Giroux -- Richards -- Hartnell
Briere -- Powe -- Riemsdyk
(We know Carcillo isn't top 6... just love that pic)
Boston's top 6:
Lucic -- Krecji -- Horton
Recchi -- Bergeron -- Marchand
For Boston it was Line 3 that were the big scorers (6 goals and 14 points), though Line 2 wasn't too shabby (4 goals; 16 points).
Edge: Push. If Line 2 and 3 stay hot for Boston and Krecji & Lucic wake up, Boston could be quite the offensive threat. Meanwhile, Richards, Giroux and Briere are always a threat to score and you can't ignore Hartnell either for too long. It can really go etiher way.
Side note: We'd expect to see the fourth line get some playing time against a grittier team like the Flyers. Guys like Campbell and Thornton can be a big help in grinding away w/the Flyers while the top six recharge on the bench.
Pronger was on PP duty for the Flyers last series. He's getting better, but a D-man only playing on PP isn't much of a useful D-man, especially when Bruins have guys like Campbell and Marchand who are a threar to score a shortie. Bruins have Norris Finalist Chara, bigger hitter in Boychuk and solid d-men in McQuaid, Seids and Ference 3:16.
The Flyers' goaltending situation is like a revolving door. Who knows who'll start. Shit, you can probably start for the Flyers if you really wanted to. Just toss your name in the hat and see where it leads.
Bruins were a horrid -1 for 21 on the PP -- a 0.00000000000% conversation rate. The Flyers PP was 14.7% (5 for 35), so marginally better -- 12th of all playoff teams. And we mean that only numbers wise, but 1 for 7 is better than nothing. Question is: Will the Bs finally score on the man advantage or will it be more "Shit. Bruins got a PP. Time to drain the dragon." If the latter, the Bruins PK needs to be lights out and some.
Edge: Flyers. Can't fathom picking Boston when they can't score a PP goal.
Our Prediction: Bruins in 6, though this can easily go 7 like last year. PP gotta find ways of getting the puck in. The difference maker here, for us, is Thomas. In the last four games against the Flyers he's 3-1 with a 1.96 GAA and a .942 SV%. We're expecting more of that from Timmy.
Series Preview Links:
- Haggs: Flyers a better match-up for Boston than Montreal
- Flyers are downplaying the Bruins' thirst for revenge. No need to downplay this. Not sure what the point is.
- Bruins aren't changing game plans
- But they are practicing their PP... practice makes... ummm... err... we dunno
- FlyersGoalScoredBy preview of the series... kinda. Follow this blog if you want to see a good ribbing of the Bruins or if you feel like trolling. Whatever floats your boat.