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Flyers vs. Canadiens: Who's the favorite?

May 15, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

Habs4.jpgWe only have one day to dwell on the big series win by the
Philadelphia Flyers, one that has seemingly overwhelmed the incredible
win by the Montreal Canadiens over the Pittsburgh Penguins. While the
Flyers ousting the Bruins wasn’t exactly unexpected — although coming
back from down 0-3 was — the Habs taking out both the Penguins and the
Capitals in two straight rounds is something that absolutely no one saw
coming.

So now we have perhaps the most improbable conference
finals matchup in recent memory, and not just because it’s the bottom
two seeds in the conference. What both teams have had to overcome to
reach this point is nothing short of amazing, but unfortunately only one
team of destiny can advance from here.

The question is, which
team is now the favorite? Is it the Flyers, the team that has overcome
so many injuries and goaltending issues to surprise the Devils and then
shock the Bruins? Or is the Canadiens, who found the perfect system that
frustrated the heck out of the greatest hockey players in the world?

Whichever
it might be, there’s no doubt that this upcoming series will be like
nothing either team has faced before.

Chris
Iorfida of CBC Sports
lays out how the Flyers present a different
challenge for the Habs, as they may actually be — at this point — a
more complete team than the Penguins and the Capitals:

Philadelphia, even without Carter, still has six players in the
lineup who scored at least 14 goals this season. The list doesn’t
include talented late-season pickup Ville Leino, who stepped into the
lineup in the Boston series and contributed two goals and four assists.

The list is headed by Mike Richards. The captain isn’t quite on the
level of Ovechkin, Crosby or Malkin, but he can score regularly while
also giving maximum effort in his own end, something that can’t always
be said of that trio.

The Canadiens were successful against the Penguins and Capitals by
playing a system that was nearly the direct opposite of those two teams.
The Habs used sound defense and stellar goaltending to negate the
offensive attack that both teams employ while utilizing their
counterattack approach to perfection. The Canadiens managed this by
taking out the two best players on each team and taking advantage of the
lack of depth each team turned out to have.

The Flyers present a different challenge for the Habs, a team that is
just as relentless and deep as they are. But turned around, you also
have to think that the Flyers have yet to face a team like the Habs.

Both the Devils and the Bruins lacked the attitude and the confidence
the Habs now possess, nevermind the defensive fortitude and goaltending
they’ve build through two series. The knockout, physical and hard
fought series we expected with the Bruins should certainly come to
fruition against Montreal.

Which team is the favorite? It’s likely that most will pick
Philadelphia after the momentum they’ve build after the series against
Boston. Despite the different challenges that the Canadiens will face
with the Flyers, there’s no way you can count them out. Especially in a
seven game series.

  1. Mexicans are dirty people - May 15, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    Flyers all the way. Fuck Canada.

  2. Homer Noodleman - May 15, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    Mexicans, someone needs to stick an ice pick in your ear

  3. hol - May 15, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    You can tell what a scumbag you are. what are you italian from philly
    ur family was prolly wetbacks too

  4. BillReese - May 15, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    Enough of the profnity and the lack of class… (it’s pretty boring really)
    I think Flyers are a much better team than their regular season proved. They had many injuries this year, even so they are are in the conference finals.
    The difference between regular season and now is all in their attitude. I’ve never seen Danny Briere play with this much energy, and gusto. Between him and some of the others with their new playoff attitudes, this team is doing what they have been capable of all along. I think the Habs accomplishment was actually much greater than the Flyers. I Believe the Habs overachieved, where as I think the Flyers could have won any of those three games, I think the flyers just had a 4 game win streak… But they could have beat Boston in all of those three losses also, every game was either close, or the flyers did take the game over in 2 of them.
    I don’t know who will win this series, but I think it’s clear the Flyers are going to be favored. Especially having home Ice. Anyone who knows hockey knows the Flyers do have more talent than the Habs. Their young goalie is also way under-rated, he’s very, very young, it’s only a matter of time til he’s a star in the league.
    I like Phila’s chances to win. I’ve been here watching then since young Bobby Clark was here. This team is playing with the same heart almost any Philadelphia Flyers team has ever had.
    With that said, what worries me the most is: How long can they continue to play good games…. The flyers have not played a stinker game since it started with New Jersey. Even good teams normally have a few bad games when they win the cup.. So far they’ve played their A game every time. The flyers are due to loose a few, but I sure hope they do not loose more than than they win.
    BillReese (theReesemister)

  5. Alan - May 15, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    I’m with the Flyers all the way but the Habs scare me. They knocked off the Pens and I really thought they were going all the way. Will be a good series.
    Go Flyers!

  6. wd40 - May 15, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    Still P.O’d at losing the Olympics? LOL
    Don’t know who will win the series………doesn’t really matter since they are mostly Canadian boys even if a Canadian team doesn’t win, Canada still wins the cup!

  7. Tom - May 15, 2010 at 4:47 PM

    I can see the Habs winning the Stanley Cup, but I think this will be decided in 7. I don’t underestimate the Flyers, and will be pulling for them all the way!

  8. Canuck - May 15, 2010 at 4:47 PM

    typical knee-jerk reaction from someone in the Excited States of ‘Merica – enough with the ‘F*** Canada’ crapola,
    this a sport, invented by Canadians and Philly should ne thankful to have a franchise. I guess the ‘Mexicans are dirty people’ moniker (that neans ‘name’ as you probably don’t even have a grade 4 education) kinda sums it all up.
    sad really….

  9. Tom - May 15, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    True yes, the majority of players are still from Canada, but most of the clubs are still based in the U.S. though, so keep that in mind. Personally I am not pissed still about losing the Olympics, after all the U.S. did finally win one game on Canadian soil. What I did not like was having the US team booed by the fans upon leaving the ice though..

  10. netsrik2006 - May 15, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    Flyers have some good players but you cant tell me that they got more talent… they have the guts and so are habs. so we´ll see im for montreal 4ever…

  11. dec_a_dent - May 15, 2010 at 6:19 PM

    knee-jerk reaction to a knee-jerk reaction Canuck? You chastise and idiot and become one yourself by doing the same thing. No one is questioning who invented the game. You show your own immaturity by saying the Flyers are lucky to even have a franchise. You’re sad, really.

  12. fred - May 15, 2010 at 7:13 PM

    Thats a weird name your mama has…Canada..but i agree , lets all fuck her.

  13. TimS - May 15, 2010 at 7:35 PM

    I’m not too sure who will win this series for many reasons but I just wanted to point out some things I’ve read so far on this board. Mostly to BillReesse, to whom i thought brought an excellent case for philly with hard data and opinion. Now i am not looking to negate these mentions, more as to put an opposite look at them
    In terms of the flyers proving to be the better team through the season, yes they were in terms of wins and standings, but both teams had 88 points. Montreal also allowed less goals. Though Philly scored more. I wouldn’t particularly say Philly proved it. a bounce here or there in a game or two could have had the roles reversed.
    I am not sure as to HOW many injuries Phily had (though i know they had many), but Montreal lost Markov for over half the year, Cammalleri for a quarter of the season, Gionta etc. and have been without Markov for essentially all of round two, lost Spacek for a round and a half etc. So at least a push when we’re talking injuries.
    I’ve seen some of the Philly games in the second round and they have had a great attitude especially coming back from adversity of a 3 game deficit and a 3 goal lead in the 7th game, but montreal has had the hearts of lions as well through these playoff series being down 3 games to 1 and 3 to 2 respectively.
    I think both teams have over achieved and so far in the playoffs, home ice has meant almost nothing. Montreal beat Wash and Pitts in game seven at home, Philly beat Boston in game 7 at home, Det beat Phx in game 7 at home. Home ice has meant nothing and will mean less in this series with Philly and montreal being so close (only about an 8 hour drive). More fans can make then trip than say the SJ v. Chi series.
    In terms of talent, that would have to be quite opinionated. It could go either way for for teams. I know hockey and I think Montreal has at least the same level of talent as Philly. It ust depends on how you define talent. Talent by name, perhaps philly hs the advantage in Richards, Carter, Pronger, Brierre, and Gange but montreal has some pretty decent players in Cammalleri, Gionta, Plecanecs, Markov, and Kostitsyn. Leighton in young but Halak is younger and in my opinion better. Both should be said to be underrated. At least the both were before the playoffs started.
    While i have clearly left my bias here in this post, I want to agree with BillReese in saying that this is a tough series to call. I want to call Montreal to advance but I only need to look back to 2 years ago when Philly’s gritty strong play demolished the at the time no. 1 Canadiens in round 2. Its a tough series to call but I have a feeling it won’t be as one sided as the last one. Should go 6 or 7 games, with a lot of heart coming from both teams.

  14. wd40 - May 15, 2010 at 8:17 PM

    Tom
    I really was only replying to Mexican. I have the greatest respect not only for the game but the people of the USA. Not going political here. The US has 10 times the population so it;s natural you’d have the means to support more teams.
    As for the booing, keep mexican in mind. There are people who are born assholes and just grow bigger, doesn’t matter where they come from.
    From a fan perspective. I’m a Leaf fan so I’ve got NOTHING to cheer about! However I’m a Canadian first so ANY Canadian team (even the HATED Montreal Canadiens) will get my cheer. I suspect it would be the same down there?
    BOO Hiss!

  15. HAB FAN - May 16, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    HAB’s all the way. Only wish we could be trouncing the Bruins or Chockers that is instaed of Philly.
    Canada has the Best Teams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Mathew - May 16, 2010 at 2:25 PM

    What about game three in the Flyers Bruins series? The Flyers were horrible in that game in every way and Im not sure if it was game 3 or 4 vs the Devils but they were pretty bad in that game too. It was a game they won but easily could have lost with their sloppy puck handling, turnovers, and lack of strength along the boards.
    Im a Flyers fan and Im not putting them down I love this team and think they will win this series. Im just saying that they have played a couple of bad games so far in these playoffs so you dont have to worry about them having them all now in the Habs series.

  17. jakeman0610 - May 16, 2010 at 4:59 PM

    that is someones mom. lol.lets go flyers

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