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PHT Predicts: Flyers vs. Sabres — Who do you have?

Apr 11, 2011, 5:32 PM EDT

Jeff Carter, Thomas Vanek Getty Images

These two teams can’t seem to go a few years without renewing their rivalry in the playoffs. Some classic battles have gone down between these two teams over the last 15 years and this one promises to be more of the same. The Flyers struggled at the end of the season but head into this series with Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Claude Giroux, and Buffalo’s most hated figure Daniel Briere ready to turn it on. The Sabres counter with Thomas Vanek carrying the offense along with Jason Pominville and Tyler Myers doing their part to score. While the status of Chris Pronger hangs in the air, drama in this series is oozing about everywhere.

With rookie Sergei Bobrovsky and his sweet new mask going up against American hero Ryan Miller in goal, there certainly will be some intrigue there to see if either goalie can carry them to victory. As for how we’re viewing this series, we’re expecting things to be especially fun if you like dramatic playoff series.

James says:
Much like the Capitals-Rangers series, this one smells a little fishy. The Sabres have Ryan Miller in net; the Flyers once again have uncertainty as their co-pilot. Yet the biggest question for me is: will Chris Pronger be healthy enough to play somewhat close to his normal game-altering level? Without Pronger, I would feel my hand shaking over the “Buffalo” button. With Pronger, I still wouldn’t bet against another run to the Stanley Cup finals for Philly. He’s truly that important.

Flyers in 7. If Pronger is too redundant, how about Danny Briere, a man who could break the hearts of fans who once adored him?

Matt says:
This looks like it could be the upset special of the first round. All year the Flyers looked like they were built for a long run and a repeat visit to the Finals—but the last month of the season has been a different story. They’re a different team without Chris Pronger and it’s always difficult for a team to “flip the switch.” On the other side of things, the Sabres have a sparkling 8-1-1 record down the stretch to earn their spot in the playoffs. Ryan Miller looks like he’ll be back—and he even got an injury-induced rest at the end of the regular season. There’s always an upset in the first round when a hot team entering the playoffs faces off against a team that has been complacent for months. This looks like it could be it. Sabres in 6.

Joe says:
Pronger’s presence in this series is huge. If he plays, the Flyers are instantly much more snarly and get a bit more of that swagger back that Bobrovsky could use to his benefit in goal. The Sabres play in the latter half of the season cannot be discounted though and Thomas Vanek’s play has been stellar. For as much of a thorn as he’s been in the Flyers’ side, Briere feeds off of the hate Sabres fans shower him with. It’s tight, but I see this one going seven. Flyers in 7.

With opinions all over the place on this one, we want to know what you think. Do the Flyers win and make another deep playoff run or does Pegula-mania run wild in Buffalo and lead the Sabres to the second round? Vote in our poll and let us know.

  1. gocaps8 - Apr 11, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Does Buffalo have enough offense? Maybe. They’re catching the Flyers at the right time too. Unless Philly can flip the switch, Ryan Miller may be too much. This should be a helluva series.

    Sabres in 7.

  2. ntheins - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    You guys say multiple times how fans in Buffalo hate Briere, but its definitely not true. Everyone here still loves him, though we’ll be rooting against him this time.

    • touchdownbuffalo - Apr 11, 2011 at 10:07 PM

      So true! Briere leaving Buffalo is still a sore spot for most Sabre fans, we still lament his leaving. It’s only now, this year, more accurately since Pagula took over that the wound of his departure (along with Drury) is healing. If we win this series Sabres fans can finally move on from that stab in the back. But, if we lose and Briere is part of the reason, it will take nothing less then winning the Cup to bury that ghost.

    • cshearing - Apr 12, 2011 at 10:05 AM

      I despised him with Buffalo, and I despise him with Philly. It’s not the team with this guy, it’s the player.

  3. jpelle82 - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    if chrissy plays flyers will win

  4. rabidbillsfan - Apr 12, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    I agree with ntheins. Buffalonians wish we had Briere, we miss the guy. We do Love to Hate him though, when he’s on the Ice however.( Doesn’t that go for everybody on the opposing team though?) I say Bufalo in 5. This team is way better away from home, unfortunatley, but as of late has really kicked it up a notch at home thanks to our loyal fans and amazing owner. I say they split the first 2 but Buffalo will take the next 3. Something this team has, that it’ hasn’t in years past… consistent secondary scoring.

  5. balewsquare - Apr 12, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    Philly was lucky to win their division. They haven’t cared for months, (remember in January they were a “lock” for the East?) and the Sabres haven’t played better all year than they’re playing right now. I’m going Sabres.

  6. dcent87 - Apr 12, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    Philly easily

  7. emperor83 - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    Buffalo, no question about it. If you’re going with the Flyers, there’s a rubber room in your near future…


  8. macjacmccoy - Apr 20, 2011 at 3:15 AM

    2-1 so far

  9. macjacmccoy - Apr 26, 2011 at 10:55 PM

    Enjoy your summer Sabres

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