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Eastern Conference semifinals: Bruins-Flyers; Who do you have?

Apr 28, 2011, 8:00 AM EDT

Andreas Nodl, Tim Thomas AP

(Share your thoughts about which team will win the Lightning-Capitals series here, the Predators-Canucks series here, the Red Wings-Sharks series-here and the Stanley Cup in this post.)

After appearing in the most eagerly anticipated first round series against the Montreal Canadiens, the Boston Bruins find themselves in the juiciest second round match as well. The Bruins will face approximately five billion questions about last year’s collapse against the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers as they prepare for the formidable 2011 model.

Just about anyone with a vague interest in playoff hockey knows that the Flyers dealt with a bizarre three goalie carousel in the first round. What you might not realize is that Brian Boucher was actually quite excellent at times as he amassed a 4-1 record with an outstanding 93.4 save percentage and 2.10 GAA. Even so, the driving force behind Philly’s first round win was their fearsome offensive attack. While the squad boasts waves of talent including Mike Richards and Claude Giroux, post-lockout leading scorer Danny Briere stole the show with six goals in just seven games. If that wasn’t enough, Chris Pronger actually looked pretty good in Game 7, skating for more than 17 minutes and collecting an assist.

The Bruins come into this series with more than a few questions, even if they defeated their historical rivals. Tim Thomas was great against the Habs, but he’ll have to be even better in Round 2. Ryan Miller got the best of Philly a couple times, but they ultimately broke him down. Boston’s defense is a little bit better at the top, but looked shaky in other areas (especially disappointing trade acquisition Tomas Kaberle). Can they deal with the Flyers’ depth in a best-of-seven series?

The B’s received surprising contributions from the Rich PeverleyChris KellyMichael Ryder line, but they need more from Milan Lucic and a whole lot more from their anemic power play. A scoreless PP might cut it against the offensively shallow Habs, but that won’t fly against the Flyers’ firepower.

So what do you think? Will Boston get revenge against Philly for that epic 2010 collapse or will the Flyers bully the big, bad Bruins? Let us know by voting in the poll below.

  1. dbick - Apr 28, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    doesn’t get any easier in the opposing goaltender department for the flyers this round, but they made ryan miller look pretty average outside of the 2 shut outs. I think the depth of their offense will be too much for the Bruins and the Flyers D will help boucher play good enough to beat them.

  2. psujay - Apr 28, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    I never understood the love for Kaberle, but it could be because I watched him for so many years. Last night he drew his own team offsides twice in the same powerplay. I would say he’s a less talented more defensively liable Sergei Gonchar, but that’s an insult to Sergei Gonchar. He’s a bigger, less talented Luca Sbisa.

  3. homelanddefense - Apr 28, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    as a Bruins fan I will admit Kaberle has been a HUGE disappointment. Everyone on sports radio is calling for his head.

    • psujay - Apr 28, 2011 at 6:50 PM

      You don’t need to tell me. Him not waiving his no trade is always a disappointment. We could have had Jeff Friggin Carter for him. JEFF CARTER! Holmgren signed off on the deal and Kaberle didn’t want to leave Toronto. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that he loved it here, but Jeff Carter! I mean sure he sucks in the playoffs, but since we don’t make the playoffs anyway that wouldn’t even matter!

  4. ynotflyers - Apr 28, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    I think Philly is gonna be a bit more cautious with Boston this year. After the not to good season match ups, Boston I think may have already run out of Luck.. Given their excellent net minder It’s safe to say they’ll get one game, given the fact that our Flyers Never do anything the easy way….so Boston gets 2, and the Bottom Line for those Bean Town Buddies of Ours……your on the Fairways after Game 6….So Lets Go Flyers and Lets Go FANSSS…………………Ynotflyers

  5. timthomasisgod - May 4, 2011 at 9:29 PM

    Philly loses in the first min. of game 3.
    To the guys at VERSUS – Have some steak & cheese with your whine, I’ll turn the sound off from now on.

    GO BRUINS!!!!!

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