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Hitchcock: East teams should be nervous about facing Flyers in playoffs

Mar 22, 2014, 10:40 AM EDT

hitchcockgetty Getty Images

There’s no question that the St. Louis Blues are the favorites going into this afternoon’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers. In fact, now that they have goaltender Ryan Miller, just about any team that faces the Blues are the underdogs.

That doesn’t mean that Blues coach Ken Hitchcock is underestimating the Flyers though. In fact, he holds them in very high regard.

“If I was in the East, I’d be really nervous to play them,” Hitchcock said, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. “They look like a team right now that not only has a lot of resolve, but they are fully committed to checking.”

Hitchcock predicted that the Flyers will be “a bear in the playoffs.”

He has a history with the Flyers as their former head coach for parts of four seasons starting with 2002-03. The Flyers got over 100 points in each of Hitchcock’s first three campaigns with the team and he led them to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2004.

This will be the Blues’ first meeting against the Flyers this season and they will play again on April 1. After that, they won’t face each other again unless they both make it to the Stanley Cup Final — which by the sounds of things, is a scenario that wouldn’t shock Hitchcock.

  1. mcphillthy - Mar 22, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    Big game today. St Louis is solid. Adding miller and ott at the deadline was exactly what st louis needed. There is not a more complete team in the NHL than the blues. Congrats on having such a stacked team. Hopefully it will be a good game today

  2. slaugin - Mar 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    I’m a Bruins fan not a Flyers fan but I think they are going to be a really good Playoff team. The are a Tough team and proven they can play with anyone. Wayne Simmonds is a tough S.O.B. And I’d take him on my team anyday

    • mcphillthy - Mar 22, 2014 at 11:25 AM

      What is going on? Flyers, Pittsburgh, and Boston fans all getting along for the second day in a row…. Lol
      Simmonds is a beast. He has been consistent all season long and keeps getting better.

  3. lordfletcher - Mar 22, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    The Flyers will benefit from playing in the East not the West playoffs (I know that’s an obvious dumb statement) as they match up much better against most of those clubs. Not having to play other bigger / skilled forward teams like the Blues / Ducks / Sharks / LA… IMO.

    I see Philly going deep, or losing in the first round… like always, in the playoffs anything can happen. Mason will be the key ingredient in their run as they should produce enough offense and I think we know what the defense is capable of.

    best of luck, team is playing well at the best time!

  4. cheatsburgh - Mar 22, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    Flyers blow. Give up way too many offensive opportunities.

  5. 950003cups - Mar 22, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    Puck The Plyers!!

  6. ufostomper - Mar 22, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    Real creative cups

    • 950003cups - Mar 22, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      I’m getting a critique in creativity by someone with the name UFO Stomper?

  7. flyboystransport - Mar 22, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Gonna be a fun, physical game.

  8. pastabelly - Mar 22, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    The Flyers play the Penguins tough. As a Bruins fan, I think the Bruins are a very tough match up for the Flyers. The Flyers should try to avoid the Bruins in the first round. The Bruins should try to avoid Montreal. So much of this is matchups.

  9. 28giroux28 - Mar 22, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    Flyers can’t play against STL like they did against Dallas. Miller isn’t Tim Thomas, we’re going to need consistent pressure.

  10. bigbadbruins77 - Mar 22, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    Really? Not with average goaltending and defense. ..

  11. timmons94 - Mar 22, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Flyers are good.. Really good.. Scorching hot. If they get good goaltending.. Look out. Still think Boston goes out of east though

    • lordfletcher - Mar 22, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      you and everyone else LOL.

      Boston looks stupid strong. I don’t think their offense is as scary as they are producing but with that D and Rask…. as well as balanced forward lines + coaching. they are clearly the odds on favs to rep the East.

      Anything can happen but the Blues look very strong, yet are mostly very inexperienced for deep playoff hockey.

      If I had to bet my cheddar. Hawks and B’s

      -Wild fan who is hoping to see hockey when its warmer than 25 degrees

      • jimeejohnson - Mar 23, 2014 at 12:47 PM

        Stupid strong = Milan Lucic.

  12. babykaby - Mar 23, 2014 at 6:04 AM

    Dirtiest team in the league. If they can’t win by actually playing the game, they have to resort to all the dirty stuff. The sad part is they get away with it. In all actuality if you can only win by being dirty and constantly fighting, then you really can’t play the game of hockey very well. And that is a fact, jack.

    • jimeejohnson - Mar 23, 2014 at 12:46 PM

      Broad Street Bullies!

  13. shwatson - Mar 23, 2014 at 11:16 PM

    There should be teams in the east worried about the Flyers but not alot of people really take this team seriously. They always find a way to choke even if they do make it to the Finals. Has any team besides the Flyers lost 6 Stanley Cup finals in a row that they’ve been in? And Flyers fans wonder why the media doesn’t take them seriously.

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