2010/04/23

Flyers Put Away Devils

The Flyers closed our their first round series with a pretty convincing series victory over the New Jersey Devils, who really seemed to have little interest in trying to get back into the series. The Flyers won 3-0 on the Devils home ice to eliminate the #2 seed. The Flyers went 9-2 against the Devils this season, including the playoffs.

If anything last night, the Devils had the puck in the Flyers zone more than the Flyers did in the Devils zone, but the Flyers converted their chances into goals, and the Devils did not. New Jersey went 0-8 on the power play, and I think the Flyers solid penalty killing was the main reason they won this series. This was perfectly exemplified last night when Ian Laperriere went down a blocked a slap shot with his face. It took about 60 or 70 stitches to close up a cut above Laperriere's eye.

With Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne out possibly for the rest of the playoffs, the Flyers needed some guys to step up and score some goals. Guys like Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell need to get going, and guys like Claude Giroux, and JVR, both of whom have played well, need to step up into an even bigger role. Danny Briere did his job, and played a great game. He got the Flyers on the board on the power play just over 3 minutes into the game. Two great passes, one from Richards to Giroux, and then from Giroux to Briere wide open in front of the net set up Briere's tally. Briere also saved a goal that appeared to be rolling into the Flyers net on a Devils power play, and Briere swatted the puck away just before it crossed the line. Giroux ended up scoring 2 goals in the 2nd period to put the game away. The Flyers just kind of sat back and didn't make any mistakes in the 3rd period, and won the game, and advanced to the 2nd round.

Unfortunately, the Flyers probably will have to face off against the best team in hockey in the regular season, the Washington Capitals, and Alexander Ovechkin. The Capitals have one of the most potent offenses the NHL has seen in a while, led by Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Semin. I hope that the Canadiens can win another game at least in that series to extend it and put some pressure on the Capitals. As good as the Capitals offense is, their defense and goaltending aren't great.

Either way, the Flyers played a great series, but need to step it up in the 2nd round if they want to beat whoever they end up playing. Boucher needs to continue his strong performance from this series to help this team advance through the playoffs.