Stanley Cup Betting Preview: Philadelphia Flyers vs. New Jersey Devils
#7 Philadelphia Flyers
(41-35-6, 88 pts)
#2 New Jersey Devils
(48-27-7, 103 pts)
How They Got Here: It took all the way to the last day of the regular season and going to a shootout, but thanks to the efforts of G Brian Boucher in that extra frame and the shootout against the Rangers, the Flyers snuck into the playoffs and successfully avoided a first round date with the mighty Capitals.
Player To Watch: When you’re talking about a guy with veteran leadership, you have to look at D Chris Pronger, who led the team with a whopping +22 this season. Though he only scored ten goals, Pronger racked up 45 assists and was third on the team in total points. He is also one of just three players to play in all 82 games this year for Philly.
Goalie Outlook: There aren’t many goalies that went 9-21 on the season in the playoffs, but Boucher won when it counted, and that’s why the Flyers are in the playoffs. It’d be a lot better to see either Michael Leighton or Ray Emery in net to have a chance to beat Jersey, but Boucher’s 2.76 GAA is going to have to suffice.
Key To Victory: The power play has been a strong suit for this team all season long, as the Flyers rank third in the NHL at 21.3 percent on the power play. They’ll have to capitalize to help keep the pressure off of Boucher and a relatively weak defense in order to survive.
New Jersey Devils
How They Got Here: It was a tough road to win the Atlantic Division, but the Devils were the best team of the bunch when it was said and done thanks to the fact that they allowed no goals or one goal in five of their L/7 games.
Player To Watch: C Zach Parise is the heart and soul of New Jersey’s front line. He had a +25 this year and easily led the squad with 82 points and 38 goals. Parise has made a real name for himself in postseasons of old, and he’ll be the main offensive reason why this team goes deep into the month of May.
Goalie Outlook: Does it get any better than G Martin Brodeur? He’s been around the block for awhile, having come up in 1990, and he’s full of playoff experience. His 45 wins this year is his best in quite some time, and he’s the biggest reason why this team only conceded 2.3 goals per game this year, the top mark in the NHL.
Key To Victory: If Brodeur plays like he’s capable of and not like the man that was destroyed in the early rounds of the Olympics, the Devils won’t be stopped. All New Jersey has to do is keep the pressure on their stud goalie to a minimum and they should be just fine.
The Final Word: The goaltending discrepancy in this series is just too great for the Flyers to overcome. You can’t possibly send a guy up against Marty Brodeur who only went 9-21 all season long. The Devils will coast into the second round.
Devils in 4
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