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Stanley Cup Playoffs: Round 2 Prediction: New Jersey Devils vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Published on May 1, 2012 by   ·   1 Comment

Welcome to Center Ice Chat’s Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview and Predictions series. With Round 1 in the books as of Thursday night, we take a look at the crop of the few, the proud, the Conference semifinalists. 

So the Philadelphia Flyers may be the hottest team going into Round 2, arguably.

James van Riemsdyk of the Philadelphia Flyers skates away after scoring a goal in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New Jersey Devils.

Do they still have what it takes to sail to the Eastern Conference Finals? Or will their own physical play eventually drag themselves down?

The New Jersey Devils certainly can take advantage of a few weak lapses, but it’ll be a stretch. With Game 2 on the card for tomorrow night, and Game 1 ending in a close 4-3 advantage for the Flyers, anything certainly still can happen.

However, let’s be honest. The Flyers truly have the upper hand in this series.

Here’s why:

  • Claude Giroux: He’s ranked overall leader in the playoffs in points with 15 — 7 goals, 8 assists. Giroux was instrumental in taking the leadership role during the first round against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and truly challenging Sidney Crosby like nobody expected. He was on the stats sheet in Game 1 against the Devils, too. So don’t expect him to slow down anytime soon.
  • Danny Briere: He’s the second most point getter in the playoffs with 10 — 7 goals and 3 assists. Briere has been a nice compliment to the depth the Flyers have on the wing. He’s also carrying a 39 shooting percentage.
  • Jakub Voracek: Another winger, another points leader. He’s tied for third with Jordan Stall at 9 points — 2 goals, 7 assists. He’s also tied for second with Keith Yandle in assists. And just one behind Giroux’s leading 8.
  • Powerplay: Leads playoffs teams with 44.8 percent success rate. That’s 11.5 percent higher than the Florida Panthers’ second-place rate of 33.3.

As for Ilya Bryzgalov, he may not be the answer. But if Philadelphia, who has had a weak penalty kill, and ranks second among most goals allowed with 4.14, can keep the shooting prowess going, then there’s little doubt that they’ll breeze by New Jersey.

As for the Devils, they don’t have an amounting list of talent or keys that will be a challenge for Philadelphia. But if Martin Brodeur can be relevant again, as he was years ago, then maybe he can put the clamp down on the Flyers’ offense.

And they’ll need to be disciplined, too. Because when it comes to five-on-five, that’s where they exceed, and where the Flyers fall short, evidently.

For goals for/against on even strength, the Devils rank best with a 1.67 + difference in scoring while the Flyers are 11th of 16 playoffs teams with a 0.88 scoring differential on the even strength.

Ultimately, this series will be decided defense, as backwards as it sounds, given the Flyers’ scoring abilities during the playoffs. But that’s the Devils’ only chance to win. And, in return, the Flyers’ defense hasn’t been the greatest, so there’s certainly room for the Devils to capitalize offensively.

Final prediction: Flyers in 4 games

As much as I’d like to see the Devils give the Flyers a good run, there’s too much going for Philadelphia and not enough for New Jersey. The Flyers, even when the defense is lacking, have been able to offset that with the scoring touch. And although it may not be the best recipe for the Eastern Conference of the Stanley Cup Finals, it’ll be good enough for the conference semifinals. But if the Flyers can’t shape up the blue line and the crease, then they’ll have issues down the line. But for now, they’re poised to outplay the Devils.

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. I think we have to be realistic when i comes to this series, the Devils just don’t hav what it teks to bet the Fyers. The Devisl are a good team and ther is no question about that especially with Brodeur in net but he has lost what it takes to bet one of stongest offensive eams in the league and no matte what he Devils have, the just don’t have what it takes to bet the Flyers, I am only being realistic with my summation of this series. I would like to say good luck to the Devils but they are out classed in every area when it comes to the Flyers.

    Good Luck next year Devils it is definitely the Flyers year to mae it to the finals.this year.

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