NHL Playoffs 2012: Why I Am Afraid for the Philadelphia Flyers

Nick ZaffiriContributor IApril 12, 2012

Daniel Briere scoring one of his two goals Wednesday night.
Daniel Briere scoring one of his two goals Wednesday night.Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Wednesday night's game against the Penguins was spectacular. Seeing Daniel Briere shine, Ilya Bryzgalov staying strong and the team working together was a fantastic showing of the Flyers' effort and determination to come from behind and beat the rival Penguins.

After constantly reliving the wonder of last night with some friends, I've come to a very thought-provoking realization.

Let's go back to last year's playoffs. After fighting an extremely tough battle with the Buffalo Sabres, the Flyers were able to take the series in a fairly close game seven. After barely squeaking by Buffalo, the Flyers had to battle another tough team in the Boston Bruins.

The year before, the Flyers went down 3-0 in the series and they were able to pull off a four-game win streak to put themselves into the Championships. The Flyers went down 3-0, just like the year before, and people thought they would repeat what they had done the previous year. Unfortunately, the Flyers would be swept in a full 4-0 series, and the Bruins would go on to win the Cup.

After their series with the Sabres, the Flyers were completely burnt out. The teamwork became sloppy, and so did the defense. Along with no Pronger in the lineup, the Flyers were a full-on mess. They couldn't get it together, so they were swept under the rug (no pun intended).

This is what I'm afraid of this year. Again, we are without Pronger, but the Flyers are lucky enough have the help from Nick Grossman and Pavel Kubina.

The Flyers are going up against a tough and very physical Penguins team. Just from the first game alone, anyone with eyes can tell this is going to be a brutal and difficult series for the Flyers. There were at least 60 checks after two periods.

It can only go farther downhill from here. Unless they can keep the Penguins from winning more than two games, then I'd be very afraid for the Flyers. Although they have a lot more rookies, and some more young, new faces, as well as some old, I think they could get worn out if they don't end the series quickly.

As a Flyers fan, though, I'm excited for the rest of the series and I'm ready to see some more exciting plays unfold before our very eyes.