NHL Playoffs 2012: Has Flyers vs. Penguins Turned into David and Goliath?

Ian Barry@@xIanxBarryxCorrespondent IIIApril 13, 2012

The Flyers and Penguins entered the 2012 NHL playoffs as very evenly-matched opponents.

After the first game, the Flyers have taken the series lead, but still seem to be the David of the matchup.

Being the smaller underdog will only improve Philadelphia's chances of winning the series.

On paper, the Flyers and Penguins are very similar. The teams entered the playoffs as the fourth and fifth seeds separated by only a few points. 

Both teams have good depth, with scoring threats top to bottom. Both teams have top-level goaltending, and have a possible MVP candidate. 

The list could go on and on about how similar the Flyers and Penguins are, but the feeling given off by many analysts is the Penguins are a better team.

The Penguins have their two superstars in Crosby and Malkin. The Flyers also have superstars, but are new to the fame and are not as well known.

The Penguins offence also picked up greatly with the return of Crosby, which just gives the Penguins more confidence in their ability to win in the playoffs. 

The Penguins have star power and hype that have turned their team into a Stanley Cup favorite. 

The Flyers have a large group of rookies, young players, a sometimes out of his mind goaltender and injuries that have turned them into an underdog.

Being the underdog is one of the best things that could have happened to the Flyers.

Philadelphia plays with a blue collar, out-work-the-opponent mentality. When a team goes into a game planning to fight and struggle its way to a win, being the underdog just adds fuel to the desire to win.

Hard work and hustle are two factors that have always been associated with the Flyers.

This year’s team has been the embodiment of the never-give-up, keep-working-harder mindset that Philadelphia has been known for.

Many “experts” might think the Penguins are the clear choice to win the series, but Flyers fans know better. 

The work ethic and determination the Flyers showed in the first game are exactly what a Philadelphia team needs. Every expert could pick the Penguins to win, but the Flyers will just put their heads down and work harder.

The Flyers have a humongous will to win, and no matter how down and out things may seem, they will always come fighting back.