With the loss becoming inevitable for the Philadelphia Flyers during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, one thing was certain: The Flyers were trying to channel the Broad Street Bullies and their 2010 Stanley Cup Finals team.
The Flyers were trying to brutalize and hurt the Devils, but their actions came too late.
Punishing hits were delivered to defensemen Anton Volchenkov and Marek Zidlicky. If you watched the Zidlicky hit, you could have sworn that the man just had his arm broken in half the way he reacted.
Volchenkov was laid out by Flyers' thug Zac Rinaldo after Volchenkov delivered a hard, but clean check to Flyers' rookie Brayden Schenn.
Dainus Zubrus felt the pain of a desperate and wild Flyers team as well. Zubrus who took one for the team in grand fashion in Game 4, resulting in superstar Claude Giroux's Game 5 suspension, was constantly a target of the Orange and Black's last ditch effort.
Other than the New York Rangers, the Devils have known no greater foe than Philly in their history. The teams have met up plenty of times in the playoffs, most notably in 1995 and 2000.
In 1995, the Devils made short work of everyone they played, and went on to sweep the heavily favored Detroit Red Wings. 2000 was a much different beast, where the Devils came back from a 1-3 game deficit and beat the Flyers en route to winning their second Stanley Cup against the Dallas Stars.
Martin Brodeur and company are eagerly awaiting the winner of the Washington Capitals - New York Rangers series, but nobody on the team is going to complain about getting antsy. The veteran team won't come into Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals with rust; they'll be going in without bruises the Flyers dealt them and skating on well-rested legs.