A Motown vs Steeltown match-up is what everyone expects but a Flyers vs Stars match-up is quite possible.
From the worst team in the league to the Eastern Conference Final it's been a rather quick turn around for the Flyers. Here is a team that has gone through more personnel changes than Loni Anderson has facelifts in a year. From Broadstreet Bullies to Babyface Bullies this group is as good as any, as a team. They are taking a page straight from the Flames in 2004 as they look to knock off the top 3 seeds on route to the Final. First they knocked off the Caps who were the hottest team going into the playoffs in an exciting 7 game series that ended in OT on a goal by Joffrey Lupul. That was followed by making quick work of the Conference leading Montreal Canadiens in 5 games with the heroics of Martin Biron. The Battle of Pennsylvania looks to be an exciting match-up from a fans perspective. Two explosive offensive juggernauts with a real hate-on for each other may come down to which goalie blinks first. The Pens have never beat the Flyers in a best of 7 series.
The Dallas Stars have had a real roller coaster season to say the least. Similar to the Oilers run in 2006 the Stars look to eliminate the same 3 teams in a different order in 2008. From division leaders to third in their division few gave the Stars a glimmer of a chance against the defending champion Anaheim Ducks in the first round. After taking a quick 2-0 lead in the series the Stars really outworked the Ducks on their way to a series win in 6 games . They took that momentum and built on it piling up a 3-0 lead against the Cup favorite San Jose Sharks. The Sharks showed some bite battling back to a game 6, quadruple OT thriller only to have their hearts broken once again, by Conn Smythe candidates Marty Turco and Stars captain Brenden Morrow. Although the Red Wings are heavily favored they really haven't been tested especially in the second round. Dallas will need to be extremely physical with Brenden Morrow leading the way and continue to ride Marty Turco's all world play. The Stars have never beat the Wings in a best of 7 series.
Here are some more parallels involving this years Cinderella stories to previous playoff performances.
Milan Michalek getting knocked out of another 2nd round series by a devastating body check
RJ Umberger looks a lot like Fernando Pisani in 2006. From third liners in the regular season to offensive juggernauts in the playoffs.
Kipprusoff in 2004, Roloson in 2006 & now Biron in 2008. All three were back-ups until given the #1 duty and backstopped their team to the final. Biron hasn't done it yet, yet being the key word.
Both the Flyers and the Stars will look to maintain the magic that has got them this far. We will soon find out whose clock will strike midnight first.
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