Top 5 Difference Makers vs The N.J. Devils.
Eleven days after becoming the last team to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Philadelphia Flyers are the first one to advance to the second round -- and the New Jersey Devils are the first club heading for home. Here are my Power Rankings of the top 5 Flyers in this match up. Next Stop: Washington. It has been a roller coaster of a season for the Fly and although still not healthy they are still making a name for themselves. 'Broad Street ' is back baby! This show is far from over folks! Take your seats and enjoy the ride. GFG!
#5 Tied: Prince Pronger and King Richards
Mike Richards may be small but his play is huge. There is no doubt that this is Mike Richard's team and despite criticism of his leadership ability, by the press in Philadelphia, he is a true leader. Prongs on the other hand respects that it is Richie's team and has accepted his role as the co-pilot . Both were members of Canada's Gold Medal Team in Vancouver earlier this year. Their presence on and off the ice make them true champions and winning is the ultimate goal. They are hard working, aggressive, tight defenders and intellectual players at both ends of the rink. The Flyers have become a more experienced team in the last year or so and will need big play from the vets against the Capitals if they want to get past the second round!
#4 Daniel Carcillo
Who needs front teeth when you are one of the Leagues premier enforcers? Not the Car Bomb baby!! His explosive style of play and high energy levels make him an asset to this teams playoff run. Carcillo is one of those guys you hate unless he plays for your team. He scored two goals and had fourteen PIM's during the series and he also netted the overtime game winning goal in game 4. Carcillo contributes night in and night out on so many levels. If he can limit unnecessary penalties and focus on putting the puck on the net, he will continue to be the unlikely assassin!
#3 Danny Briere
There is no question that Danny 'B' can be a game changer and his crunch time heroics make him a fan favorite here in Philadelphia. He contributed with two goals and four points in five games against the Devils. He scored the first and game winning goal tonight and has moved back to his natural position of center in the absence of line mate Jeff Carter. Danny has 63 points in 68 career playoff games with both the Flyers as well as the Sabres which makes him a valuable member and key veteran to this franchise. With Carter and Gagne out of the line up he must continue to generate offense on that tough and deadly second line.
#2 Claude Giroux.
Claude Giroux has shown steady improvement since the day he played his first game as a Flyer in the 2007/2008 season. He has been the Flyers top scorer in his 2 career playoff series. Six goals and five assists in 11 career playoff games is not too shabby at all for this young sniper. He also rocks a +/- of +3 in the post. He has earned his minutes in crucial game moments and big situations and he adds depth to the center position. Giroux needs to keep the offense firing against the Capitals if the Flyers want to keep their Cup dreams alive.
Numero Uno! Yes it has been 10 years since Brian Boucher has won a post season series. Yes Boucher was the Flyers 3rd goalie for the better part of this season. Yes Boucher had a regular season record of 9-18-3. So for some it is hard to believe that Brian Boucher was the difference between the pipes and not future 'Hall of Famer' Martin Broduer. Boosh went 4-1 in the series against the Devils and made 28 saves tonight for his second career playoff Shutty. If Brian can keep his pose and continue to play as well as he has thus far, there is no doubt that the Flyer's post season may be lengthy one?
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On a more serious note; I would like to wish Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne both a successful foot surgery today and a speedy recovery back to the Flyers line up. Also get well soon to Ian Laperriere who took yet another puck to the face tonight and required 60+ stitches. He vows to wear a visor from here on in! The 'Razor' Ray Emery and back up Michael Lieghton will remain out of the line up for the remainder of the season. It is scary to think of how the season would have went if the Flyers were in good health for the majority of it! With limited Cap space left and some contracts to renew, it will be an interesting summer for the Flyers Front Office.
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