2011 NHL Playoffs: Why the Philadelphia Flyers Will Go Deep

Matt PaolettiContributor IApril 26, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 26:  Daniel Carcillo #13 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates scoring a third period goal against Jhonas Enroth #1 of the Buffalo Sabres with teammates in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on April 26, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers, the dominant team throughout the Series, proved it in their 5-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres in Game 7. While the Flyers needed to pull out two straight wins, the team never lost their sense of confidence. Now that the Flyers survived against Buffalo (and Ryan Miller), the team is poised to make a run.

Though the Flyers were the second seed entering the playoffs, many pundits predicted the Sabres to pull off an upset due to the poor late-season play of Philadelphia. The Sabres seemed to back this up, as they won the first game behind spectacular goaltending.

However, The Flyers appeared to take control of the series by winning the next two games. The Sabres then shifted the momentum again by winning the next two games and putting the Flyers on the brink of elimination. In Game 6, down 3-1, the Flyers found their old mojo back. After a dramatic comeback sending the series to Game 7, the Flyers continued their form found in Game 6.

Now that the Flyers have gained back the dominant form found in the regular season, how far can they go? As last season indicated, even a low-seeded Flyers team can make a deep run. However, this team has advantages over last season's Stanley Cup finalists.

First off, the team has more experience. The core of this team is the same as last year, and young players of last year, like James van Riemsdyk, have gained an experience and toughness that were missing at points last playoffs.

The overall health of the team also is better than it was last year. The goaltending was in flux because of injuries, and the defense suffered key losses in the Stanley Cup finals. Now with veteran Chris Pronger back in action and the Flyers finding consistency in Brian Boucher, the Flyers are deeper and more experienced then last years Stanley Cup team.

They are poised to make another run, and finish the deal against whoever emerges from the Western Conference.