Flyers Fans Who Do You Want: Bruins Or Caps?

Bill SudellContributor IApril 28, 2010

WASHINGTON DC, DC - MARCH 08:  Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals skates against the Dallas Stars on March 8, 2010 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. The Stars defeated the Caps 4-3 after a shootout.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

So who do you want: Bruins or Caps?

While most Flyers fans might instantly say Boston, it may not be as easy a question as it seems.

The Flyers have been sitting and waiting for a second round opponent since they dispatched the Devils in five games last Thursday night.

It all comes down to Wednesday's Game 7 in D.C. between the Canadiens and Capitals. Caps win and the Flyers get Ovechkin. Montreal wins and it's off to face Chara and the B's.

Let's take a closer look at how the Flyers match up with both teams.

Offense
In the regular season, it was pretty cut and dry. The Caps were No. 1 in the NHL with 313 goals scored. Boston was dead last with 196 goals and the Flyers eighth at 232.

In six postseason games, Washington has scored 21 while the Bruins lit the lamp 16 times.

The Capitals have out shot the Habs 248-177, but the series is tied 3-3. In the last two games alone, Washington has put 92 shots on net to Montreals 49, yet the Canadiens won both games.

Washington has been led by Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom with nine points each, while Mike Knuble has six. They are the only three Washington players to rank in the top 50 playoff scorers this spring.

Alex Semin leads the playoffs with 36 shots on goal, but none have gone in for the 40-goal scorer.

Which brings us to defense and goaltending.

Defense and Goaltending

In the regular season, Boston ranked second in the NHL with a 2.28 GAA. Tuukka Rask unseated reigning Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas for the job between the pipes in Boston and wound up leading the NHL with a 1.97 GAA and .931 save%.

The Caps ranked 16th with a 2.72 GAA, just behind the Flyers 2.68.

Semyon Varlamov has once again taken over for Jose Theodore and has been so-so, going 3-2 with a 2.48 GAA.

Special Teams


In the regular season, Washington's 25.2% power play was No. 1 in the league. Somehow, in the six games against Montreal this spring, Washington checks in at 1-for-30 with the man advantage.

Boston has improved from 23rd in the regular season to fourth, while the Flyers are third in both regular and post season on the power play.

The penalty kill has been Boston's friend, killing off all 19 Sabre power plays in their six game series. The Caps have struggled there as well, killing off only 81.5% to rank 8th.

Washington has been strong on faceoffs, ranking No. 1 in the playoffs with a 58% success rate inside the circle. Boston checks in at No. 2, while the Flyers rank ninth.

Injuries

Washington's Tom Poti leads the playoffs with a plus-nine rating but will be out indefinitely after taking a puck to the eye in Game 6.

Karl Alzner, the number five overall pick in 2007, will take Poti's spot in the lineup.

Marc Savard has been cleared to return to the lineup after suffering a Grade 2 concussion on March 7. Savard started skating again last Monday.

In 41 regular-season games, Savard totaled 33 points (10 goals) after leading the Bruins in scoring the previous three seasons.

The Flyers received more bad news Tuesday as Ian laperriere's season is likely over due to the puck he took to the face off the stick of Paul Martin in Game 5.
 
Head-to-head

The Flyers went 1-3 vs. the Caps while being outscored 22-13 this season and 2-1-1 against the Bruins.

Brian Boucher picked up a 3-1 win in Boston in December in his only start against either team.

Boosh also played 29 minutes in relief during a 5-1 loss in March and allowed one goal to Boston.

He also played 29 minutes in relief against the Caps, allowing three goals in an ugly 8-2 loss.

Rask went 1-0-1 against the Flyers with both starts in Philly. He made 31 saves in a March win and lost 4-3 in a shootout back in October.

Varlamov picked up the loss in the Flyers home opener after allowing four goals on 25 shots before being pulled in the 6-5 OT loss for Washington.

Ovechkin had seven points (5-2-7) in three games against the Flyers, while Backstrom had two goals and 10 assists in four games, and Semin went 4-5-9 in four games.

History

Washington has gone to a Game 7 in all three of Ovechkin's career playoff series (1-2).

By beating the Sabres in the first round the Bruins won only their second playoff series since 1999.

Boston and Philadelphia faced each other four times over a five-year span from 1974-78, but haven't met since.

Washington has faced off with the Flyers in four series since 1984, with each team winning twice.

So now who do you want?

Related

    Sharks take on the Flyers on 4-game slide

    Philadelphia Flyers logo
    Philadelphia Flyers

    Sharks take on the Flyers on 4-game slide

    AP
    via FOX Sports

    2020 NHL trade deadline: Everything Flyers fans need to know

    Philadelphia Flyers logo
    Philadelphia Flyers

    2020 NHL trade deadline: Everything Flyers fans need to know

    NBC Sports Philadelphia
    via NBC Sports Philadelphia

    NHL Announces 2021 Winter Classic

    NHL logo
    NHL

    NHL Announces 2021 Winter Classic

    Megan Armstrong
    via Bleacher Report

    Kovalchuk Traded to Capitals

    Washington gets Ilya Kovalchuk from Montreal for 2020 third-round pick; Habs will retain 50% of his salary

    NHL logo
    NHL

    Kovalchuk Traded to Capitals

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report