NHL Playoffs 2011: Series Preview of Philadelphia Flyers vs. Buffalo Sabres

Thomas KrulikowskiContributor IApril 11, 2011

BUFFALO, NY - APRIL 08: Thomas Vanek #26 of the Buffalo Sabres gets the puck behind Sergei Bobrovsky #35 of the Philadelphia Flyers for the game winning goal in overtime at HSBC Arena on April 8, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. Buffalo won 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Thursday, 7:30 PM can't come fast enough as fellow zelePUCKin writer Matt O'Brien pointed out to me this morning.

First games are huge in playoff series. Winning Game 1 doesn't mean a free pass to the next round, and losing Game 1 is not insurmountable, but starting off with a win really does a lot for team confidence.

The Flyers' Game 1 this year is more important than their Game 1 against New Jersey last year. The Flyers entered last year riding the high of their season-ending shootout over NYR. Oh and the whole underdog thing.

This year they are coming in after losing the conference lead and barely holding on to the division title.

Their last few games highlighted the last month or two of passionless play, and the skeptics have surfaced.

They cannot falter in their series opener. The home crowd will turn quickly, as they are tired of the lackluster performances, and a seed of doubt may creep into the locker room.

As of now the Flyers have a clean slate. The postseason tends to do that. But come out slow and drop Game 1, and they are right back where they were before the clean slate.

Link to Flyers v. Sabres Series Thread in zeleFORUMS

original article @ www.zelepuckin.blogspot.com

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