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Preview: No. 2 Philadelphia vs. No. 7 Buffalo

Posted on: April 12, 2011 2:12 pm
Edited on: April 12, 2011 5:47 pm
 

The Flyers and Sabres meet after splitting the season series, Philly winning the points battle five to four. But the Flyers limped to the finish line, going 7-14 (hey, if shootout wins count as wins, then shootout losses will count as losses here) down the stretch. Buffalo, meanwhile, comes to the postseason playing some of its best hockey, winning eight of the final 10 games in spite of Ryan Miller sitting for some of that stretch.

Here's the breakdown.

Forwards: The Flyers are very talented and very deep up front. Led by Claude Giroux's 76 points and Jeff Carter's 36 goals, there's hardly a time there isn't a threat on the ice for Philly to put the biscuit in the basket. If there's a weakness it might be up the middle with the centermen after Mike Richards. No Flyer ranked inside the top 50 this year in faceoff percentage, an important stat that is often forgotten. For Buffalo, Thomas Vanek enters the playoffs scorching, earning one of the NHL's three Stars for the final week. Top to bottom, the Sabres don't have the firepower that Philly does, but that could be mitigated by the fact they're playing better entering this series.

Edge: Flyers

Defensemen: Offensively speaking, there's decent enough production for both teams from the blue line. However, it has to be concerning that Buffalo is waiting on injury news for Jordan Leopold and Andrej Sekera, two of their three most relied-upon defensemen. Philadelphia is, of course, waiting on their own bit of injury news as Chris Pronger was recently labeled as day to day. His return would give a nice boost to the Flyers on the back end, who have a nice pairing of Matt Carle and Andrej Meszaros, both boasting a plus-30 rating on the year. Of the two groups, the Flyers are a bit more physical and do a better getting in the shooting lanes.

Edge: Slightly to the Flyers

Goalies: The Flyers are somewhat of an amazing animal in net. They made the Stanley Cup Final last season despite not having what most would consider a reliable goalie. But the collective effort was strong enough. They had hoped to have that solved this season with rookie Sergei Bobrovsky, who was outstanding early. But he struggled a bit to make it to the end, being pulled in his final start after surrendering three goals on 10 shots against the Islanders. Brian Boucher will be ready at the call if Bobrovsky can't snap out of his funk. You know Buffalo's goalie. The 2009-10 Vezina winner did have a dip in his stats following that oustanding season, but he is still one of the best in the game. He didn't play much down the stretch, so it gave backup Jhnoas Enroth a chance to show what he can do. After he posted a 9-2-2 record this year, the Sabres have to feel pretty comfortable with their secondary option.

Edge: Sabres

Special teams: Not much stands out for either team, but Buffalo was a tad better in both power play and penalty kill. Led by Drew Stafford and Vanek (11 power-play goals each), the Sabres were 13th in the league when on the advantage. With the talent it has up front, you might expect a little more from Philly, so that's why it would love to get Pronger back. A power-play quarterback, more than half of his career goals have come on the man-advantage. Something to keep in mind -- and something Philly fans will remind you of -- the Flyers are usually called for a lot of penalties, checking at 24th in the NHL this year with 13.6 minutes per game.

Edge: Sabres

-- Brian Stubits

Photo: Getty Images
Comments
kkjyywlpo
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 6:28 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: April 14, 2011 6:59 pm
 

Preview: No. 2 Philadelphia vs. No. 7 Buffalo

A Vezina trophy..........



Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: April 14, 2011 5:54 pm
 

Preview: No. 2 Philadelphia vs. No. 7 Buffalo

It is now the playoffs!  The past does not matter.  Bottom line is you lose no matter who the heck is in your net.  Miller most overrated goalie ever!!!!! What has this guy won...NOTHING!  Not even the GOLD




Since: Nov 3, 2010
Posted on: April 14, 2011 4:54 pm
 

Preview: No. 2 Philadelphia vs. No. 7 Buffalo

So are we to believe that the Flyers were saving it for toinight last Friday and really didn't care if they won??? Aaaahhhh, lets see, you would have liked to win on Friday to avoid finishing 4th overall. If you try and say anything to the contrary your lying through your teeth. The players knew this and so should any semiintelligent fan. Trut
h is Philly had first overall in the East wrapped up and needed to beat the Islanders on the last day of the season just to win your division.

BTW, NFCEAST please don't call me a tool anymore, you so hurt my feeling when you do. I'll be happy to have an intelligent discussion with you. That is provided that you find an intelligent fill in to represent you.......



Since: Sep 6, 2007
Posted on: April 14, 2011 4:10 pm
 

Preview: No. 2 Philadelphia vs. No. 7 Buffalo

Why did the Flyers need to win? They had playoffs wrapped up weeks ago and the division was in their control on Saturday

granted it was nowhere near as much as buffalo needed the game, but the flyers needed at least 1 point (which is what they got) to be sure that pittsburgh didnt leapfrog them for the division on the final day.

Bottom line is the flyers are admittedly more talented overall (slightly), but buffalo has a few big advantages.
1. the goalie. Anyone who thinks miller isnt stellar between the pipes is borderline retarded. He didnt have the best numbers ever but the guy is clutch and steps his game up when he needs to be briliants.
2. and MUCH more important in my mind. The sabres have been playing with desperation and desire to win for months now & it has shown. They come in as the hottest team in the league and have all the confidence in the world while the flyers have sort of been coasting along.

regardless, this should be one of the most intense and fun series to watch in this round and while i really do think the sabres take the series (in 6) , good luck to the flyer fans out there.



Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: April 14, 2011 3:52 pm
 

Preview: No. 2 Philadelphia vs. No. 7 Buffalo




Since: Apr 27, 2007
Posted on: April 14, 2011 3:15 pm
 

It's MILLER TIME !

I'm laughing so hard cause all you Philthidelphia fans think Ryan Miller is overrated cause of his numbers this year are average. Miller makes spectacular saves in big games and always gives the Sabres a chance to win. Didn't you schmucks watch Ryan Miller lead the crappy American Team to the Gold Medal game with all sorts of crazy saves. I know you morons think the flyers are superiorly  talented compared to the Sabres, but if you have'nt noticed most writers predictions are picking the 7 seed Sabres over the 2 seed  Flyers. There are reasons for this........ 1) Buffalo has the best record since January 2) They have a young Pronger(old and washed up) named Tyler Myers 3) They have 2 future superstar forwards named Nathan Gerbe and Tyler Ennis (you'll learn about them real soon). 4) They have the best American player in the NHL.... You bums just keep rooting for your flyers and your Russian goalie. It's feeling like the cold war babies. Time to drop the A-bombs on you crazy chumps starting tonight.  Winby10easy's game 1 prediction..... Flyers 2-
Sabres 5.    




Since: Oct 16, 2008
Posted on: April 14, 2011 1:24 pm
 

Preview: No. 2 Philadelphia vs. No. 7 Buffalo

No...We'll say "at least their goalie is better".



Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: April 14, 2011 12:19 pm
 

Preview: No. 2 Philadelphia vs. No. 7 Buffalo

Win or lose Miller will be the better goalie in this series.
Okay???  If the Sabres lose the series, are Sabres fans going to say, "Well, you may be the better team, but we have the better goalie!  NEENER NEENER!" and if Philly loses, will Flyers fans say "Hey, at least our forwards are better!"





Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: April 14, 2011 9:58 am
 

Preview: No. 2 Philadelphia vs. No. 7 Buffalo

If Miller is so easy why couldn't Philly beat him in the third period Friday when they needed the game desperately?
@Lizard


Why did the Flyers need to win? They had playoffs wrapped up weeks ago and the division was in their control on Saturday. Buffalo needed to win in order to stay alive...


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