After appearing in the most eagerly anticipated first round series against the Montreal Canadiens, the Boston Bruins find themselves in the juiciest second round match as well. The Bruins will face approximately five billion questions about last year’s collapse against the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers as they prepare for the formidable 2011 model.
Just about anyone with a vague interest in playoff hockey knows that the Flyers dealt with a bizarre three goalie carousel in the first round. What you might not realize is that Brian Boucher was actually quite excellent at times as he amassed a 4-1 record with an outstanding 93.4 save percentage and 2.10 GAA. Even so, the driving force behind Philly’s first round win was their fearsome offensive attack. While the squad boasts waves of talent including Mike Richards and Claude Giroux, post-lockout leading scorer Danny Briere stole the show with six goals in just seven games. If that wasn’t enough, Chris Pronger actually looked pretty good in Game 7, skating for more than 17 minutes and collecting an assist.
The Bruins come into this series with more than a few questions, even if they defeated their historical rivals. Tim Thomas was great against the Habs, but he’ll have to be even better in Round 2. Ryan Miller got the best of Philly a couple times, but they ultimately broke him down. Boston’s defense is a little bit better at the top, but looked shaky in other areas (especially disappointing trade acquisition Tomas Kaberle). Can they deal with the Flyers’ depth in a best-of-seven series?
The B’s received surprising contributions from the Rich Peverley-Chris Kelly-Michael Ryder line, but they need more from Milan Lucic and a whole lot more from their anemic power play. A scoreless PP might cut it against the offensively shallow Habs, but that won’t fly against the Flyers’ firepower.
So what do you think? Will Boston get revenge against Philly for that epic 2010 collapse or will the Flyers bully the big, bad Bruins? Let us know by voting in the poll below.