Better With Popcorn

Link Checks 4/24/2012

The Flyers are still waiting for their second round opponent after winning their series vs the Penguins on Sunday.  

The Flyers’ young guns got a good taste of what playoff hockey is really like, and it’s a very important experience (CSNPhilly).  Their opponent is still unknown, but the guys in Orange and Black will be ready for whatever team they’ll face (CSNPhilly).  Beating the Penguins may have been their biggest hill to climb in the Eastern Conference (CSNPhilly).

One thing they do need to improve heading into the next round is their defense.  The numbers weren’t too impressive (Philly Sports 24x7), but if they play the way they did on Sunday, they’ll be just fine facing any high-scoring opponent.

With injuries to several players, and many other just simply hurting from the intense first round, the Flyers will take the much-needed rest.  Nicklas Grossmann is among the ones who are injured.  He is suffering from a concussion, and because he couldn’t play in Game 6, rookie Erik Gustafsson got a chance to be in the lineup.  He led the team with seven blocked shots in an impressive performance (CSNPhilly).  Whether Grossmann is able to return or not, Gustafsson may have earned himself a spot in the lineup for Round 2 (TCL Flyers).  He’s just one of many Flyers that came of age during the first round (The Inquirer).

Claude Giroux is still being talked about by analysts and reporters two days after putting up one of his best performances of the season.  TSN did a “Top 10 Claude Giroux Moments” feature (YouTube).  ESPN is calling him the NHL’s best (ESPN) and many are saying he should be named captain next year should Pronger not return (Twitter).  He truly is among the world’s best (The Hockey Guys).

Round 2 in the West is set, but in the East it’s still a toss up:

 

The Coyotes finished off their series decisively with a 4-0 win (NHL.com) last night in Game 6.  Goaltender Mike Smith was key in the win (SBNation).  They’ll face the Predators who easily took care of the Red Wings (NHL.com).  For the other matchup, it will be the Blues vs the Kings.  Both teams won their first round series 4-1, but it was the Kings who pulled off an upset by defeating the first place Canucks (NHL.com).

There will still be at least three games played in the East.  Tonight, the Panthers could seal the deal over the Devils in Game 6 (NHL.com).  Tomorrow, the Capitals and Bruins will be in Boston for Game 7 (NHL.com).  The Senators and Rangers will also play Game 7 on Thursday, and so will the Panthers and Devils if the Panthers can’t finish it tonight.

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