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Flyers vs. Devils, Eastern Conference Semifinals 2012: Staff Predictions

With the Eastern Conference Semifinals on tap, The Checking Line- Flyers Edition's staff checked in with their predictions.

Season Series (click the result for TCL's recap)

Oct. 8- Flyers @ Devils, 3-0 PHI

Nov. 3- Flyers v. Devils, 4-3 (SO) NJD

Jan. 21- Flyers @ Devils, 4-1 PHI

Feb. 4- Flyers v. Devils, 6-4 NJD

March 11- Flyers @ Devils, 4-1 NJD

March 13- Flyers v. Devils, 3-0 PHI

Adam Pardes

It'll be interesting to see how the Flyers powerful offense fares against the Devils defensive style of play.

I don't think Philly will get nearly as many quality scoring chances as they did in the first round, but I think they'll be able to capitalize on what they do get and reach the Eastern Conference Finals.

Ilya Bryzgalov has to get in a better rhythm if the Flyers want to go deeper into the playoffs.

Prediction: Flyers in 6

Conor Hassard

The Flyers depth and all-around scoring will overshadow the Devils’ average style of play in this series. 

The goaltending will be interesting, as Marty Brodeur and Bryzgalov weren’t on the top of their game last round.  New Jersey's offense is good and will most likely get a lot of scoring chances against the Flyers defense.  However, the Flyers will outmatch the Devils big-time when it comes to scoring.

Brodeur and the Devils defense won’t stand much of a chance against guys like Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Jaromir Jagr,  and Jakub Voracek.

Prediction: Flyers in 5

John Russo

Much like the Capitals/Rangers series, this could come down to goaltending as well.

Bryzgalov may have turned the corner for the Flyers with his strong play in Game 5 before shutting down the Penguins completely in a 5-1 Game 6 clincher. Devils future hall of famer Broduer stepped it up big as well against the Panthers and will have to do so again this series versus the Flyers.

New Jersey is hoping rookie Adam Henrique can step it up again in the second round, leading this team offensively much like he did all season. The Flyers got offensive outbursts in the first round from their two star scorers, Giroux and Daniel Briere. And, despite the fact Giroux got snubbed for the Hart, he said, "at the end of the day, that's not the trophy I want." Flyers fans can agree.

Prediction: Flyers in 5

Kimberly Pollock

Despite a tie in the season series between the Flyers and Devils, I have to say that the Flyers have the advantage.

They're well-rested while the Devils just wrapped up their series on Thursday night - in double OT, no less. While the fear of the Flyers being rusty is there, I think there's more of a chance that the Devils are tired than the Philadelphia being rusty.

The Flyers have more depth, and players on all four lines contributed during the first round. Neither team had great goaltending, but Bryzgalov has a 3-0-0 record against the Devils this season and Brodeur went 1-3-0 against Philadelphia.

The Flyers have home ice advantage in the first two games, which gives them the opportunity to create their own matchups. Couturier was phenomenal going up against Evgeni Malkin in the first round, so I'm sure we'll see him against guys like  Ilya Kovalchuk, Patrick Elias, and Zach Parise.

It might be a gritty series and the wins may not always come easy, but I'm going with Philadelphia.

Flyers in 5

Larry D'Angelo

The Flyers are coming out of a run-and-gun first round series with the Pittsburgh and may find it hard to lure the New Jersey Devils into that style of play.

First, the Devils don't have the personnel to play that style of hockey.  This series will come down to the play of Bryzgalov. He had a "not so good" first round, but managed to come out victorious only because the play of Marc-Andre-Fluery was even worse.

Despite playing well in Game 6, the question is, will Bryzgalov continue to get better as the series goes on? Or will he still struggle and let in those soft back breaking goals?

One thing is for certain, if the Flyers defense starts blocking shots on a consistent basis, Bryzgalov will have a better shot at being more consistent. The Flyers depth along with their special teams play will be too much for the Devils to handle.

One thing to keep in mind is that Jersey still has playoff-tested veteran, Brodeur back-stopping their team. Although he is aging, his long playoff experience will come in handy for the Devils in this round.

Prediction: Flyers in 6

Mark Trible

When looking at these two teams, it seems like a mismatch on paper. The Flyers were on the other side of the 'mismatch' last round and won convincingly over Pittsburgh.

So, where does that leave things now?

The most imporant thing in this series is the same as every series: execution.

If both teams execute, the Flyers should have little trouble punching a ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals.

However, everyone saw how the kids in black and orange executed in the first series and it was pretty good. Can they do it when they aren't playing with house money?

Will a week of getting patted on the back let them ease off the gas pedal?

Doubtful. 

Prediction: Flyers in 5

Matt Bernot

These are two teams with a long history of hating each other. From Scott Stevens knocking out Eric Lindros and the Flyers in 2000 to Brian Boucher's revenge in 2010 and a 2004 win for Robert Esche in between, the Flyers and Devils aren't strangers to playoff hockey.

This year, revamped Flyers take on a Devils team who will probably lose a lot of pieces in July. The Devils lack the potent offense of a Crosby-Malkin-Neal line, but Kovalchuk and Parise will still be a tough challenge for Couturier to shut down. Look for a series with less flashy offense and more discipline

Prediction: Flyers in 6

Matt Brigidi

Bryzgalov has had some pretty impressive success against the Devils this season (3-0-0, 0.29 GAA, .987 SV% and has stopped 75 of 76 shots faced), while Brodeur has struggled (1-3-0, 2.26 GAA, .905 SV%).

Both teams have developed a tendency to find the penalty box quite often this postseason (Flyers lead the 16 playoff teams with most minor penalties taken while the Devils had the third most minor penalties taken), so special teams may loom large.

If the Flyers can carry over their power play success from Round 1 and the Devils continue to sturggle with the penalty kill like they did in Round 1, it could be the difference in the series.

Of course it must be noted that the Devils penalty kill was one of the league's best in the regular season.

Ultimately, Philadelphia matches up well against Jersey and as long as the Flyers make sure to contain Parise, Kovalchuk, Henrique and Elias they should have no problem advancing to their second Eastern Conference Final appearance in three years.

Prediction: Flyers in 5

 

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Comments

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

I had Flyers in four. There's no way Jersey beats the Flyers. I think if Bryz keeps playing like he did in Game 5 and 6, the Flyers will be fine.