Thursday, April 22, 2010

On to the second round! Flyers rip Devils again

For a team that barely made the playoffs the Flyers sure plan to make the most of their opportunity. Thanks to another dominating performance, the Flyers struck quick against the Devils in Game 5 and never looked back, clinching the series with a 3-0 win.

Danny Briere scored the game-winning goal just minutes into the game but the offensive hero of the night for the Flyers was Claude Giroux, who scored 2 goals midway through the second period. For a team that was worried about where the offense was going to come from with Simon Gagne and Jeff Carter missing time, the continued emergence of Giroux has been a welcome sight. The kid is clearly raising his game to a new level.

As for the supposed weak link of the Flyers, Brian Boucher came up huge once again, stopping all 27 shots he saw in Game 5. For a guy that was thought to be the worst goaltender in the NHL playoffs, Boucher was in the right position at the right time to make every big save in the series. Sure, the Flyers defense deserves plenty of credit for their ability to limit the scoring opportunities in front of him, but Boucher has somehow turned back the clock and emerged as that hot goaltender that took the Flyers deep into the 2000 playoffs.

With the Devils out of the way, the Flyers are on to the second round and a likely showdown with the Capitals, who figure to be a much more formidable opponent than New Jersey. While the Flyers defense might be able to slow down some of their weapons, Philly can't afford to take a bunch of penalties like they did against the Devils and give Washington's dangerous power play numerous chances. While the Flyers do have a great penalty kill, stopping Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green and Nicklas Backstrom with a man advantage is going to be a tall order.

Anyway, we'll worry about the Capitals later because now it's time to enjoy the fact that the #7 seeded Flyers overcame huge odds and dominated the #2 seeded Devils in the first round. It's time to revel in the idea that this team that barely made the playoffs and is playing with their third string goalie in net and two of their top forwards out with injuries has been able to knock out one of the best teams in the East. It's going to be fun see how long they can keep this unlikely run going. GO FLYERS!

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