Here is your Eastern Conference Final matchup:
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Montreal Canadiens: It is a series that could not be a more direct contrast to the series in the Western Conference Finals. Out West, the two top seeds are meeting in a decisive series. Out East, however, it’s the two lowest seeds and that makes the Flyers the lowest seed in NHL history to have home ice advantage in the post-season. Mere rankings alone make the Habs the underdogs in the series, but some analysts consider them to be heavy favourites going in.
The season head-to-head record is 2-2 and both finished the regular season with 88 points. The Flyers finished 41-35-6, while the Canadiens left off their regular season with a 39-33-10 record. The Flyers haven’t been to the Stanley Cup Finals since 1997, while the Habs haven’t been there since their 1993 Cup victory. Philly hasn’t seen a Cup since 1975.
The Flyers are the more physical team here, although the Canadiens should give them fits in the shot-blocking department. Nobody has blocked more shots than the Habs in this post-season. In fact, nobody’s even close to Montreal in blocking shots. The Flyers also have the weaker goaltender, going with Michael Leighton in lieu of the injured Brian Boucher. The Habs are, of course, riding the Jaroslav Halak train and will hope to do so right to the end of the line. The Flyers lack the offensive punch of Montreal’s previous two victims, too, and they could struggle putting the puck past them on the PP.
My Prediction: Canadiens in 7.
Posted by Jordan Richardson.