Playoff Matchups – Eastern Conference Finals

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.

2 thoughts on “Playoff Matchups – Eastern Conference Finals

  1. Michael Burns May 16, 2010 — 4:28 am

    Interesting choice Jordan,
    I wonder how many people will be picking the Habs?

    Well using statistics, your right
    Philly didn’t score as much as the Penguins or the Capitals
    However, in the East Philly was the 3rd best in offence.
    Strangely enough that 3rd best offence was able to defeat the two best teams in goals against; Jersey and Boston
    And they did not struggle putting the puck past either team
    In fact, they scored 4 goals or more against the Bruins 3 times
    And during the regular season they had the 2nd best power play next to the mighty Capitals.
    They were able to score a few power plays against Boston including the game winner of game 7
    Buffalo didn’t score one PP during their whole so for philly to score 6 ( I think that is what it was, not bad )
    Another goal scoring argument I have I think The Philly squad can hurt you in the goal scoring department in many ways. They are clearly more balanced then ethier the Caps or the Pens. As for the Habs
    Besides Camilari, Gionta and Gomez well I should include Plekanac he had a decent year who else will be a scoring threat ( yes their defense is good too ) (and so is Philly’s)
    But I am looking at the front 12?
    These guys will not have as much room on their side as they did in their other series.
    Don’t expect the soft plays that everyone saw from guys like Gonchar
    They have not played a defense that has two guys even close when it comes to mastering that Position Like Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timmonen.
    They shut down guys like Parise, Kovalchuck, and anyone else for that matter
    Sometimes it is not just defense on the back end it is the forwards playing smart as well, Philly has had that as apart of their team work ethic all year.
    Especially when they lost Carter, Gagne and Lappy and Boucher, in parts of these playoffs, they still found ways to win.

    Jaraslav Halak has been amazing I can’t knock him but he can be hot and cold
    and nowhere do I see superstar at least when I look at his numbers.
    He only played 45 games this season ( not sure if played in the Olympics ) Even still earlier this year he was trade bait.
    Anyhow he had 21 wins and Leighton who got injured had 16. I also thinkk Leighton saved the teams bacon twice.
    Both in the regular season and in the playoffs, I question if Boucher could have held it all together for the full four game comeback.
    I watched every Flyer game this year and I was more then impressed with Michael Leighton
    I never thought a guy who was barely a vagabond goalie, could find a home like he did.
    He only a couple of crappy games, but when he did he always seemed to bounce back and not lose his composure.
    When it comes to their goaltenders this kind of attitude is something Philly has not had for many years.
    So who has the edge in net?
    Halak I guess, but hard to compare when Leighton has just arrived. And yes the Flyers will not be foolish to under estimate the Canadiens
    So you know they will be doing the things both Pittsburg and Washington failed to do including winning that illusive 4th game.

    I respect the Habs a great deal their play has been very impressive and P.K. Subban has been awesome in his short stay.
    Beating the caps and the Penguins like they did is amazing I can’t deny that, rare within it’s self however, what is even more rare is a team coming back from 3-0 game deficit, and win it being down 3 goals to none in game 7 and still finding a way to win it all. In fact that is not rare it has never happened like that.
    Reminds of the great Rocky Balboa.
    The Flyers keep taking a beating after beating and nobody gives them a chance
    But in the end their still standing.
    I am afraid as good as Montreal has been, they won’t have the guns to beat this upstart team from south Philadelphia.

    Like

  2. Jordan Richardson May 16, 2010 — 3:38 pm

    As usual you make a compelling case, Mike. I wouldn’t be all that surprised if the Flyers won, to be honest, and it’s going to be a very tight series that should go down the wire. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

    Like

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