And it Begins Tonight….Flyers Postseason

The playoffs begin tonight for one of the two teams that inhabit the Wells Fargo Center, the Philadelphia Flyers. The Sixers and Flyers have both made the postseason and while the Sixers head down to South Beach over the weekend to try to beat the Heat, the Flyers will get things started right here in Philadelphia tonight.

The Flyers are facing the daunting task of trying to quiet experts who have pegged them as the team to pick to get upset in the first round. The reasoning behind that doesn’t seem to far-fetched. The Flyers have certainly struggled as of late and the Buffalo Sabres are entering the playoffs playing the best hockey that they have played all season long.

Chris Pronger will not play in at least game 1 of the first round.

The Flyers will also have to take on the Sabres, at least early on, without the help of one of their key team leaders, Defenseman Chris Pronger. Pronger is facing issues with his hand and has practiced some but has been ruled out for game 1. His leadership and toughness had a lot to do with why the Flyers made the Stanley Cup last year.

Sergei "Bob" Bobrovsky will make his playoff debut vs. the Sabres.

The Flyers will also have the task of trying to win with a rookie goalie in net. Sergei “Bob” Bobrovsky will be making his playoff debut in the net during this series. Flyers’ coach, Peter Laviolette has expressed very little concern over “Bob” starting in the net and is excited to see what the rookie will bring to the table. Laviolette won a Stanley Cup in 2006 in Carolina with a rookie goalie, Cam Ward, and it will be interesting to see if lightening will strike twice for Laviolette.

Peter Laviolette will look to take the Flyers one more step further this season by winning the Stanley Cup.

This Flyers team does not seem to be the trendy pick that many thought they were earlier in the season. They controlled the Eastern Conference right up until the final two weeks when the Capitals took the top seed and did not relinquish. The Flyers characterized the 82 game season as simply trying to qualify for the right to compete for a championship and they accomplished that even though the are not the number one seed. They won the Eastern Conference last year from the 8th seed and they seem satisfied to be a 2 seed.

Obviously the Flyers have the personnel to win a Stanley Cup. The question is, can they put the recent slump behind them and flip the switch in time to win a championship. That question will soon be answered.

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