What's this ask Devils fans, the second round? Well bust our buttons it is. And against a hated rival to boot? Too cool.
You all know Johnny wants the Devils to win. He loathes the Flyers and always has. That being said the matchup doesn't favor the Devils as of today.
Unless Martin Brodeur can find a magic kernel of goaltending potion and play his best series in years it certainly looks like the Flyers in six games.
The Devils gutted out the series against Florida and deserved to win it. We did learn that in the short period between the regular season ending and the playoffs beginning the USS Devils PenaltyKill hit an iceberg and has been taking on water. The Panthers hit the jackpot around 30%. If the hole isn't patched it could get bigger with the awesome offensive talent the Flyers can run out on both powerplay units. It would make Johnny sad to see Daniel Briere running around scoring on the powerplay knowing you simply aren't allowed by rule to smash his smarmy mug into the NHL logo behind the nets.
Here's the good news Devils fans, buy shares in Parise, Zajac & Kovalchuk Inc. As good as the Flyers are at offense they are as bad at the whole defensive thing. The defense seems lost. They run at everything like a cat with a laser pointer and give up a copious amount of odd man rushes. We don't know who made more "big" saves in the last series with Pittsburgh, Ilya Bryzgalov or his seeing-eye dog. Ilya is sporting a plump 3.89 GAA and a "He must be blacking out for short periods of time or something" save percentage of .871.
The hard working Devils defense will be dog tired each night chasing the Flyers flyers around the ice. Salt of the earth defensive corps for New Jersey but just maybe not quite enough in a long series.
So, on paper (or the interwebs equivalent) it sadly would appear that the Flyers do have an edge. Common sense would dictate a call of Philadelphia in six games. That would indeed play nicely into the New Jersey mantra of us against the world and just what are you gonna do about it. Indeed some early success might feed that very live animal coming back to Newark. The roof could come off the Prudential Center Thursday night if the Devils can snatch one of the first two.
Johnny's counting on that, he's got his tickets waiting at will call.