It's official: the Flyers now have a second round opponent - the New Jersey Devils. Last night the Devils defeated the Florida Panthers in a decisive Game 7 in double overtime.
The Flyers haven't played since Sunday, but judging by their practices this week, they are ready. The Flyers needed to get some players healthy, such as JVR, Briere and Meszaros. The break gave them time to enjoy thier first round victory, but also gave them time to refocus on the task at hand.
The Flyers have to focus on the New Jersey Devils, and some very familiar names. Here are some players the Flyers will need to keep an eye on:
- Martin Brodeur - Although Marty is getting a bit older, that doesn't mean we can ignore him. Brodeur basically holds every goaltender record imaginable for a reason. The man has still got it, but the Flyers can definitely get to him.
- Ilya Kovalchuk - Kovalchuk has had a great season for the Devils, and has been one of their best players. Kovalchuk led the Devils in points in the regular season with 83 points (37g, 46a). Kovy is second on the team in postseason points with 5, 3 goals and 2 assists.
- Zach Parise - Parise recorded 2 goals and 2 assists in the first round versus the Panthers. Zach is a winger that will never give up on a puck, the Flyers defense needs to watch him. Parise is the anchor to the Devils top line.
- Travis Zajac - Zajac leads the Devils in playoff points (6), 3 goals and 3 assists. Zajac scored the overtime goal in Game 6 to force a decisive Game 7. The Devils lean on guys like Zajac and Parise, as they should.
- Adam Henrique - The Devils rookie was named a Calder Trophy finalists for Rookie of the Year. The NHL snubbed Matt Read and Paul Holmgren, but hey, we won't hold a grudge. Going into Game 7, Henrique had just one assist, but on Thursday night he had two goals, including the overtime winner.
The Devils have a very dangerous roster and shouldn't be overlooked. Aside from the players named above, the Devils still have threats like Patrick Elias, David Clarkson, Zubrus and several others.
With that said, the Flyers match up very evenly with the New Jersey club. During the regular season, the Flyers are 3-2-1 against the Devils. This will certainly be an evenly matched series, and should be very exciting. The Flyers now have home ice advantage because they are playing the lower seeded Devils. Here is the schedule for Round 2, plan accordingly:
Game 1- Sunday 4/29- 3:00pm-NBC
Game 2-Tuesday 5/1-7:30pm-NBC Sports Network
Game 3- Thursday 5/3-7:30pm- NBC Network
Game 4- Sunday 5/6-7:30pm-NBC Sports Network
Game 5- Tuesday 5/8-*if necessary-TBD
Game 6- Thursday 5/10-*if necessary- TBD
Game 7- Saturday 5/12-*if necessary- TBD