NHL Network Manager – Randy Holt
Good luck trying to find a more hyped matchup out of the eight series in the first round than this one. So many stars and so many storylines in a series that has the potential to be epic. The Pittsburgh Penguins are a team with as much star power in the NHL. Sidney Crosby has returned, hopefully for good this time, joining Hart Trophy candidate Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal, and the rest of the excellent cast in Pittsburgh. They’re a team that will likely be favored in any series that they play, until they lose four in a series.
Then you have the Flyers. Got off to a bit of a slow start, with Ilya Bryzgalov having some trouble adapting to his new surroundings in Philadelphia. He appears to have his head on straight, for now, and the Flyers are getting the offense to support him as well. They’re led by Claude Giroux offensively, but don’t sleep on guys like Scott Hartnell, Jaramoir Jagr, or even Wayne Simmonds, who has had an excellent season in his first year in Philly. This matchup, however, isn’t very favorable for the Flyers, simply because they have the most talented squad in the league first. They’ll push it to seven games, but I don’t see them being able to pull it out against this Pittsburgh team.
Prediction: Pittsburgh in 7.