NHL Playoffs 2011: Philadelphia Flyers FC Answers Questions About Sabres Series


The NHL Playoffs 2011 are underway, but the Buffalo Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers will wait until Thursday night to begin what should be another classic series between the two Eastern Conference foes.

To get a better feel for the Sabres opponent, I touched base with Freddy Doll, Philadelphia Flyers FC here at B/R. 

Here’s what he had to say regarding the Sabres/Flyers first-round matchup

(I’m a Bills FC, but I’m a huge Sabres fan too. Imagine that.)

Q1: What are your general thoughts about the Flyers heading into the playoffs?

A1: The Flyers may have been on a skid heading into the playoffs, but I fully believe that they won’t have a problem ramping it up in the playoffs. I believe they feel it is their time to prove to everyone that they can get it done. I expect them to come out hard in this series.

Q2: What advantages do the Flyers have over the Sabres?

A2: Depth. The Flyers had seven 20+ goal scorers and Ville Leino had 19. Not to mention, that even with sitting games out, Zherdev had 16 goals and Andreas Nodle had 11. So, the Flyers had 10 forwards with 10+ goals. This should cause match-up problems when the Sabres try to decide who their top defensive pair should go up against.

Q3: What advantages do the Sabres have over the Flyers?

A3: I would have to say the experience of Ryan Miller. Miller and Sergei Bobrovsky had an almost identical GAA and SV% this year. However, Miller has the Playoff experience.

Q4: How will the injuries to Pronger, Betts and Briere affect the team? Which player can they not win without?

A4: Reports from the Flyers camp is that Briere and Betts will play Game 1. Pronger is a game time decision for Game 1. I believe that the Flyers can win even with their injuries. Their depth is ridiculous, and they are now even better with the call-ups that they made.

Q5: Who must step up if the aforementioned players aren’t back from injury or return and aren’t 100%?

A5: If Pronger cant go, then whoever plays for him, whether it’s Danny Syvret, Matt Walker, Nick Boynton, or Erik Gustafsson. Whichever player plays in place of Pronger will have all eyes on them. The defensemen will have to play better than average because the media will have a field day with “if Pronger was here….”

Q6: Who’s the wild card or X-factor for the Flyers in this series?

A6: No doubt it’s Nikolay Zherdev. His offense could be valuable, if he can please the coaches enough to stay in the line-up. If you want a call up that could become a wild card, look for either Mike Testwuide or Eric Wellwood to be able to make an impact if they are needed.

Q7: Prediction for first-round match up with the Sabres?

A7: I’m going to say Flyers in 6. I think the Flyers’ offensive depth will prove too much for Ryan Miller and the Sabres defense corps


(I’ll be answering some questions from the Sabres perspective. Look for it on Freddy’s page tomorrow)

Read more Buffalo Sabres news on BleacherReport.com

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