It was little more than a formality, but the Flyers were formally invited to the Lord Stanley's dance by virtue of their 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night. Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 23 of 24 shots, and Danny Briere lit the lamp twice, his first non-empty netters since going off for a hat trick on January 8. Bryz even assisted on one of them.
Now let's talk a little about match-up. Who do you want in Round 1?
The Penguins lost last night, their first in regulation in 15 games, but continue their run on the top seed in the East. They're just three back of the Rangers, who have seven games remaining compared to the Pens' eight. Two of Pittsburgh's game are against the Flyers though, which means Orange and Black may very well dictate who they see in the first round one.
Barring any major developments, the Flyers appear fairly locked into that five seed, four at best, which means they'll be seeing one of the teams either way. It's going to be very difficult for Pittsburgh to catch New York without at least one win over Philly, but they have not had much success so far this season, earning two points in just one of their four meetings.
Meanwhile, the Flyers are a great big 0-5 against the Rags, with one game left on the slate. However, all of those games were played before Bryz got his mojo back, and it says something of New York's play of late that anybody is in position to catch them for first place. They have one more to play in Philly, but do the Rangers still scare anybody?
Who would you rather see in the first round? Flyers seem to match up pretty well with Pittsburgh, but they've only seen them once since Sidney Crosby returned, and it came down to the final second in overtime. The Rangers have been pounding them, but mid-season additions to the blue line may change the dynamic a bit. Are you concerned either way?