Orange & Black Breakdown
by Marc Siciliano on 10/06/11 at 05:45 PM ET
After months of preparation, even more speculation, pints and pints of perspiration and endless hours of aggravation, hockey is back.
Let that sink in. Hockey. Is. Back.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, after the jump we discuss the opening night tilt vs the Defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins!
A budding rivalry is renewed tonight
MATCHUP: Philadelphia Flyers @ Boston Bruins (Game 1) - 7:00 PM on VERSUS
SERIES EDGE: 0-0 this season (obviously), but Boston holds a significant edge since the Flyers magical Game 7 comeback from two seasons ago. They have beat the Flyers 7 times in their last 8 games. The last 4 wins took place in the Eastern Conference Semi-final, when a focused Bruins squad dismantled the Flyers on their way to the Cup. Luckily for the Flyers, the amount of new faces on the squad will go a long way in offsetting any psychological advantage Boston may hold after last season’s dominance over the Orange and Black.
What to expect from the BRUINS: Stanley Cup hangover, or legitimate repeat contender? Tonight we find out how that quest will begin. After coming out last postseason determined to take it to the Flyers, will the Bruins have that same venom this season that made them so successful, or will it be the other way around?
I expect to see the Bruins near the top of the east all season for multiple reasons we will likely see tonight. Tyler Seguin might seem like a candidate for the ‘sophomore slump’ given the expectations he faces, but with the talent he possesses he is perfectly capable of continuing his success and giving the Bruins a powerful offensive punch. Horton will be there to contribute both points and grit to the equation, and the defense should be strong as well.
The biggest reason why the Bruins might have trouble repeating their success from last year would be the regression of Tim Thomas. Even though that is inevitable given his godly performance last season, the Bruins have Tuukka Rask waiting in the wings should he really falter. Remember, this is the guy many people thought would be between the pipes for Boston this time last year. At that time, the Bruins could not have GIVEN Thomas away – what a difference a year makes, eh? Long story short – the success in Boston was no fluke, even if their incredible goaltending performance may seem that way.
What to expect from the FLYERS: Well, that’s the $64 million question right now. But in all seriousness, with the amount of questions surrounding this team that have yet to be answered, all I really expect these guys to do with certainty is to come out like their skates are on fire, and anything less then that would be disappointing. Ideally, their roles will dictate themselves based on play since there is so much fluidity in the lineup, but I’m anxious to see who can excel when given a chance by Lavi. I’d elaborate more here, but what can be talked about that hasn’t already been dissected beyond necessity coming into tonight? All that’s left is to see how they look in some meaningful action.
The wait is over.
Flyers Line-up (subject to change):
JVR – Giroux – Jagr
Voracek – Briere – Simmonds
Hartnell – Couturier – Read
Rinaldo – Talbot – Nodl
Pronger – Carle
Timonen – Meszaros
**Lilja/Walker – Coburn
**Game time decision
Lets Go Flyers!
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About Orange & Black Breakdown
The Orange & Black Breakdown looks to be the ultimate, around the clock source for news and information on the Philadelphia Flyers organization and it’s ever-present quest for the Stanley Cup. Focusing on what the team can do to achieve success is the ultimate goal.
The OBB is written and maintained by myself - Marc Siciliano. I’m a college graduate and media production professional in the sports industry with credits on projects like Hard Knocks: Bengals and 24/7 Penguins vs. Capitals: Road to the Winter Classic. A man of many hobbies, I always seem to find a way to spend a disproportionate amount of my daily routine with two things: Flyers hockey and social media (much to the dismay of my hockey impartial friends on twitter).
So what does this mean for you? The plan is to combine these
time-wasting habits passions with my love for writing to provide you with complete coverage of the Flyers from both my head and around the web, 24/7.
This is my second writing stint focusing on the Flyers, but for a much larger audience - so do be gentle. Different perspectives and opinions on the organization are welcome and encouraged. Just because I see it one way doesn’t mean I’m beyond seeing it your way as well, so speak up!
I’m always interested in interacting with readers, so find me on twitter (@marcs797) or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let’s talk hockey.
Thanks for reading; Lets go Flyers!