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s18 - Flyers Stanley Cup Finals Preview (®)

2021-07-19

2007-08 Head-to-Head

The two finalists met early on in the regular season. The first meeting in Philadelphia saw San Jose come out victorious, 8-5, scoring more goals against the Flyers than any other team since the 2003-04 Regular Season (Penguins - 8,  Rangers - 9).

The second game was played in San Jose weeks later, with the Flyers winning by a score of 4-2.

Below is our breakdown of the two teams.

Flyers

 

Sharks

 

Offense

X

X

Defense

 

X

Goaltending

 
 

Depth

X

 

Physicality

X

X

Special Teams

 

X

Coaching

 
 

Leadership

X

 

Cup Experience

X

X

Star Power

 

 

Offense- San Jose has three lines that can score at will, while Philadelphia has largely been a two line attack.

Defense- Philadelphia features two of the best shutdown defenseman in the league.

Goaltending- It’s close, but the edge goes to Philly with a slightly better starter, and a much better back-up.

Depth - An injury to Philly’s usual 4th line center will keep him out of the series, giving the Sharks better depth in the face-off circle, and a stronger bottom-6 overall.

Physicality - Philly’s most physical player is also their biggest offensive threat. While San Jose has a more imposing back-end, and power forwards throughout their line-up.

Special Team - Statistically the Flyers have the edge. The Flyers also drew more penalties than any VHL team this season.

Coaching - Both first year coaches with their new teams, except Michel Therrien is a rookie head coach, and Jacques Martin has coached 1,000 games and won a Stanley Cup.

Leadership - Much of San Jose’s success can be attributed to them acquiring multiple veteran free agents this offseason. Their captain also is a contender for the Hart Memorial Trophy and Conn Smythe.

Cup Experience - A much overlooked factor, but not one single current Flyer has hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup versus a handful on San Jose who have. Maybe the Flyers will be more thirsty due to their lack of experience.

Star Power - Philadelphia’s star power is enough to single handedly win the team games. San Jose also has star power, otherwise they wouldn’t be here.

Get ready to rumble! Tell us who your pick to take home the cup is!?

 

 

Gate receipts from Games One and Two of the Stanley Cup Finals at the Spectrum are projected to make the Flyers the richest franchise in the VHL. That title currently belongs to the Winnipeg Jets of all teams at $665.1 million. It goes to show the team has come a long way since the early and mid 1990s, when they were a bottom-feeder struggling to get by on financial assistance offered to them by the league. 

 

Then, in the first season under the Wright Regimine, the line-up featured a 19 year old Peter Forsberg and their leading goal scorer at the time was Stephen Leach with a whopping 22 goal season infront of several empty seats. Now, the Spectrum erupts to the likes of superstar goal scorers Jaromir Jagr and Alexander Ovechkin being announced to a max capacity crowd.

It’s not forgotten, the years of hard work put in by several other players to help get the Flyers to where they are today. The Sergeis, Fedorov, Brylin and Nemchinov. The first, first overall pick in Flyers VHL history (before there was Ovy) Jason Arnott. Defenceman like Philippe Boucher, Nolan Pratt, Roman Hamrlik, Eric Cairns, and Craig Ludwig who sacrificed their bodies for the team. Then the more offensively gifted Dmen, Mario Doyon, Alexei Zhitnik, Nathan Dempsey and Sylvain Cote, who’s scoring abilities kept the team in games they might not have otherwise been competitive in. There’s the homegrown fan favorite forwards, Nicklas Sundstrom, Chris Gratton, Adam Deadmarsh, Maxim Afinogenov, Richard Zednik, and several others who call different teams home now, that the organization will forever be grateful for their services. Then there are legendary guardians of the cage, Manny Fernandez, Ron Hextall, Johan Hedberg, Martin Gerber, and Clint Malarchuk who all played 100-plus games in Orange and Black.

 

While many have gone through the revolving door, few have stayed to be a part of this success. Marek Malik and Marc Savard are two, too young to be a part of the early suffering, but determined and loyal to ride through 800-plus games with the same club that drafted them.

 

The trade deadline this season was dead silence in Philly. The players were quiet in the lockerroom as the time deadline approached, wondering if anyone was going. GM Wright walked in and broke the tension by announcing he did not make any trades, as he believed the team already has all the ingredients needed to win, as referenced by their spot in the standings. He would go on that their deadline was last season, when the team traded packages of Zednik, Sundstrom, Cairns, a 1st and 2nd for Petr Nedved and Radek Bonk, both of whom weren’t you’re typical rentals, as they would have an extra year left on their deals.

 

Both Nedved and Bonk have found their stride in Philly this season by having near career years despite not getting all the ice time they’re normally used to, and have upped their game in these playoffs. For Nedved, it’s about capturing the Stanley Cup which has evaded him during his 18 season career, only coming 2nd place in 2000-01 with the Vancouver Canucks. He's certainly played like a man possessed, and we hope to see at the end of this series, Flyers captain Jaromir Jagr's first handoff to longtime Czech friend Nedved.

 

WC: 915