Penguins Flyers Betting - Flyers And Penguins Prepare To Electrify The State Of Pennsylvania
The New York Rangers' two foremost adversaries in the Eastern Conference playoffs are going to be the Boston Bruins and the winner of this all-Pennsylvania first-round series.
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals: (5) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (4) Pittsburgh Penguins
Sports betting line: N/A
Why Philadelphia Will Win
When you place your bet on an NHL playoff series, there are so many betting pressure points and tension points to turn to. One of the biggest questions is this: Can one team survive the physicality of playoff hockey and emerge intact on the other side? This is the big worry facing the Pittsburgh Penguins, whose superstar, Sidney Crosby, missed a long period of time due to concussions suffered in the 2010-2011 season that kept him out of the playoffs. Pittsburgh got waxed by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2011 postseason, so Crosby is obviously wanting to write a different narrative in 2012. However, desire can only bring a player and a team so far. Crosby has to withstand the punishment that's likely to come his way in a grueling series against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Both of these teams accumulated more than 100 points, which makes this series such a spectacular matchup for a 4-versus-5 confrontation. Crosby and teammate Evgeni Malkin are going to be the two prime targets for a Flyer team that racked up more minor penalties than any other team in the league in 2012. Crosby will have his moments, and Malkin is likely to make his fair share of plays as well, but can Pittsburgh succeed long enough to win four games against the Flyers? Philadelphia brought goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov into the fold precisely for this moment. The Flyers were noticeably weak in goal in 2011 when Boston manhandled them in the second round of the playoffs. Philadelphia's commitment to playing tough hockey, plus the addition of Bryzgalov, could be just enough to give the Flyers a slight edge in what should be a terrific and very long series.
Why Pittsburgh Will Win
There is always the possibility that as this NHL season enters the playoff stage, Sidney Crosby won't be the same player that he was in the back stretch of the regular season. Crosby scored 37 points in his 22 games this season, coming on strong in recent weeks to enable Pittsburgh to gain home-ice advantage in this series against Philadelphia. Maybe Crosby will flinch as the level of hockey becomes that much more intense and physical. However, Crosby's MVP-level skill and dynamic leadership are hard to distrust at this time of year. It was a big stretch to think that Crosby would be able to do much of anything this season after his concussion worries, which had his teammates and organization fearing the very worst. This is a player who overcomes obstacles, so it only makes sense to think that Crosby will overcome the Flyers as well.
Who Will Win?
Philadelphia made the big goalie acquisition in the offseason with Bryzgalov, but Pittsburgh has a Stanley Cup-winning backstop in Marc-Andre Fleury, who so often gets overlooked by the online betting sites among NHL netminders. This seems likely to be a knock-down, drag-out, seven-game series. Pittsburgh has home ice in Game 7, and that usually means something in playoff hockey.
NHL Betting Pick: Pittsburgh in 7 games
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