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2011 Stanley Cup Playoff Picks – Sabres vs. Flyers

NHL Playoff Betting – Sabres vs Flyers Series Preview & Pick

Stanley Cup Betting fans sure are getting their money’s worth from the free nhl picks we give out here at Capperspicks.com. Stick with us for the entire 2011 NHL Stanley cup playoff run.


2011 EASTERN CONFERENCE QUARTERFINALS | #2 Philadelphia vs. Buffalo #7

Thursday, April 14 at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m. TSN, VERSUS-JIP
Saturday, April 16 at Philadelphia, 5:00 p.m. TSN
Monday, April 18 at Buffalo, 7:00 p.m. TSN, VERSUS
Wednesday, April 20 at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m. TSN, VERSUS
*Friday, April 22 at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m. TSN, VERSUS (JIP)
*Sunday, April 24 at Buffalo, 3:00 p.m. NBC (HD), TSN
*Tuesday, April 26 at Philadelphia, TBD TSN

Odds To Win Cup: Buffalo +1000, Philadelphia +300
Sabres vs Flyers Odds To Win 7 Game Series: Sabres +120, Flyers -150

The tables have really turned for the Philadelphia Flyers since last season, haven’t they? In 2009-10, they were a low playoff seed expected to do very little in the playoffs; they shocked the world and powered their way to the Stanley Cup Final.

This season, the Flyers were a powerhouse into the late winter. However, they were horribly complacent down the stretch, sagging enough to lose the top seed in the East, and they face one of the most dangerous sleeper teams possible in the Buffalo Sabres.

It took a while for Buffalo to get back on track but, boy, did the Sabres ever right the ship when it mattered this season. They went 8-1-1 over their final 10 games. Ryan Miller, last year’s Vezina Trophy winner, had a .921 save percentage after the All-Star break. The enigmatic Thomas Vanek had 32 points and was a plus-15 in 31 games after the break. Former first-round pick Drew Stafford finally had the 30-goal season everyone expected of him for years. Hulking young defenseman Tyler Myers went from a minus-11 in the first half to a plus-11 in the second half, showing that talk of his sophomore slump was premature.

The Sabres are playing their best hockey right this second, have no expectations on their shoulders, and are brimming with confidence. The Flyers are in a much different boat right now. They lost five of their final six games. It’s almost like they were too far ahead of the pack, too early, and went soft.

Philly still has plenty going for it. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a deeper, more talented and physical group of forwards in the league than Philadelphia’s. Mike Richards is a leader, playmaker and physical presence. Claude Giroux and Daniel Briere have a rare combination of creativity and underrated grit – especially Giroux. Though Jeff Carter is inconsistent, he still possesses gamebreaking speed, size and natural scoring touch. The Flyers are very intimidating up front. Sports Betting at Sportsbook.com

But Philadelphia brings some major red flags into the series with Buffalo, too. Its defensive horse, Chris Pronger, is recovering from a broken right hand. He hasn’t played since March 9. Even if he does return in time to face Buffalo, he’ll be rusty. There’s no time for rust if Pronger is battling the Sabres’ top forwards all night.

Worse yet for Philly is its goaltending situation. This is a recording. It appears that Peter Laviolette likes Sergei Bobrovsky over Brian Boucher or Michael Leighton to be his starter for the series. The rookie Bobrovsky seems like a decent choice on paper; he went 28-13-8 with a 2.59 goals against average and .915 save percentage. But a closer look should have Flyers fans sweating. Bobrovsky had a 3.95 goals against average and .880 save percentage in four April starts; he got yanked after allowing three goals on 10 shots in the Flyers’ regular-season finale. Does that look like a guy ready to step up in the playoffs to you? He’ll be on a short leash.

This matchup has upset written all over it. The Flyers have question marks in goal and on defense. Their mental makeup was called into question during the second half this season. Meanwhile, the Sabres have a series-stealing goalie, solidly improved offense and a nice hot streak entering the playoffs. I think they can edge Philly in a back-and-forth series, mainly on the strength of Miller and Myers.

Flyers vs Sabres prediction: Sabres in 7



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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.