Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

NHL East conference final preview

Vinny Prospal might play an important role for the Flyers.

Getty Images

Vinny Prospal might play an important role for the Flyers.

Conference final preview

Eastern

Pittsburgh Penguins

Route: Beat the Senators in four, Rangers in five.

How they did it: Being oppressive. The skilled Penguins won their first seven playoff games until the Rangers strung out their series.

Why they'll reach the final: Evgeni Malkin had four goals and three assists against the Rangers. Marian Hossa had four goals and one assist, and Sidney Crosby had six assists.

Why they won't: Skaters don't skate so fast pressed against the boards. The Flyers, who stifled Washington's Alex Ovechkin for most of the opening round, will be a grabby bunch of ruffians.

Philadelphia Flyers

Route: Beat the Capitals in seven, Canadiens in five.

How they did it: Continuing to play with urgency — after a hiccup against the Capitals — after winning several meaningful games just to reach the playoffs as the No. 6 seed.

Why they'll reach the final: Mind-set goes a long way at this time of year, and the Flyers are self-believers entering the Battle of Pennsylvania. And former Lightning standout Vinny Prospal will step up.

Why they won't: Mind-set matters little when Crosby and Malkin hit open ice with the puck.

Brant James, Times staff writer

NHL East conference final preview 05/07/08 [Last modified: Thursday, May 8, 2008 10:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Joe Maddon on being back at Trop, Cash, a new stadium

    Blogs

    More to come later, but a couple of quick early highlights from former Rays manager Joe Maddon's return to the Trop with the Cubs:

    Joe Maddon, right, speaks with Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey before Tuesday's game at Tropicana Field.
  2. Former Lightning forward Brian Boyle diagnosed with cancer, expects to keep playing

    Lightning Strikes

    New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone-marrow cancer that the team's doctor said can largely be treated with medication.

    Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone-marrow cancer that the team's doctor says can be treated with medication, the Devils announced Tuesday. [AP photo]
  3. Lightning Strikes! podcast: Preseason storylines to watch

    Blogs

    In this episode of our Lightning Strikes podcast, Joe Smith and columnist Tom Jones set up the preseason with storylines to watch, as well as expectations for the season. Will defenseman Mikhail …

    Will defenseman Mikhail Sergachev make the Lightning?
  4. Florida Gators announce 2018 football schedule

    Blogs

    The Florida Gators announced their 2018 football schedule Tuesday, including an early SEC game against Kentucky and a matchup against Colorado State, which was part of coach Jim McElwain's buyout from the Rams.

  5. For starters: Rays vs. Cubs in Joe Maddon's return to Trop

    Blogs

    Joe Maddon's return to the Trop will be the main story tonight, but there is still a baseball game to be played, between a Cubs team surging toward another division title with six straight wins and a Rays team struggling to keep alive a longshot bid for the second AL wildcard spot.

    RHP Chris Archer will be on …

    Joe Maddon returns to Tropicana Field tonight for the first time since leaving the Rays to become manager of the Cubs.