I hesitate to call Boyes a big center, he's got an average NHL stature but he doesn't play big at all. Add into the fact that Boyes has played wing with St. Louis for most of the season, and you shouldn't have to change anything.
Clearly, the Flyers are the stronger team down the middle, that was quite the coming out party for Giroux in last years playoffs and obviously he's not a fluke. The changes in Ruff's system since Roy went down with a torn muscle, don't rely heavily on the centers to provide play making. The Sabres lead the attack on their wings usually, and the centers focus more on playing defense. The centers are usually the last ones out of the d-zone and the first ones out of the o-zone. So while they are less talented, less is being asked of them offensively too, but I don't expect either team to dominate this series with defensive play.
In fact, I'm hoping Miller will be the great equalizer.
Miller is obviously going to have to be your best player. You're also going to need goals from Pominville and Stafford. The Flyers are better defensively on the right side, so I expect a lot of dumps going into the left D corner. O'Donnell turns the puck over a lot and BUF is better off trying to wear down Timmonen and Carle than Meszaros, Pronger and Coburn.
Buffalo is a pretty terrible party city so I see the Flyers having no problem taking care of them up there. It's when they are home that the temptation gets to them. I say the key to the series is staying sober throughout. I know it's a long shot but it could happen.
Our bars start serving at noon, and don't close until 4am. Plenty of drunk time to be had!
Lines 1-3 are a bit of a foggy gooey mess. It's more of a weird 1a, 1b, 1c type of thing.
I know what you are saying, but I disagree to a certain extent.
Richards line is going to be used for matchup purposes, he will go up against possibly Vanek's line or whichever line is producing.
HBL is most likely the second to go and Giroux, Carter and Zherdev will get the next matchup, but these two are interchangeable depending on who Giroux is going to be best suited to see on the ice and the liability of Zherdev, Carter, and Giroux to play too fancy a game with the blind drop passes, the cross-ice passes, and lack of a consistent physical game from each both Carter and Zherdev.