All I'll say is unbelievable...These two teams will battle all year long for the division and probably top spot in the East...As much as I dislike the Flyers they are playing an unbelievable mix of offense and defense. The goaltending has surprised everyone...These two teams are the two best in the NHL right now and I hope they meet up in the playoffs.
Devils unbeaten in 12 and still a point behind the Flyers I believe...Says a lot about the way these two team have opened the season. Before anyone starts a "we're better than you" this post is strictly out of respect for both teams play almost 1/4 of the way through the season.
yeah it's quite a feat when the Devils are playin without a loss in their last 13 games but the Flyers still manage to maintain a 1 point cushion. The home and home in a couple of weeks should be fun. If either team can come up with 4 points it will prove to be big!
These two teams are the two best in the NHL right now and I hope they meet up in the playoffs.
At first, I was ready to say the Devils aren't but then I thought for a second. (Yes Flyers fans do think! ).
The Flyers have beaten the best in the West (VAN) and the best in the East (BOS, at the time). The Devils have not lost in 12 games so I would definitely agree that we are the two best teams in the league right now bar none.
I think the Flyers are finally all on the same page. The goaltending isn't erratic like it was with Cechmanek. The scoring isn't coming in bunches like it did last year. Defense is playing very well and that in turn is part of the reason our goalies our doing well. Holding Boston to 13 shots in one game shows how well our defense is playing. One of the big things I have noticed this year with our guys is that if and when we give up the lead (as we have a few times this year) we haven't come apart at the seams. This year, we get the go-ahead goal and clamp down on the teams after that by basically shutting them down and not letting them into our zone. The last few minutes of the B's game, they had trouble just getting the puck past the red line.
There seems to be more chemistry with the team this year. The locker room doesn't appear to have a split with Roman on one side and the rest of the guys on the other. The boys have faith in Esche & Hackett that they can get the job done. That definitely helps both of them by knowing the guys trust in them. Hack has never played for a team like the Flyers, meaning a competitive team, and it's showing that when he has a good team in front of him he plays well. Esche is doing good because he is playing alot more than he did last year. Last year, he was just shut down when Hitch decide on Chemo for the rest of the season. He plays calm and collected and doesn't flop around in net.
In conclusion, one word comes to mind with the Flyers this year:
Consistent: Constant scoring, consistent goaltenders and a defense that consistently takes care of business in our zone.
The Devils, what can you say about them. They don't have any great players that stand out like you do on other teams. You just have a group of guys that play every position very well. They have one of the best defenses in the league with Stevens, Niedermayer, Rafalski, White and goal scorers like Madden, Friesen, Langenbrunner, Elias, Gionta and Rupp. They don't have the big name lines like Colorado has with Forsberg, Hejduk and Selanne, Sakic & Kariya. (Lot of good having these guys has done). The Devils don't need one person to do it all.
They have 5 or more to do it on offense and one of if not the best defenses in the league and the best goalie in the league, Brodeur.
As a Flyer fan, of course I hate him because we can never seem to solve how to score on him. But as a hockey fan, I would consider him the best goalie around today, no one is even near him.
I am encouraged that the Flyers are still maintaining a lead over the Devils even though the Devils appear to be unstoppable at the moment.
The home and home series coming up on 12/12 & 12/13(I will be there for this one) will most likely two of the most exciting games all year.
A showdown of the two best in the East and the NHL.
(Now you know that killed me to say anything good about the Devils...the pain. )
But don't forget...every year here's the quote.. " Whoever comes out of the West will win the Stanley Cup"
As of right now, I don't see a clear cut team that this quote would apply to.
DET: Even with Hasek & Joseph, they are losing games. They lost their big signee in Hatcher until the playoffs. They are losing to the young & hungry teams like the Predators and Blue Jackets.
COL: The fanfare signing of Kariya and Selanne hasn't done anything for this team. Kariya is out for how long with a wrist injury and Forsberg has been out with a groin problem. Abby is questionable at best.
VAN: Have two great scorers in Naslund & Bert and a good top two d-men in Jovo & Ohlund. Their goalies suck, I'm sorry but they do. Even the Nucks fans don't like Cloutier. Toronto just got done beating them in back to back games.
DAL: Downward spiral
ANA: Sergei's impact obviously hasn't been made yet.
STL: They are doing good as well. Osgood is really helping them out alot. Tkachuk is finally looking like the guy the paid for. Question is how long can they stay on top.
I think the only team that is surprising me in the West is the Kings. Our old bipolar goaler is their backstop and even with injuries they are doing alright. But, you guys shelled them last night so I wouldn't say they are that good just yet. But better than last year.
Couldn't disagree more. What the Devils don't have are marketed players. At least two Devils, Stevens and Brodeur, are truly great. Two of the greatest to ever play their respective positions in fact.
Niedermayer, Elias, Madden, Langenbrunner, and Rafalski are all outstanding players.
What always gets lost in the hype over the Devils' machine-like consistency is the excellence of the athletes on their team.
Agreed. Niedermayer and Stevens are better than any of our D. Elias is a as good as any forward we've got. They also have big tough guys who can play, big D like White who can clear the crease, and they are breaking in a few rookies too. Gomez, Brylin, Pandolfo etc. are very good too.
The key is that the Devils have excellence at all positions and play as a team. Flyer teams might have more glamorous hyped forwards but haven't played as a team until this year.
The West doesn't really scare me though I always have respect for the Avs and Wings..........but the real beasts I believe reside in the East......
For the Flyers great challenge will come from the Devs and I still believe the Sens will be there fighting it out with us in the playoffs .........
However, we are definately a better team then last year........I really do not think you can say that about the Sens or Devs who remain elite with the same line ups.......
We have one more year under Hitch's system, we have reliable albeit not spectacular goaltending but still an improvement over last year and we have the Super Rookie in Pitkanen and the growth in players like Williams and a healthy Amonte with us all year.....
We are no doubt one of the favs without question......but the bloody Devs are always the hounds on our heels...