December 11, 2011

The Bruins and Flyers Are the Teams to Watch at Mid-Season

The NHL has been full of surprises this year. The Habs are on their knees, the Wild are in first, and the Ducks can't seem to buy a winning streak.  Surprises have a way of correcting themselves during the course of a full NHL season. However, real hockey fans are not big on surprises. Real hockey fans who love the game like the dynasties.  They like the teams which deliver day in and day out. Two of those teams are the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins.  These bastions of hockey have seen the likes of Bobby Clarke, Reggie Leach, Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr; play and prosper. The 2011-2012 editions of the Bruins and Flyers are cast in the same dye as their predecessors.  Both teams offer a great product on the ice and watching them play is a treat even if you are not from the East Coast of the US.

Boston is lead by vets like Milan Lucic and youngsters like Tyler Seguin who are ripping up the league with speed and dazzle. The team is balanced like a Swiss clock and they make a formidable opponent for any team on any night.  The plus/minus rating for the Bruins as a whole is historically high and we suspect that they will continue this play all season on their way to a repeat as Stanley Cup Champions.  Just like the Flyers, Blackhawks and Wild; the Bruins play team hockey.  The one difference for the Bruins is that they tasted victory last year and the chemistry still exists for the repeat.

Philadelphia is built in the same image as the Bruins. They are young , strong, and skilled. Claude Giroux is quickly ascending as one of the top snipers in the league and guys like Couturier can't be far behind.  We think the Flyers will challenge this year and they could be crowned champs in the not too distant future.  I have seen a game in Philadelphia.  The intensity in the building is palatable and often it translates into an extra player when the hometown Flyers play.  This is even more evident at playoff time.  Anyway you cut, the Flyers are one of the soundest teams in the NHL.  If Jagr and Giroux stay healthy and produce at playoff time; an upside surprise is always possible. 

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