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Experts love Flyers in Round 2

Since Adam Henrique netted the double overtime game-winner on Thursday night in South Florida, I've sat here trying to come up with avenues for the Devils to overtake the Flyers in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Truthfully, I can only come up with one: Martin Brodeur shocks the hockey world by returning to the form that delivered three silver chalices to the swamps of North Jersey.

Other than that, it's tough to imagine another way the Devils beat the Flyers. New Jersey struggled with Florida's usually limp power play. Brodeur isn't Brodeur anymore. And the Devils don't have the depth – at any position – to match the Flyers.

The biggest thing that stood out from watching Florida and New Jersey in Games 6 and 7 of their series was the general sloppiness and malaise of the play. Nothing was crisp – not even the ice.

Usually, the big fear would be that the Flyers won't be able to make the necessary adjustments to such boring hockey. But the Flyers beat the team many labeled the best in the East with staggering versatility: coming from behind, playing with the lead, in high-scoring races, in defensive battles, in knock-down, drag-out brawls and on the road.

Another fear would be that the Flyers will need a kick in the pants after a week-long layoff. But they usually need that in a game from coach Peter Laviolette anyway once they are in a two-goal hole.

The logical deduction: Flyers in 5.


After watching the Flyers dismantle the odds-on Stanley Cup favorite Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round, it is really no surprise that the "experts" have piled on the bandwagon in South Philadelphia. That's after 37 of 45 randomly polled experts picked the Penguins in Round 1.

Here's a quick round-up of the picks. By our count, that's 24 out of 25 picks for the Flyers.
Brian Stubits: Flyers
Adam Gretz: Flyers
Dennis Dodd: Flyers

NHL 12 Simulation: Flyers in 5

John Buccigross: Flyers in 6
Scott Burnside: Flyers in 5
Linda Cohn: Flyers in 5
Craig Custance: Flyers in 6
Paul Grant: Flyers in 6
Pierre LeBrun: Flyers in 5
Steve Levy: Flyers in 7
Joe McDonald: Flyers in 7
Barry Melrose: Flyers
James Murphy: Flyers in 6
Jesse Rogers: Flyers
Katie Strang: Flyers in 6

Ed Barkowitz: Flyers in 6
Chuck Bausman: Flyers in 6
Sam Donnellon: Devils in 7
Rich Hofmann: Flyers in 6
Frank Seravalli: Flyers in 5

Luke Fox: Flyers in 5

Jesse Spector: Flyers in 7
Sean Gentille: Flyers in 5

Kevin Allen: Flyers in 7

For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers