Flyers’ Improved Goaltending, Experience Makes Them NHL’s Best Team, Current Cup Favorites


Flyers' Improved Goaltending, Experience Makes Them NHL's Best Team, Current Cup Favorites The Bruins got a look at one of the NHL's best teams over the weekend, and quite frankly, it didn't go very well for the Black and Gold.

The B's were outscored 10-3 in a home-and-home series that made Sundays' 4-2 loss look like progress when put next to Friday's embarrassing 6-1 rout at home.

And while the Wings will be a Stanley Cup contender for seemingly forever, this year's Cup favorite, as it stands right now, resides in the Eastern Conference. In Philadelphia.

After a bitter loss last season to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Finals, the Flyers have bounced back this season as arguably the NHL's best team. It's also becoming tougher and tougher to debate that they're not the best team in the East.

The Flyers lead the Eastern Conference with 77 points — second in the NHL only to the Canucks. More importantly, while the West is wide open, the Flyers will probably continue to distance themselves from the East's other top teams. The Penguins are in shambles and may play the rest of the season without All-Star forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The Capitals are an inconsistent team in the midst of another slump, and they've proven in the past they struggle come playoff time. Also, if the Wings did anything else over the weekend, it was remind the Bruins that they're not quite there. Yet.

The Flyers rank in the top 10 in goals for and goals against. While their power play leaves something to be desired, their penalty kill is in the top 10 as well. That's important, too, as they're not afraid to mix things up, either.

They can play multiple styles of hockey, but most importantly, they've found an answer in the crease. The biggest question mark of their 2009-10 team was goaltending. Sergei Bobrovsky and Brian Boucher have, for now, helped answer some of those questions. They're a solid duo, and while neither will be taking home the Vezina this season, they're among the league's best in many goaltending stats.

Perhaps most importantly, the Flyers have experience. They made a sustained playoff run last season, one that of course included a historic comeback against the Bruins, and they're hungry to get back and avenge their Cup loss.

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