I don't think that there could be a similar team to the Flyers than the Hawks. Each team has very similar role players and I really think that the Flyers have an individual player advantage. Here's what I think:
Young Captains Who Have Dominated The Playoffs: Richie and Tawes. Both guys lead their teams and are 1 and 2 in points in the playoffs with 21 and 26 respectively. Each are great leaders, but I think Richie has the advantage for a few reasons. First off, Richie has won at every level back down to Jr's. Not saying Tawes hasn't but Richie has captioned all of those teams except for the Canada team (Where he and Tawes played on the same line). Richie = Clarke and I've heard a lot of Tawes = Yzerman. Mike Richards, although not so much in point scoring, does more for Philly than Tawes does for Chicago and brings the physicality that Tawes doesnt have. This could be a toss up, but I like Richie.
Young Up and Coming (or already there) Star Scores: Carter and Kane. Carter gets my advantage again here. He had 46 goals last year wiht 84 points compaired to Kane's 25 and 70. This year in 8 less games Carter had 3 more goals than Kane. In the playoffs Cartsie has 4 in 6 while kane has just 7 in 16. I have no stats to back it up but I believe that Carter is a better defensive forward as well, having been a PK guy last year. I might be wrong, but I don't think Kane is a PK guy at all.
Two Great D-Men: Pronger & Timo and Kieth and Seabrook. We all know how dominant Pronger and Timo are. Seabrook and Kieth are very good as well, but I don't think that anyone can argue who's better here. I'd go out on a limb and say that Pronger and Timo are the top two in this series followed by three blackhawks then Carle.
Very good offensive 3rd D-man: Carle and Cambell. I think Cambell might edge out Carle on this one, but it doesn't matter because Carle is with Pronger which automatically makes him better. Cambell only has 3 points in 13 games while Carle has 10 in 17 games.
Experienced top line wingers: Gags and Hossa. 7-3-10-(+6) in 13 games. 2-9-11-(+8) in 16 games. By the numbers its Gags easily (He's the first one). Both guys were limited to 57 and 58 games with Hossa getting 50 points and Gags with 41. Once again, Gagne, like Carter, is a better defensive forward and that edge goes to Gags. Hossa's past Stanley Cup expierence could be viewed as better or worse than Gags, having been there twice in two years previous but not performing well. Call me a homer, I'd take Gags.
Great second line centers: Briere and Sharpe. In the regular season Sharpe outscored Briere 66 to 53 with ten more games played, but Danny B has been the man once again in the playoffs. 9-9-18 for Danny with a 7-9-16 for Sharpe. Danny, I think, will have an advantage because of the D-Pairing he'll be playing against. Sharpe will head a 2-line being covered by (guessing) Coburn and Kimmo, which is by far a better pair than who ever Chicago will put out agains Briere-Lieno-Harts.
X-Factors: Grilled Cheese and Big Buff. Its hard to argue that Buff isn't Chicago's x-factor. He was a machine against SJ with lots of game winners. BOLD PREDICTION: WHO EVER OF THESE TWO GUYS PLAY BETTER, THEIR TEAM WILL WIN THE STANLEY CUP. I think that Giroux's (17 points in 17 games, compared to only 47 points in the regular season) playoff numbers are less of a hot thing than Buff's (10 in 16 and only 34 in the regluar season). That was confusing, but I think that Buff will come back down to earth, while Giroux will keep playing at a point per game level. And I also think that he will play at a PPG level for his entire carrier from this point on.
PK Guys: Betts/Lappy and Madden: Not much more to say than these guys are great at what they do and will see a lot of eachothers top guys. I like our two.
Goalies: Leighton/Niemi. Weve all heard a million times how they were never expected to be here, now they are. Look at Leightons numbers as a Flyer. They are mind-boggling.
This is where my lack of Hawk Knowledge hurts me because there are a lot more key components to the sereis. On thier side you have Veersteeg, Brower, Ladd, Eager and Bowland. For us you have Lieno, Ash, Hartnell, and Powe.
The key will be deciding on who to match up our D-Pairs with. Do we want Pronger on the top line against Tawes Kane and Hosse or agains the freakish in size Byfuglien? I think we put Pronger on the top and Kimmo on the second and let Coburn battle with Buff, so when they go on the PP we can let Pronger take on Buff.
We are tougher to match up against because we have three legitimate scoring lines to their two. I don't know why the Hawks are -275 in Vegas. It makes no sence. Look at the playoffs, are they really a 3-1 favorite over us? I think not. Flyers in six.