When comparing the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers, you see many similarities. Each have a big intimidating defenseman, Boston's being Zdeno Chara, and Philadelphia's being Chris Pronger. Looking even deeper into the defense, each team has a number two defenseman capable of being a number one, Boston's being Tomas Kaberle, Philadelphia's being Kimmo Timonen.
Beyong that, the defensive core of the Flyers and Bruins are very similar. Beyong Timonen and Pronger, the Flyers defense is led by Andrej Meszaros, Matt Carle and Braydon Coburn. Boston has solid defenders too beyond their two front men. Dennis Seidenberg is a shot blocking machine, Andrew Ference is a solid, reliable defender, and Johnny Boychuk is an up-and-coming big shut-down defender. Both have solid number six defensemen in Adam Mcquaid and Sean O'Donnell.
When comparing the top-line forwards, the Flyers and Bruins are not far off from eachother. The top-scoring line of the Bruins and Flyers consist of a power-forwards, a play-maker and finnisher. For the Flyers the pwoer-forward is Scott Hartnell, while for the Bruins it's Milan Lucic. The Flyers play-make is Ville Leino, and David Krejci. The finnisher for the Flyers is Danny Briere, while Nathan Horton is that for the Bruins.
As we move on to the second lines, we see more similarities. The second line of the Bruins consists of Patrice Bergeron, Mark Recchi and Brad Marchand. Bergeron is a great two-way player with a tremendous offernsive up-side. Recchi still knows how to finnish and put pucks in the net at age 43. Brad Marchand is the typical agitator who can score from time-to-time. Mike Richards is almost an identical player to Bergeron. They are both great two-way forwards who put the puck in the net quite often. Marchand and Dan Carcillo are very similar. Car-Bomb is just as much as an agitator (if not more of one) than Marchand, and both are capable of scoring. Kris Versteeg and Recchi are difficult to compare because of the age difference, but they do have similarities. Both are very sound deffensively and both can be feared offensively.
The third lines are comparable, but very different at the same time. The Flyers have more offensive power in Claude Giroux, James van Riemsdyk and Nikolay Zherdev. The Bruins however use their third line as more of a shut-down unit. Chris Kelly, Rich Peverly and Michael Ryder are used to play a solid defensive game while being able to score from time-to-time. When you comapre the two centres, it's kind of a no contest. Giroux is an offensive dynamtie who plays a great defensive game. Kelly is a checker and penalty killer, so it's an impossible comparisent. The same can be when comparing Rich Peverly and JVR. Peverly is a two-way player while JVR is a power forwards who is emerging into and elite scorer. Zherdev and Ryder are similar though. Both have great scoring ability and both are not known for their defensive abilities.
The fourth-lines are very similar like most fourth-lines in hockey. Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton form a fourh unit which is very tough to play against. They have toughness and great defensive ability. The Flyers always have Blair Betts and Darroll Powe working on the fourth line, while the thirs member is often swtiching. For comparisons sake, lets say Jody Shelley is the thirs member. That line brings exactly to the table as the Bruins: great defensive ability with a lot of toughness.
As for the goaltenders, the Bruins blow the Flyers out of the water. Tim Thomas is a former vezina trophy winner, and is a candidate once again this year. Their back-up Tuukka Rask is a capable starting goalie who has proved his ability in the bast. Both of these goalies are better options than any of the Flyers three, whther it be Brian Boucher, Sergei Bobrovsky or Michael Leighton.
So after comparing both squads inside and out, there is no secret as to why it's great when these teams go head-head. Both teams are almost identical in skill ability, with each team haaving an edge in their respective departments. The Bruins have a big edge in the goaltending match-up. The Flyers have a respectable edge when it comes to the defense because of their depth defenders.. When it comes to the forwards, the Flyers have a slight edge because of their surplus in offensive guns. Another note to consider, both are missing prime weapons in Jeff Carter and Marc Savard, making them even more even. Both teams are very skilled, making their head-to-head match-ups amazing to watch.
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