You were talking all about how much better the Flyers were going to be than New Jersey, and they just came fresh off an ass-whooping of Pissburgh. Boston played absolutely terribly towards the end of the season (and the Washington series included). I think that the Rangers, with a hot Lundqvist and scoring from their kids, were the best team in the Eastern Conference if it wasn't us.
Saying "favorable matchups" even though we had to beat the 6, 4, and 1 seeds is pretty absurd.
I agree, too. It's always easy speaking theoretically - I bet if we didn't have to play the Flyers in the 2nd round and got to the SCF, people would be saying "it's because you didn't face Philly, they would absolutely destroy you" (just like I thought the Flyers would destroy us before the series). And the Pens were goddamn awful with their defense and goaltending against Philly, I can't believe they are considered a tougher match up for us than what we got in the end. The Bruins - they might've been tough (there are always teams that underachieve and run out of luck in the 1st round). But, again, saying we could've gotten more difficult matchups is nitpicking.
On the other hand, I'd say that... the Panthers were actually the worst matchup for us. Sometimes you are a strong team and there's just this one club that has your number and gives you trouble even though it's considered inferior. I bet a lot of teams have that someone. The Devils faced that team and didn't let it bring them down.
You never know what can happen. We played who we played, beat the other best Eastern Conference playoff team in the ECF and made the Finals deservedly. We had a great playoff run because everything clicked at the right time, after all those years of running out of gas come April.
Bryzgalov sucked big time as well.
He was shaky at times but then there were times when he was like the only Flyer on the ice (remember the 2nd period of Game 2?). All in all, I'd say he had an average series, the team in front of him just played an awful series and he's no Roy to carry everyone on his back. The mistake in Game 5 that obviously cost them the series in the end makes him look worse than he actually did in that round.