— Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma was singing the praises of Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov today following the Penguins workout. “I know Bryz and I have experience playing with him and coaching against him, ” Bylsma said. “Bryz’s talent is something we haven’t seen a lot of, but it’s very high end. He’s an extremely talented goalie, a big body goalie with quick legs from side to side. That’s what we’re going to see with Bryzgalov. I expect him to be in there for every game. That’s what we’re looking for.”
— A week or two ahead of schedule, defenseman Ben Lovejoy is a near lock to be an option to play this week and word as of this afternooon was Lovejoy hasn’t been ruled out of Game 1. ” Ben Lovejoy is a guy that has played after long absences three times this year and played really well when he stepped back in, ” Bylsma said. “He has played in the postseason and he has experience there., ” he said. Lovejoy’s opportunity to play this week is likely because Matt Niskanen appears iffy for the start of the series. Niskanen is skating but did not practice for a second straight day as the team wants to limit him taking contact.
— When Flyers GM Paul Holmgren rolled the dice and traded Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, the Flyers looked to change the culture of their locker room and from an on-ice standpoint looked to become a faster team that comes at you. The blockbuster moves appear to have paid dividends for the present and the future. There’s even some sense around the league that if the Flyers were fully healthy and had Chris Pronger, they would be favorites to win the East. While the Flyers appear to be a different team without Richards and Carter, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby doesn’t see it that way. ” They play a similar style, ” Crosby said. “They have a lot of depth [but} I don’t see a lot of difference in terms of their style of play, ” Crosby said on the Flyers without Carter, Richards. They’re actually pretty similar.
Jaromir Jagr on the Flyers slowing Evgeni Malkin down

“It’s going to be tough to stop him, ” Jagr said. “We have to make sure we slow him down, because he’s going to get his goals and points. He’s that good. There’s no question about it. Probably best in the league, ” Jagr said. “I think we have good defensemen and good checking line to slow him down but it’s going to be a great challenge.”
Checking line center Sean Couturier who’s expected to have the shutdown center role against Malkin: “Yeah he’s a great player, one of the best in the word, ” Couturier said. “Obviously you try to limit things and not give him too much time and space, and it’s going to be a big challenge as a team to not let him and Crosby do what they can do.
— Many see the Flyers as such a wildcard because of their inexperience in some key areas. Pittsburgh has 11 players on their roster who have won a Stanley Cup while the Flyers have 4. The Flyers young guys feel their inexperience is to their advantage. “I think it’s an advantage,” rookie winger Zac Rinaldo said after Tuesday’s practice in Voorhees. “We’re youthful and the young guys bring a little more energy than some of the older guys might, so I think it’s an advantage for sure.”
— Leafs GM Brian Burke had this to say about the “Penguins model of success” in his season ending press conference: “They got a lottery, ” Burke said when asked about “The Pittsburgh Model”. “They won a god damn lottery and they got the best player in the game. Is that available to me? Should we do that? Should we ask the League to have a lottery this year, and maybe we pick first?”
“The Pittsburgh model? My ass, ” Burke said.
“They got the best player in the game in a lottery. Ray Shero’s done a good job. He’s an excellent GM and he’s a friend of mine. But I love when people talk about the Pittsburgh model. The simple fact is that they got the best player … we came in second that year in Anaheim. We got Bobby Ryan. Impact player, good player. They got Sidney Crosby in the lottery.”


Pittsburgh Penguins 4/1
New York Rangers 11/2
Vancouver Canucks 11/2
St. Louis Blues 15/2
Boston Bruins 8/1
Detroit Red Wings 12/1
Nashville Predators 14/1
Philadelphia Flyers 14/1
Chicago Blackhawks 16/1
San Jose Sharks 18/1
Los Angeles Kings 20/1
New Jersey Devils 25/1
Washington Capitals 30/1
Florida Panthers 35/1
Ottawa Senators 40/1
Phoenix Coyotes 40/1
Evgeni Malkin (PIT) 11/1
Sidney Crosby (PIT) 11/1
Daniel Sedin (VAN) 16/1
Henrik Lundqvist (NYR) 16/1
Henrik Sedin (VAN) 16/1