PHILADELPHIA - Glen Metropolit may come in especially handy this round.
In the summer of 2008, Metropolit was the proud owner of a two-year deal with the Flyers. Before he knew it, he was plucked off the waiver wire by the Habs when he was left unprotected by Philadelphia. While the Flyers were sad to see him go, they may be especially bummed out if the speedy centerman provides his new team with a strategic edge.
"Given how well he knows the Flyers and their style, Glen was a big help in our preparation for this series," admitted Habs head coach Jacques Martin. "Glen has shown a great attitude and commitment to what we're trying to do and his input was key for us. We know he's ready to step in and do whatever we need him to and we'll need his contributions at both ends of the ice."
Coy at first about his role as a potential double-agent, Metropolit couldn't deny his insider knowledge of what the Canadiens are now about to go up against.
"I know their style pretty well and still know a few of their guys," said Metropolit. "This building can be tough to play in and we know they will be fired up. It's all going to come down to how we use our speed.
"They're going to want to make this a physical series, but we need to move our feet and the puck as quickly as possible," continued Metropolit. "We need to get the puck in deep and wear them down. They're only rolling four on defense right now. We need to make them work."
As if he and Metro were reading from the same script, Martin delved a little further into how his Habs are hoping to make life difficult for the Flyers.
"Their four D have done a remarkable job so far in these playoffs, we know how crucial it will be for us to make them work even harder with a strong forechecking presence," said Martin of the Philly blue line corps led by Chris Pronger. "We need to make things as tough for them as possible."
Fresh off throwing a monkey wrench into the springtime plans of both the high-flying Capitals and Penguins, the Habs know they are facing a very different animal in this round.
"Each series takes on its own identity and we are prepared for that," affirmed Martin. "We expect this to be a much tougher and more physical series than we've faced so far. This is a team that has shown a lot of resiliency and character. We are prepared for a battle and a long series."
After being open about the lack of warm and fuzziness surrounding the Flyers, Hal Gill acknowledged some similarities between the two teams left standing in the Eastern Conference.
"They like to get down and dirty, but we're still two ugly teams that like to muck it up, be patient and do the little things," acknowledged Gill. "Ask anyone in this room and they'll tell you that ugly at this time of year is a good thing."Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.comSee also:Five Keys to the Game: Habs-Flyers #1 Game preview #1: Canadiens-Flyers A sizeable challenge The Streets of Philadelphia