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Leafs Versus Flyers: Predictions

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

  Joe Bowen - Leafs play-by-play man

Crystal Ball: Leafs in 6
X-Factor: Alex Mogilny
Leafs Top Scorer: Joe Nieuwendyk
Flyers Top Scorer: Mark Recchi
Series MVP: Ed Belfour

  Brian Duff - Leafs TV
Crystal Ball: Flyers in 6
X-Factor: Unless the Maple Leafs have a miracle recovery, the Flyers have too much depth at every position.
Leafs Top Scorer: Robert Reichel
Flyers Top Scorer: Mark Recchi
Series MVP: Keith Primeau
Snapshot: The extra days before the start of the series should help the Leafs significantly, but it should be noted that the Flyers eliminated the Devils in 5, the earliest they've gone out since 1997.
(More predictions from the Duffer)
Photo Bob Harwood - Leafs TV
Crystal Ball: Leafs in 7
X-Factor: Maple Leafs forwards are doing a great job of late of helping a sometimes shaky effort on the part of the defence group at clearing the zone. The conservative style of playoff hockey simplifies this for the Leafs. When the Leafs keep it simple at both ends, they win based on size and skill.
Leafs Top Scorer: Gary Roberts
Flyers Top Scorer: Daniel Alfredsson
Series MVP: Gary Roberts
Snapshot: Roberts is no stranger to big moments against Ottawa in the post-season and plays the kind of in-your-face style that the Ottawa d-men seem to dislike having to contend with when they play the Leafs, in spite of Chara's size and reach. The same can be said for some of the Leafs d-men, but as a group they are steady and patient right now.

  John Iaboni - Leafs Game Day
Crystal Ball: Leafs in 6
X-Factor: Brian Leetch has scored more regular-season goals in his illustrious career against the Flyers (26) than against anybody else, including his first two as a Leaf in the March 18 win at Philadelphia. His only playoff hat trick was against the Flyers' Ron Hextall on May 22, 1995.
Leafs Top Scorer: Brian Leetch
Flyers Top Scorer: Mark Recchi
Series MVP: Ed Belfour
Snapshot: The Leafs had more points (103 to 101) and a better road record than the Flyers. Robert Esche was great versus the Devils, but Ed Belfour still gets the edge...however he'll need more help than he got against Ottawa. Somehow, the Leafs will find a way to win a tight, physical series even if it goes the full seven.

  John McCauley
Crystal Ball: Leafs in 7
X-Factor: There's no doubt that if the Leafs have any chance of winning this series their lesser lights must take centre stage. Tie Domi, Chad Kilger, Robert Reichel and Tom Fitzgerald must be on top of their game to make up for the defensive attention Hitchcock will deploy on Toronto's top guns.
Leafs Top Scorer: Robert Reichel
Flyers Top Scorer: Alexei Zhamnov
Series MVP: Ed Belfour
Snapshot: The Flyers defensive system is even more suffocating than that of the Ottawa Senators when they are on top of their game. That means Ed Belfour will again be centre of attention and the Leafs will have to make good on what few scoring chances they get. Putting Robert Esche off his game early will be the key to this series.
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