These are not your father's Devils. Yes, Martin Brodeur is still in goal, famously eschewing the butterfly-style save whenever possible. But some of New Jersey's famous structure is missing and there is no classic Devils shutdown defense pair, even if Anton Volchenkov blocks shots with uncommon enthusiasm. Against Florida, a mediocre five-on-five team, this was not an issue, but it could prove debilitating against an attack that boasts Claude Giroux and seemed to revel in trading chances against the Penguins.
The Devils have gaudier weapons than they did in their glory years -- unlike their counter-punching progenitors, the line of Travis Zajac, a banged-up Ilya Kovalchuk, and Zach Parise create offense off the rush -- but will need more production from their other forwards, including from impressive rookie Adam Henrique, who scored the series-winner in double overtime against the Panthers. Curiously, New Jersey also got offense from the most unlikely of sources in the first round. The Devils called up bite-sized winger Stephen Gionta, who wasn't exactly rewriting the AHL record books this season (six goals in 56 games), but the 28-year-old contributed a pair of tallies against the Panthers while playing fourth-line minutes.
The rested Flyers offer an intriguing mixture of rookies -- six started Game 1 against Pittsburgh -- and veterans, including Jaromir Jagr and playoff wizard Daniel Brière. Philadelphia forechecks with a feral intensity, generally turning mistakes into goals. The Flyers also can cash in on the power play at an absurd rate: 52.2 percent in the first round. The Devils allowed only 27 power play goals during the regular season, but yielded nine to Florida in seven games and must clean up their penalty killing because erratic Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who was awfully hard to hit with the puck in the first round, figures to spackle some of the holes in his game.