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Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Updated: April 21, 7:41 PM ET
Breakdown: Maple Leafs vs. Flyers

By Bill Clement
Special to

The Flyers are deeper than the Maple Leafs and can roll four lines that can create good matchups, even if Toronto's Mats Sundin is healthy enough to play. But judging by the fact that he missed Game 7 of the Ottawa series, don't count on seeing Sundin in the first two games of this series. Philadelphia's Keith Primeau would be a good matchup against Sundin, though, and Jeremy Roenick likely will find himself on the ice against Joe Nieuwendyk. Advantage Philadelphia because of depth and matchups.

Robert Esche
Everyone wants to know whether he can continue to dominate the way he did in the first round. If he does, the Flyers should be in good shape.
Brian Leetch
He is in the second round for the first time since the New York Rangers advanced in 1997, and it will be interesting to see how much he can help the Toronto power play, which is where the Leafs will have to win this series.
Philadelphia power play vs. Toronto penalty kill
Philadelphia had the top power-play percentage in the first round, but a lot of what happens here will depend on whether the Flyers' Kim Johnsson can play with a broken bone in his right hand. He is a big part of their power-play unit, and if he is in the lineup, the Flyers have the edge. Without him, they could struggle.

Toronto power play vs. Philadelphia penalty kill
If Sundin is healthy and able to give a boost to talented players such as Nieuwendyk, Brian Leetch, Alexander Mogilny and Gary Roberts, Toronto has a very formidable unit to put out against what was the 12th-ranked penalty kill in the first round.

There is nothing bad to say about the performance of Toronto's Ed Belfour against Ottawa, and there is no denying he is in the zone right now. Philadelphia's Robert Esche outdueled a Vezina Trophy finalist in the first round in New Jersey's Martin Brodeur, seriously outplaying Brodeur. Both are good puckhandlers and are in the same kind of zone, so it looks pretty even right now.

Philadelphia's Ken Hitchcock and Toronto's Pat Quinn worked together at the 2002 Olympic Games and will team up for the Word Cup this summer, but they could not be more different. Hitchcock is a system-driven coach who demands his players buy into his scheme and tosses in the appropriate amount of emotion, while Quinn drives his team mostly on emotion. Hitchcock is better at combining the two and gets the advantage.

Health will be the biggest issue here. With Sundin looking doubtful, the Leafs do not look as strong, especially considering the quick turnaround they must make after the Ottawa series and the physical toll that series exacted. Philadelphia, meanwhile, comes into the series having last played on April 17.

Flyers in six.