I think I can speak for the masses, when I say that as Flyers fans, we really want to like Ilya Bryzgalov. We really want to like him, but he makes it very hard doesn’t he?
I don’t want to put every ounce of blame on him, because the style of play that Peter Laviolette demands hasn’t exactly helped Bryzgalov. Laviolette wants everyone up the ice together on the break, including defenseman who would in a more traditional system, stay back to help the goalie. It’s a fast break type of offense, designed to score a lot of goals, and put great pressure on the opposition–and it’s worked. The problem is, it puts great pressure on the goalie position too.
Early in the season, the Flyers simply did not put a good enough defense in front of Bryzgalov to offset their aggressive style of offense. The loss of Chris Pronger has undoubtedly changed the course of how the Flyers season played out. A 5th seed?
But I’m not here to make excuses.
Ilya Bryzgalov signed a $51Million deal last year. He’s supposed to stand on his head often. He doesn’t even do it sometimes. Matter of fact, he hasn’t done it once. Not once. Correct me if I’m wrong.
In the playoffs, your goalie has to steal a game for you here or there. Has has to stand on his head. Bryzgalov is simply not capable. He’s not an elite goalie. Shit, in my mind, he’s no better than what we had last year, which was a mish-mash of Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton, with a little bit of BOB sprinkled in.
Sure, he makes incredible saves from time to time, but when it comes down to it, he’s not dependable at all. If you look at the word inconsistent in the dictionary, there is a picture of Ilya Bryzgalov.
Bryzgalov has played 7 postseason games for the Flyers thus far, and has allowed 24 goals. Yes,…24. That blows my mind. He has the lowest save percentage this postseason (.873), than any other of the 5 postseason’s he’s played in previously. He started 59 regular season games, and posted only 6 shutouts. He has 0 postseason shutouts.
I feel terrible for Paul Holmgren. He thought he was getting a superstar. He got a socially awkward, expensive, pedestrian. It’s really the only bad move Homer has made as the Flyers GM.
Nine more years people. Nine. Be afraid. Be very afraid Flyers fans.