Bright spot: Bryzgalov’s shutout of the Devils, Sergei Bobrovsky
Had to mention this because after not recording a shut out last season Bryzgalov was able to shut out the Devils in the second game of the season.
You could easily make the argument that Sergei Bobrovsky has been the better goalie so far this season. He is still going into the butterfly way to soon, but the positives outweigh the negatives to a point where going out and getting Bryzgalov just didn’t seem like a necessity. Remember the way Bobrovsky was handled in the playoffs is the reason why finding a goaltender was the number one priority.
Not so bright spot: Everything else
When the best highlights for your overpaid starting goaltender are his comments on an HBO documentary there is a serious problem. The front office had to put a muzzle on what he could say to the media because he had already dropped to many bombshells and that was barely a month into the season! It got me thinking just how bad has the season been for Bryz on the ice, so I compared his first half to Sergei Bobrovsky’s first half last year and this is what I found:
Ilya Bryzgalov: 28 starts, 1 relief appearance, 16-9-3, GAA: 3.07, SA: 773, SV: 689, SV% .891, GA: 84
10-11 Sergei Bobrovsky: 25 starts, 1 relief appearance, 15-6-3, GAA: 2.80, SA: 742, SV: 675, SV% .906, GA: 63
The .891 save percentage is the real eye opener. The highest paid goaltender in the entire league has an under 90%, tell me if that is acceptable. As a whole the Flyers rank 23rd in the league in SV% at 89.9.
Right now it appears that going out and giving that monster contract to Bryzgalov was a panic move by Paul Holmgren, but there is still time to validate the contract. Will he though? His confidence has to have taken a real hit after how last season ended (swept by the Red Wings after an awful four games by Bryz) and how this season has begun.
Highlight of first half
Hard to top this
Second half prediction
The Flyers have shown that they have enough offensive talent to hang with anyone in this league, but the defense will have to be sharp for almost all of the 60 minutes because when they aren’t the goaltending can’t bail them out. Sergei Bobrovsky had his best outing of the season against the Hurricanes on Tuesday, but I shouldn’t be typing about how good the back up goaltender looked. Ilya Bryzgalov you have 41 games to prove that you should be that starting goaltender in the playoffs. If not Boston will steamroll this team again come May.
I think the Flyers will end up winning the Atlantic because at some point the Rangers have to come back down to earth and the Penguins need Crosby to save them. The Flyers are capable of going on a run and winning the division, but can they beat Boston? Right now I don’t think so.
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