I am ze mahn now, dowg! (Courtesy: Len Redkoles)

Riding The Bryz Pony

We keep hearing about how Ilya Bryzgalov thrives when he plays a lot. He’s a horse, they say. He’s been that way his whole career.  The more we ride him down the stretch, the better he will be. Still, it makes sense to go with Sergei Bobrovsky tonight against the Islanders.

BSB has a nice post about this decision being based on Bob’s numbers against New York. I’m not saying I disagree with that logic. But I think there’s a lot more to it than just that. Including tonight’s game, we have 4 games left prior to the All-Star Break. I have a random feeling that after tonight, the only way we see Bob is if Bryz gets pulled or injured.

This weekend, we play New Jersey and Boston.  I won’t be shocked if Bryz is in net for both games, followed by Florida on Tuesday.  He’s played on back to back days 4 times this season. Why can’t he do it again? He’s already below his usual pace of games played, so we might as well give him another test.  And If I were Peter Laviolette, I’d tell him right away that he’s starting the next three games. If Bryz has low confidence, I would see that as a giant boost. It’s a symbolic show of faith that reinforces what they have been saying all along, that he is their guy.

Of course I agree with pretty much everyone that Bob has been the better goalie and deserves more starts.  At the end of last season I was convinced that he should be the man around here.  But we signed Bryz for a long time.  He won’t be moved, at least not this early into his deal. So if you’ve got him, you gotta get his mind right and get him playing right. There’s no better way to do that than to saddle up and ride your horse.

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Tags: 2011-12 Nhl Season Boston Bruins Florida Panthers Ilya Bryzgalov New Jersey Devils New York Islanders NHL Peter Laviolette Philadelphia Flyers Sergei Bobrovsky Starting Goalie

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