Expectations For Bryz
Just 2 years into a 9 year deal next season is a big season for Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. He wasn’t awful last season, but he left something to be desired. Consistency would be the number one attribute we all desire. March Bryz all season long. If you ask some people they’ll tell you its a make or break season for him. Realistically its not. He’s here for the long haul most likely. Regardless of that I don’t know about this being a make or break season for Bryz, but he does have a lot to prove. There will be many factors contributing to the success or failure of Bryz this season and not all of those factors are controlled by one Ilya Bryzgalov.
There were many times last season that the Flyers D failed Bryz, but Bryz gets the brunt of blame much like a quarterback does even when receivers are running routes poorly and dropping passes. No excuses though because that’s the nature of the job. Excuses are the wrong response to shoddy play as a team or individual. It’s better to take a step back and dissect the reasons for the inconsistent play rather than placing blame on somebody or making excuses. It will be interesting to see how the D meshes together considering it’s going to look a whole lot different then it did at the beginning of last season. Bryz is going to carry a heavy load until this D can get their feet wet. They will need some time to figure out how its going to work. This is of course is pending Homer doesn’t swing another deal before the season starts. If no deal is made though Bryz is going to be tested early in the season. When Rick Tocchet joined us on Broad Street Buzz Radio he said that he was confident that Bryz will be more comfortable this season. He will be more concentrated on just playing the game. I agree and now that he has had a season to adjust I expect him to step up in a big way this year.
On the CBA the situation looks bleak, but its not exactly near panic time yet. Its close though. Gary Bettman made it clear today that the owners are not willing to go ahead and play under the current CBA on a temporary basis until the new CBA can be negotiated therefore if a new agreement is not reached by September 15th we are officially in a lockout. Not a good position to be in for anybody.
The NHL has been gaining popularity throughout the states steadily since the last lockout. Playoff hockey has become a staple in many homes now even to the casual fans. The Winter Classic has generated an enormous amount of new revenue for the NHL and the teams who have participated in them. It would be a grave mistake for the owners to let this happen because if this season somehow ends up getting cancelled it will set back all the work that has been done since the last lockout. It is the owners who hold the fate of the negotiations in their hands as they are pushing the outrageous new revenue split that has the NHLPA backing away. NHL.com ran an article today that reported Bettman spoke about the revenue sharing situation and said “we’re not close on that issue and frankly revenue sharing is part of the bigger economic picture.” It is indeed just part of the bigger economic picture, but it decides how much of the economic picture is the owners and how much is the players.