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Ilya Bryzgalov meets and greets Philly media, has high hopes for Flyers this season

Aug 25, 2011, 5:42 PM EDT

Ilya Bryzgalov Getty Images

After making the first big splash of the summer acquiring the rights to Ilya Bryzgalov and then later signing him to a nine-year, $51 million deal, the Philadelphia Flyers finally had their day in front of the media to introduce Bryzgalov to an eager audience.

Bryzgalov spoke with reporters today after showing off his new #30 sweater as well as his new Philadelphia-centric goalie mask and talked about how he hopes to be the guy to help the Flyers come away big winners this season and in the future.

Jay Greenberg of got the low down on what was up with Bryzgalov as both he and Paul Holmgren spoke about what they’re looking to do to try and bring a Stanley Cup to Philadelphia. One thing Bryzgalov isn’t going to do is to put the pressure on himself.

“I never put the pressure on myself,” he said. “I know my job and I know what I have to do.

“Sorry guys, it’s from you [the media], you put the pressure on us and create the pressure around the team, but it depends how you can handle this.

“I think I can handle it. I know what I have to do. I know when I play bad and what I have to do to fix it.”

Good thing Bryzgalov says he knows how to fix it as he’ll have nearly 20,000 wannabe coaches telling him how to do it on a nightly basis at Wells Fargo Center should he struggle with things. As for playing for the Flyers, Bryzgalov knows that winning is expected in Philly and he knows he’ll have a team in front of him that knows how to do it for the most part.

“I have been in the league like seven or eight years and every year I see that team always had good players in the roster and they always played in the playoffs except one year,” said Bryzgalov. “Two years ago the team reached the final.

“It’s a team with a rich history. The team always puts in front of them the highest goal, to win the Stanley Cup.”

What Bryzgalov will have to do is to make life easier on the Flyers defense and while Holmgren said that Chris Pronger is looking like he’ll be ready to go by the start of the season, the rest of the Flyers defensive unit would love having a goalie behind them that can take care of them when they make mistakes. Older players like Pronger, Kimmo Timonen, and Andreas Lilja will enjoy not having to sweat things out too badly while younger veterans like Matt Carle, Braydon Coburn, and Andrej Meszaros balance out the rest. It’s not as if the Flyers are hurting for talent there, but in goal they needed stability and that’s just what Bryzgalov should provide them.

Some negative fans will point towards what Bryzgalov did in last year’s playoffs against Detroit and say that’s a sign of things to come for the Flyers but Bryzgalov had to virtually carry the Coyotes into the playoffs by himself playing almost every game from late January until the end of the season. With Sergei Bobrovsky there to back him up in Philly, coach Peter Laviolette won’t likely want nor need to ride Bryzgalov as hard as Dave Tippett had to in Phoenix last year. It’s a bit of a wealth of riches for the Flyers which only leads their fans to think big about the upcoming season.

  1. trbowman - Aug 25, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    Capitals got a better netminder for a significantly less price….lol @ the Flyers.

  2. dcent87 - Aug 25, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Theres no way vokun is better than bryz…lol @ your stupidness

    • trbowman - Aug 26, 2011 at 5:00 AM

      lol, are you kidding me?

      Vokoun has carried terrible teams throughout his career.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Aug 26, 2011 at 7:58 AM

        Vokoun is 35 years old though. I wouldn’t be jumping up and down about I guy who could retire in a year or two.

      • dbick - Aug 26, 2011 at 8:51 AM

        I think “carried” is a strong word. Unless you mean he carried them to less crappy records than they would otherwise have. He’s a good goalie though, he and Bryz are probably even in skill set.

  3. hanktheking - Aug 26, 2011 at 2:58 AM

    Russian goalies routinely underachieve.

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Aug 26, 2011 at 7:57 AM

      Based on what assessment?

      • hanktheking - Aug 26, 2011 at 1:33 PM

        Based on the fact that in the last 20 years only 1 has ever won the cup (Khabibulin) yet each year they are hyped up and paid millions of millions of dollars.

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Aug 27, 2011 at 9:29 PM

        And how many Russian goalies have been in the league in the last 20 years?

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