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Is Bryzgalov pulling away as Philly’s undisputed No. 1 goaltender?

Dec 10, 2011, 6:41 PM EDT

Philadelphia Flyers v Phoenix Coyotes Getty Images

Philadelphia head coach Peter Laviolette announced today that Ilya Bryzgalov will get his fifth straight start tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning. There were some questions whether Sergei Bobrovsky would get the opportunity to start since Bryzgalov played in back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday, but it looks like the back-up will have to wait his time.

Laviolette was making a concerted effort to split up the ice-time between the two Russian netminders early in the season. Yet lately, the Flyers have been winning with Bryzgalov—and the head coach has no plans on messing with a good thing.

“He’s rested, he’s ready — he’s playing,” Laviolette told NHL.com. “It’s a chance to get Bryz back in the nets. We brought him here for that reason. He’s been winning games and we’re going to put him back in there. Doesn’t have anything to do with Tampa. I think it’s different than what I said that last time, because we were playing the Penguins, they were the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference and we wanted to put Bryz in there…”

It’s pretty clear that Bryzgalov is going to get the benefit of the doubt when the guy is making $51 million over the next nine seasons. He may have been “lost in the woods” earlier this season, but he’s turned his game around and helped the Flyers win four straight games. If the team keeps up this kind of play in front of Bryzgalov, it might be a while until Bobrovsky gets another extended look between the pipes.

  1. rabidbillsfan - Dec 10, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    Wouldn’t this be News if it was the opposite? I mean they are paying the guy like $10 mil right?

  2. pens919209 - Dec 11, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    It’s news that the Flyers finally have stability in their goaltending situation. How long has it been since they’ve had a guy play well enough to be their clear no. 1 goalie – since the days of Ron Hextall?

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