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Flyers to start Bryzgalov for 19th time in 20 games

Mar 26, 2012, 3:35 PM EDT

Ilya Bryzgalov Getty Images

It seems the Philadelphia Flyers have adopted the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra when it comes to goaltending as Ilya Bryzgalov will make his 19th start in the last 20 games tonight against Tampa Bay.

“He’s played extremely well this month,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette told, explaining why Bryzgalov got the nod. “He’s a big reason why we’ve been able to push up the standings. Our team needs that.

“Teams at the top of the conference are usually led by their goaltender and he’s been excellent this month.”

Bryz has been outstanding in March, posting a 10-1-1 record with a 1.22 GAA and .956 save percentage. He’s recorded four shutouts and come up huge in key games — most notably, a 38-save effort in a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh and a 30-save performance in a 2-1 win over Washington last Thursday (in which he made the game-saving shootout stop on Troy Brouwer.)

The 31-year-old Russian has also allowed two or fewer goals in 11 consecutive starts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he’s the first Flyers goalie to accomplish that feat since Bernie Parent did it in 1974-75.

Of note, the Flyers went on to win the Stanley Cup that year, defeating Buffalo in six games.

  1. phillyphever - Mar 26, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Keep it going Lavy. I would still give Bob a start in one of the last 7 games (mostly likely against Toronto).

  2. GenoPringles - Mar 26, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    Yeah keep it up…burn this goof out just in time for the playoffs. Typical Philly, they sure know how to ruin something good. Give it another week and the whole city will be trashing Bryz again. Real shame what this city can do to a guy

  3. danphipps01 - Mar 26, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    You know why the top Eastern contenders aren’t that worried about Philadelphia? Same reason they weren’t worried about the Rangers these last few years. Lundqvist may have god-moded his way through the regular season pretty regularly but he was always half-dead by the playoffs. Bryz can only hold the entire Flyers franchise on his back for so long. This is a naive, amateurish move by Laviolette and his coaching team.

    • ml3939 - Mar 26, 2012 at 4:58 PM

      Penguins fans are pretty pathetic. You talk trash like you are some kind of hockey royalty (Montreal, Detroit). You have a team that intentionally lost so they could draft Lemieux and were so bad for a stretch that they finished high enough to draft MAF, Crosby, and Malkin in successive drafts. The Penguins throughout their history have missed the playoffs as regularly as the Flyers have made the conference finals. Look it up. They have also missed the playoffs more than twice as many times as the Flyers have. Basically the Penguins suck for long stretches of time so they can amass talent and be relative. Historically speaking, it wasn’t much of franchise until 1990. Be proud.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 26, 2012 at 5:40 PM

        Relative to what?

      • danphipps01 - Mar 26, 2012 at 6:27 PM

        Yo, buddy. I’m not much of a Pens fan. Not really sure what their players have to do with your coach running your goalie into the ground, but trying to deflect attention away from the fact that teams that have tried this in the past tend to burn their goalies out when they’re most needed isn’t working. The Penguins are irrelevant. This is squarely about the fact that Brysgalov, though hot and obviously a great goalie, cannot play three months straight with only one or two games off. Reality check, people, the man’s not invincible.

      • ml3939 - Mar 26, 2012 at 8:00 PM

        Buddy, the relevance is it is the Pens fans who are always quickest to jump in like their team has the magic formula and knows what is right. Laviolette and Bylsma are both 1 for 2 in Stanley Cup Finals. He sees his goalie playing much better and responding to playing more frequently. He and Bob split many of the starts early. He is not burnt out from the entire season a la Lundquist. He will be in mid-season form for the playoffs. OK buddy?

  4. erniecohen - Mar 26, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    I don’t understand what PHL hopes to achieve. Assuming that PIT and NYR don’t both collapse, they aren’t winning the division. The best thing that could happen to them would be to rest and fall to #6 so they can destroy FLA in the first round.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 26, 2012 at 5:49 PM

      I guess they’re really trying for home ice but they’d probably be better off playing Bobrovsky 4 or 5 times and having Bryz rested for the first round.

      • bjg5091 - Mar 26, 2012 at 6:20 PM

        Why let Bryz cool down though? I’m not saying start every game. But keep him in his groove. Sit him down 1 or 2 games. Not 4 or 5.

  5. GenoPringles - Mar 26, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Mr ml39- you kind sir must drink pee. I haven’t seen such backwards logic since I last played checkers with my mentally challenged neighbor. Also, The Franchise is hockey royalty. Hate away my friend, it just helps fuel the machine that is Soupcan Sid!!!

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 26, 2012 at 7:00 PM

      Hockey royalty doesn’t almost get sold and moved out of town because it can’t win games….

    • ml3939 - Mar 26, 2012 at 8:06 PM

      I will stay away from the comedic approach as because that drink pee joke was funny. I am not even sure what you are trying to say. Clearly your neighbor is the smartest mentally challenged individual on the block. I would ask you to explain logic but I would hate for you to inconvenience your whole neighborhood for a town hall trying to figure it out. I love the Flyers and have no hate or jealously for the Penguins. I love the rivalry. Just disdain for stupidity.

  6. T-Bone and the Hockey Doggz - Mar 26, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Flyers suck!

  7. lemieux00066 - Mar 26, 2012 at 10:18 PM

    Bottom line is the Penguins have won three cups, the Flyers have won two. Reality check. Go on and on about how making the playoffs every year is so great. Players play to win championships.

    • ml3939 - Mar 26, 2012 at 11:09 PM

      Bottom line is the Islanders have won four cups, the Penguins have won three. Reality check. Go on and on about how making the playoffs is so great. Players play to win championships… Would you rather be an Islanders fan than a Penguins fan?

  8. lemieux00066 - Mar 27, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    Penguins have won 3 in the past 22 years. Islanders and Flyers zero in that time span. So no, I’ll be a fan of the same team I rooted for in the 70’s and 80’s. The Penguins.

    • ml3939 - Mar 27, 2012 at 11:20 AM

      Was there anything to root for in the 70’s and 80’s besides the team losing games intentionally so they could draft Lemieux or them blowing the 3-0 lead they had against the Islanders in the playoffs?

  9. lemieux00066 - Mar 27, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    They had fun players to watch such as Rick Kehoe and Randy Carlyle. They weren’t making Stanley Cup runs but had some decent seasons. And it’s not like they went from 100 pt seasons to the worst record to draft Lemieux they were already one of if not the worst team at the time. I stuck with them and thankfully it paid off with being able to celebrate my favorite team winning the ultimate prize. The Stanley Cup. I have many friends who are Flyer fans and they get so frustrated being so close so many times but never getting to experience their team winning it all since before disco was even born.

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