May 8, 2012, 10:57 PM EDT
It’s almost too easy to scapegoat Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov for their five-game second round letdown against the New Jersey Devils. After all, the series-clinching goal he allowed will likely live on in fans’ memories long after people forget about Philly’s tepid offense (it was only 2-1 New Jersey in the first period of what was eventually a 3-1 loss) and porous defense. One could say Bryzgalov was a victim of bad luck.
In fact, that’s basically what Bryzgalov said when he explained that gaffe to NBC’s Tom Layberger.
“I tried to put the puck in the corner for Kimmo [Timonen] for him to start a breakout,” Bryzgalov said. “It was an unlucky night.”
Bryzgalov’s not totally wrong, yet I get the feeling he’ll get a beating for not following Joel Ward‘s lead by taking the blame whether it was totally fair or not.
That being said, Bryzgalov can easily be blamed for trying to make “the fancy play” rather than having crucial self-awareness. Breezy is in the league’s lower ranks when it comes to puckhandling, so one could argue that he was ill-advised to attempt a lower percentage pass.
See for yourself by watching the goal again, although if you’re a Flyers fan, you’re probably already primed to see it in your nightmares.
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