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Bryzgalov finishes third…on a list of the worst playoff performances by a Flyers goalie

May 9, 2012, 6:30 PM EDT

Ilya Bryzgalov Getty Images

On the bright side, he didn’t finish first or second. According to The Hockey News’ Adam Proteau, Roman Cechmanek and Robbie Moore earned those honors, respectively.

Fun fact: According to Wikipedia, Moore was one of the “first goalies in either college or professional hockey to come out of his net and handle the puck like a defenseman.”

Just like Ilya Bryzgalov did last night!

Anyway, here’s what Proteau had to say about Bryzgalov’s playoff performance:

Leave aside all the sideshow elements to Bryzgalov’s first year as a Flyer – the colorful quotes, the philosophical ruminations, the insightful and entertaining Twitter account – and just look at his numbers: an .887 SP, 3.46 GAA and a playoff-worst 37 goals allowed. It doesn’t matter that Bryzgalov’s teammates weren’t there to bail him out – for a $5.6 million salary cap hit (until 2020), his stats are simply unacceptable.

Hard to argue with that.

On the other hand, while I’ve never been sold on Bryzgalov, I’m not to the point where I’m ready to write him off. Clearly he wasn’t prepared to play in a market like Philadelphia. And on top of having to shoulder the massive expectation he would solve Philly’s longstanding goaltending nightmare, there were distractions like “24/7” and the Winter Classic.

Throw in a new system to learn and the injury to Chris Pronger, one of the best shutdown defensemen in the NHL, and any goalie would struggle.

The hope for Flyers fans is Bryzgalov uses this season as a learning experience and comes back in the fall focused on hockey, not all the other noise.

Related: Team Russia says “no” to Ilya Bryzgalov

  1. sportsfreak13 - May 9, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Maybe if holmgren would of paid him 10 mill per year he would of tried harder for first.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 9, 2012 at 8:09 PM

      I been watching the Flyers since 1968 and his performance is not even in the top 10 worst ! Except for the Clarkson give away this was quite tame compared to some years ! Install a defensive system around him ,with facing perimeter shots and his GA will drop like a lead puck ! The Flyers defense eroded to nothing by the playoffs !

      • sportsfreak13 - May 9, 2012 at 8:15 PM

        agreed. Personally I don’t think bryz is a bad goalie. I don’t think he’s elite but he is good. I think the flyers can win a cup with him but not because of him, if that makes sense.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 9, 2012 at 8:45 PM

      Ask yourself this, if the DEVILS and FLYERS traded goaltenders before this series who would have won the series ,,,,,,,,,,the answer is still the team from JERSEY !

      • sportsfreak13 - May 9, 2012 at 9:18 PM

        You are 100% right. I love brodeaur but age us setting in and if the devils could win him a cup it would be because of amazing forecheck and defensive responsibility by the team. Not to mention kovalchuk finally be responsible defensivily and earning some of that contract.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 9, 2012 at 9:30 PM

        The coaching staff is awesome ! In my opinion they have three count em,, three head coach’s behind the bench and three quality head coach’s ! Give them credit for realizing Marty would not most likely not save their bacon if shots were in the 35 plus range ! Their game is reversed compared to other playoff runs ! It was amazing to watch !

      • sportsfreak13 - May 9, 2012 at 9:44 PM

        When Marty says this is the best coaching staff hes ever seen you know that’s saying something. The guy is 40 a d he’s sure seen his share.

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 9, 2012 at 10:03 PM

        I know there are better hockey minds out there than mine ! I will learn something if another coaching staff comes up with a way to break down this aggressive forecheck ! Other than punting the puck I myself cannot come up with a way to break it ! Being serious though the only way I can come up with a solution is if you had the likes of a Paul Coffey and how many double shifts would that take through the coarse of a series to make a dent in it !

      • sportsfreak13 - May 9, 2012 at 10:15 PM

        rick tocchet said it best today on the radio today when he said what makes this team so tough to play against is that everyman buys into the system and plays as a team. When everyone is on the same page its hard to find space and time with that forecheck.

  2. steelymcbeam6 - May 9, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Hence why the coyotes were so willing to let him go ad not overpay him with that fat contract.

  3. flyeredup - May 9, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Freaking Bryzaster! I’m disgusted as a Philly fan. Eagles stink, ,Phillies are in last place and the Flyers blew it. The Devils aren’t a better team, they got lucky! I’m waiting for Ryan Howard to save our season. Sigh

    • sportsfreak13 - May 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM

      4 wins in a row is not lucky. Its consistent. Especially considering the flyers 1 win they needed ot to win. It would be more accurate to say the flyers were lucky not to get swept.

    • maalea - May 9, 2012 at 9:06 PM

      Dude you’re not fooling anyone.

      You are some PGH troll pretending to be a Flyers fan

  4. bag217 - May 9, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    @flyeredup, as a Flyers fan I am equally disappointed, but to say the Devils weren’t the better team is just wrong. They dominated the Flyers in every aspect of the game, kept their heads and didn’t take unnecessary penalties. They gave the Flyers fits and out hustled them from whistle to whistle. No excuses or whining. They were clearly better.

  5. flyeredup - May 9, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    What’s worse is that Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, Vinny Prospal and John Stevens will all hoist the Cup. Holmgren blew it!

  6. riles1008 - May 9, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    As a neutral bystander, I think people are being over dramatic about this guys performance. The defense in front of him was really awful. And moronic Philly fans and the media that badger their teams only make it worse for an athlete, especially a goaltender. On his big “blunder”, wtf was timmonen doing throwing it back to him in the first place. Could he have played it better? Sure. Should he have had to, no. Unfair criticism in my opinion. No one said he was Rinne, Miller, lundqvist or quick in the first place. Give the guy a break. High scoring Philly didn’t look all too high scoring against the devils.

  7. bleed4philly - May 9, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    This team is so young, I was not expecting them to get past the first round, just be glad we pounded the pens people! next year will hopefully be better. Not having Pronger against the devils really hurt us, hopefully he can come back next year, especially come playoff time.

  8. proudliberal85392 - May 9, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    Meanwhile, back in Phoenix…

    Adios, Bry.

  9. proudliberal85392 - May 9, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    We learned here in Phoenix. Bryz isn’t bad, he’s inconsistent

    • dmfc1112 - May 9, 2012 at 8:42 PM

      Phoenix goalies are a product of the system. How else do you explain Mike Smith’s numbers? He never put it together for Dallas or Tampa.

  10. eigglesnosuperbowls - May 9, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    This ADAM PROTEAU should do his homework ! The worst goaltending I ever seen from the FLYERS was in the 97 final against the RED WINGS with the combination of RON HEXTALL & GARTH SNOW,,, shots were going in from the red line !

  11. wisbadgers - May 9, 2012 at 10:34 PM

    Bryz was terrible. He was terrible for three playoffs in a row. If it wasn’t for the Flyers offensive scoring, they would’ve been swept….in the first round. Money well spent.

  12. puckrat18 - May 9, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    Living in Phoenix, we have seen that the story of Bryz is the same as it has ever been. Good-great during the season, and horrible in the playoffs. You can’t blame the system in Phoenix – Dave Tippett and Sean Burke have taken a backup goalie in Mike Smith and made him elite. I was in a position, in being a vendor of the team, to meet most of the players on a regular basis, and I can’t really say this guy ever impressed me. He just didn’t seem to fit into the team chemistry. He wasn’t a dick, just not outgoing like the other guys. I would see Doan and Hanzal and Aucoin and their locker room pranks, and Bryz just never seemed to take part. Very reserved guy. I think the pressure of playing in Philly was just too much to bear.

    • raoool - May 9, 2012 at 11:21 PM

      Bryz’ Phily season didn’t break down that way – he had good moments and bad moments in both the reg season and the playoffs. Goalies are often… different; but this guy’s inconsistency is as scary as any of the parade o Flyers goalies.

      Not good when you can’t help but tense up every time the puck enters the zone.

  13. downlinerz2 - May 10, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Ilya just provided Philadelphia with a convenient excuse for losing. After watching hockey since 1969 I have seen far worse.

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