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Does Philly need a better backup for Bryzgalov?

May 23, 2012, 4:13 PM EDT

Ilya Bryzgalov Getty Images

Over at CSN Philadelphia, John Boruk takes a closer look at the Flyers’ goaltending situation behind Ilya Bryzgalov.

With this year’s backup, Sergei Bobrovsky, coming off a less-than-stellar campaign — and with no real guarantee he’ll be back next season — Boruk figures the Flyers will have to go shopping for a backup if/when “Bob” is dispatched to the AHL.

The Flyers need to find a reliable veteran backup on a one-year contract who can offset Bryzgalov, especially during those stints when he gets lost in that heavily wooded bear-infested wilderness that swallowed him up this past season.

It may not be one of the Flyers’ biggest, flashiest or more-expensive moves, but it could prove to be just as important come July 1. 

Boruk threw five names out: Tomas Vokoun, Johan Hedberg, Josh Harding, Scott Clemmensen and Chris Mason. All of them are unrestricted free agents with Harding (27) the youngest and Hedberg (39) the oldest.

One name overlooked is that of Martin Biron, the 34-year-old caddy to Henrik Lundqvist in New York that’s received high praise, most notably from CBC’s Elliotte Friedman:

If I’m Paul Holmgren, I’m doing what I can to get Martin Biron back in a Flyer uniform this summer. (Biron is a UFA.) You have to get Bryzgalov the best possible backup, a team-oriented veteran who will do whatever it takes to make your starter comfortable. This is your guy. The Verizon Center has a really tight visitor’s room. Biron would leave it during intermissions so Lundqvist had more room to spread out and relax. It’s a small thing, but a big thing and, for all of his friendliness, Biron understands the larger picture. Plus, he’d do a lot of talking, which would also ease Bryzgalov’s burden.

A real, real wildcard would be former Chicago goalie Cristobal Huet. He’s coming off an insanely good year in the Swiss league — posting a 1.99 GAA and .932 save percentage — and starred for Team France at the recently-completed World Hockey Championships.

  1. dsd3 - May 23, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Yes, they do. Bobrovsky was awful this year, particularly after the All Star break. But you have to wonder about team D when you have two goalies with numbers that bad. (Bobrovsky’s were much worse than Bryz’s)

  2. stratomaticfan - May 23, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Shouldn’t the question have been “Shouldn’t the Flyers have gotten a top-notch goalie instead of overpaying to get Bryzgalov?”

    • dsd3 - May 23, 2012 at 4:40 PM

      Yeah, imagine the audacity of a team to sign a 2010 Vezina runner-up and top-5 Hart Trophy finisher who played a pretty decent role in winning the Stanley Cup in Anaheim. Bryz clearly has no accomplishments whatsoever. Glad we can define someone based on one bad year now. Does this mean Brian Elliott is better than Henrik Lundqvist because he had such a high save % this year? Probably.

      • challer9 - May 23, 2012 at 4:53 PM

        I don’t really understand you complaining about someone being defined by a bad year then you name 2 people who had really good years…

      • dsd3 - May 23, 2012 at 5:00 PM

        Go look at Brian Elliott’s career stats and you might understand. He’s not a good goalie, despite having one good year. Just like Brian Elliott’s one good year does not make him a good goalie, Bryz’s one bad year does not make him a bad goalie. Get it now?

  3. eigglesnosuperbowls - May 23, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Were not talking Stanley Cup playoffs ,were not talking a game ,we talking back-up !

  4. jimw81 - May 23, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    This is one of the issues I think the flyers will address in the offseason. They will trade Sergei Bobrovsky apart of a bigger deal.

    • phillyphever - May 23, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      I hope it’s not for Nash.

  5. phillyphan83 - May 23, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    dsd3 is the only one here who knows what the real problem is…our terrible D, which, admittedly, would not have been half as bad as they were if not for a freak injury to Pronger. What an unfortunate turn of events that turned out to be. BOTH Bryz and Bobs numbers would have been better had our D not looked like Swiss cheese. We will know everything we need to depending on what they do with Matt Carle. If we resign him, were not going anywhere again. It seemed like he was on the ice for 90% of the goals scored against us and responsible for 75% of those. He’s so garbage and he needs to go. Timonens also done. Dude can’t keep a puck in the zone if his life depended on it.

    • crazemastercraze - May 23, 2012 at 7:53 PM

      I’m sorry, “we”??? do you work for and get paid by the organization?? oh………

  6. crazemastercraze - May 23, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Roberto Lulongo???

  7. sfbookreviews - May 24, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    If by backup you mean replacement, then yes. Yes they do.

  8. id4joey - May 24, 2012 at 8:11 AM

    Philly needs a better number 1 goalie

  9. cleverbob - May 24, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    I like the idea of Biron back in town. Definitely don’t like the idea of bringing in a guy that shined in a lesser league, that would likely convince some small yet vocal faction of the fan base that he should be the starter. To borrow from football, the backup QB is the most popular guy in town.

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