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Meanwhile, Ilya Bryzgalov wants to play a lot this season

Jan 9, 2013, 9:59 PM EST

Ilya Bryzgalov Getty Images

Philadelphia already has one high-priced goalie in town in Ilya Bryzgalov and he’s itchy to play a lot of games this season.

Sam Carchidi of the Philly Inquirer spoke with Bryzgalov at Flyers camp and finds out the quirky Russian wants to bear the brunt of the action in Philly.

“I would love to play a lot,” he said. “When I played in Phoenix, I played in almost 70 games a year. And I feel great.”

“I understand the philosophy of how it works here – the fans, media, even the management of the team,” he said. “I made some notes in my head for myself, and I’m going to follow them.”

If only Bryz would put those thoughts down on paper for us to read…

Bryz is right about his workload in Phoenix, however. He played a ton. During a three-season stretch from 2008-09 to 2010-2011 he played in 65, 69, and 68 games while reaching the playoffs in the latter two seasons of that run. His 2009-10 season was his best one, statistically speaking.

With how frantic things got last year with both his play and his off-ice weirdness, it might be an experiment the Flyers are feeling skittish about. His monster contract under the new CBA doesn’t do him any favors either. That said, with Michael Leighton as his backup this season, Bryzgalov just might get his wish.

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  1. somekat - Jan 9, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    If he’s healthy enough, he will get every chance. If he does get bought out next year, it will not be due to a lack of oppurtunity. Wouldn’t be shocked at all to see him play 38 games this year, if his health allows it and his play warrants it. He’ll probably play 32-33 even if it doens’t warrant it (I’m assuming with the games so bunched up this year, most teams will play their backups more)

    • dcfan4life - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:40 AM

      His play was wildly inconsistant. He does however benefit from the strike. A shortened season starting this late i strongly feel will hurt offenses a lot more. Defenses and goaltending should take advantage of teams struggling to find their grooves. It would be even more telling though if under these circumstances he is still inconsistant. Only time will tell.

  2. zetaone - Jan 9, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    I’m no Flyers fan, but I think he’s going to have a bounce back season this year. It was his first year playing for a high profile team and it probably got to him a little.

    • itsallniceonice - Jan 9, 2013 at 10:14 PM

      If he plays a lot or not who cares just put a mic in front of this guy so we can all laugh at the ridiculous stuff he says.

  3. valoisvipers - Jan 9, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    I think that now with a season under his belt playing and living in Philly will have helped him to adjust to Flyer systems and Flyer life. I hope he can regain the form he showed last March and if the Flyers can play some solid defense like they did 2 seasons ago then he will shine like Orsa Major in the starry universe.

    • melonheadsdaddy - Jan 9, 2013 at 11:20 PM

      Sweet simile bro.

    • h0ckeycoach - Jan 10, 2013 at 5:19 PM

      valoisvipers,
      Just saying I’m not sure this guy as he the mental toughness.
      Of course I could be wrong, but last year is a could indicator of what he can offer.
      Especially his performance during the playoffs.
      You’d think the flyers would have made the move for a new goalie before 9/15.

  4. digbysellers - Jan 9, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    Playing with Tippet’s system in PHO made Bryz a lot of money. He shows up here in Philly with a less defensive system and we see what he really is…an average NHL starter and here goes the revolving door of crap goaltending in Philly once again.

    • antkowiak666 - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:37 AM

      where’s Larry?

  5. bubblehead22 - Jan 9, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    And every player in the east not on Philly hopes he plays a lot too

  6. lasallehockey81 - Jan 10, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    As much as I would love to believe he’s going to have a bounce back year, I just don’t see how. You could argue the Flyers D took a step back from last year where Bryzgalov looked AWFUL at times. Not sure I buy the excuse that he needed to get used to being a Flyers. Either you can play in the lights or you can’t…. So far, he hasn’t come close to proving that he can and I’m not sure that’s something you just get over bc of a lockout

    • bowman20 - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:43 AM

      I disagree with the “took a step back from last year” comment. Not saying shut down d this season, but with a healthy Grossman (remember he wasn’t 100% from December on) and now the addition of Schenn…I feel as though this defense will be definitely a step up from last season. Now whether everyone stays healthy and we done trade any of our defensemen away before the start….remains to be seen.

      • lasallehockey81 - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:45 AM

        Well you’re lacking that Pronger replacement..I didn’t like Carle as much as everyone else seemed to, but Schenn as a replacement there is an unknown. Really like what coburn did in the postseason but to call him a #1 is a stretch. Barring a big move, which Holmgren has said isn’t happening,j just can’t be really optimistic about the D

  7. Jaja.. - Jan 10, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    Not saying he played well or okay ( I did also hate him from time to time ) but if you take a look at his Stats he didn’t do dramatically bad over the entire season 33 Wins a .909 Save / 2.48 GA and 6 Shutouts thats not good enough for a 1st goalie of a team who is expected to go far into the playoffs but those Stats are not dramatically bad.
    The biggest problem was when he played bad he also played like 5 bad games in a row where he got 5 goals a game behind his ears and he looked like a 45 years old AHL back-up goalie.
    Don’t forget he did also had a very good streak in March, 3 shutouts in a row and 4 in 5 games!!! Look at his Save percentages and you’ll see how he did from time to time. But thats not what keeps sticking in your brains , people only reminds the bad stuff from the playoffs because it looked like clowns. Give this guy a chance, it was his first season in a different hockey market + team we all know he can be a good goalie thats tough to beat when he’s on a role.

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8468524&season=20112012&view=log

    • lasallehockey81 - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      Stats dont always tell the whole story. The quality and timing of the goals he let in were horrendous at times. Sure, he had that nice streak. But he regressed back to normal form after. In a vacuum, the stats say he didn’t play THAT bad. But the Flyers are paying him big money and brought him in to be a dominating #1. With that in mind, he’s been a massive disappointment.

  8. matthewmacisaac - Jan 15, 2013 at 3:14 PM

    He picked up his play in March and then had the bone chip fracture that cost him some time and he cooled off. There isn’t a goalie in the league that would have done any better in the playoffs, with the Flyers team defense leaving the goalie hanging out to dry all the time. If the flyers play decent in front of him( and losing Carle but gaining Schenn and a healthy Grossmann bodes well) Bryz won’t win the Vezina but he will silence his critics. He plays better when he has a big workload so I say load him up.

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