It’s Ilya Bryzgalov’s universe.
The rest of us are just living in it.
For the second consecutive week, the Philadelphia Flyers goalie was named the NHL’s first star — this time after posting a 3-0-1 record while allowing just six goals, pushing the Flyers to within three points of the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers.
“He’s got his swagger back,” Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossmann told NHL.com. “He’s been real good. This is the way we need him to play.”
Bryzgalov is the first player this season to be named First Star in back-to-back weeks.
Second star went to another oft-scrutinized goalie — Chicago’s Corey Crawford. Despite starting the week bolted to the pine, he notched three wins for the red-hot Blackhawks while allowing just three goals. Crawford came off the bench to relieve an ineffective Ray Emery (three goals on six shots) against St. Louis last Tuesday, backstopping the ‘Hawks to a 4-3 comeback win. He then proceeded to register victories over Dallas and Washington, pushing Chicago within four points of Nashville for fourth place in the West.
Speaking of Nashville, third star of the week went to Predators forward Martin Erat. He had 2G-5A-7PTS as the Preds went 2-1-1 last week, including being in on three goals in Tuesday’s big 5-4 win over Phoenix. The 30-year-old Czech now has 18G-38A-56PTS this year, one point shy of a career high set in 2006-07 and 1007-08.