Ilya Bryzgalov

Flyers to start Bryzgalov for 19th time in 20 games


It seems the Philadelphia Flyers have adopted the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra when it comes to goaltending as Ilya Bryzgalov will make his 19th start in the last 20 games tonight against Tampa Bay.

“He’s played extremely well this month,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette told, explaining why Bryzgalov got the nod. “He’s a big reason why we’ve been able to push up the standings. Our team needs that.

“Teams at the top of the conference are usually led by their goaltender and he’s been excellent this month.”

Bryz has been outstanding in March, posting a 10-1-1 record with a 1.22 GAA and .956 save percentage. He’s recorded four shutouts and come up huge in key games — most notably, a 38-save effort in a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh and a 30-save performance in a 2-1 win over Washington last Thursday (in which he made the game-saving shootout stop on Troy Brouwer.)

The 31-year-old Russian has also allowed two or fewer goals in 11 consecutive starts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he’s the first Flyers goalie to accomplish that feat since Bernie Parent did it in 1974-75.

Of note, the Flyers went on to win the Stanley Cup that year, defeating Buffalo in six games.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit
1 Comment

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.

Flames acquire Freddie Hamilton, brother of Dougie

Freddie Hamilton
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.

Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.

Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.

This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.