The Philadelphia Flyers’ playoff goaltending outlook seems like it’s on an unending seesaw this season. First, it seemed like Ilya Bryzgalov would be a huge free agent bust. Things started to turn around and then his work skyrocketed in March, earning him the first star of the month. Just as life was looking good, Breezy got an injury that sure didn’t sound like something you’d come back from in little time.
Maybe he shouldn’t have.
Always-sunny Philly fans serenaded Bryzgalov & Co. as they left the ice after a tough first period as the New York Rangers opened up a 4-0 lead. Bryzgalov allowed a Ryan McDonagh goal at the 6:25 mark of the first period, Brian Boyle’s 10th of the season about five minutes later and then two power-play goals 36 seconds apart late in the first.
Peter Laviolette faces an interesting decision in the first intermission. He could either sit Bryzgalov and give him the chance to gather his bearings in one of Philly’s other final games or insert a little stubbornness into the scenario by trying to let him fight through it.
What would you do with the notably … different goalie if you were him? It’s also hard to avoid asking one other question: will Philly face another netminder conundrum in the playoffs?