Ilya Bryzgalov

Flyers will stick with Bryzgalov and Bobrovsky

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Those hoping that Flyers GM Paul Holmgren’s shopping spree will include a goaltender are out of luck. The Flyers have tried to aide their goalies by acquiring two big, physical defensemen in Pavel Kubina and Nicklas Grossman, but at the end of the day, Holmgren is still putting his faith in Ilya Bryzgalov and, to a lesser extent, Sergei Bobrovsky. Holmgren also said that his plans don’t include calling up Michael Leighton, who hasn’t exactly been dominant with the AHL Adirondack Phantoms anyways.

This news won’t sit well with some Flyers fans, but we can’t say that it comes as a surprise. Philadelphia signed Bryzgalov to a nine-year/$51 million contract and reshaped their team in the process to make that deal more viable from a cap hit perspective. They aren’t about to abandon that commitment in year one, even if he has given Flyers’ fans cause for concern.

Watch Ilya Bryzgalov call himself a scapegoat

Ilya Bryzgalov
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Ilya Bryzgalov isn’t afraid to speak his mind or publicly criticize himself, but following Pittsburgh’s 6-4 victory over Philadelphia on Saturday, Bryzgalov seemed more interested is passing the blame.

Bryzgalov did acknowledge that he needs to improve, even as he complained about how others are portraying him, so he should get some credit for that. All the same, the Flyers goaltending is their single biggest question mark going into the postseason. The Flyers recent acquisitions of defensemen Pavel Kubina and Nicklas Grossman should help, but Bryzgalov will also need to be at his best in the playoffs.

Bryzgalov doesn’t know what his illness is: “I’m not a doctor”

Ilya Bryzgalov
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Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov knows he’s not feeling well.

But as to why he’s not feeling well?

No clue.

“I’m still sick,” Bryzgalov told CSN’s Tim Panaccio on Sunday. “I have no idea what [it is]. I’m not a doctor. I wasn’t throwing up.”

The $51-million man has missed Philly’s last three games with the illness and was dropped from the lineup entirely in a 5-2 loss to the Rangers (Jason Bacashihua was recalled from the AHL to back up Sergei Bobrovsky.) Bryz was healthy enough to back up Bob in Detroit last night, but said he’s still not feeling up to snuff.

“I can’t breath normally,” he said. “I have a sore throat. Headaches.”

There does appear to be a light and the end of the tunnel, however. Bryzgalov has started reacting positively to antibiotics and with the Flyers in the midst of a four-day break, there’s a good chance he’ll recover in time to face the Sabres on Thursday.

PHT Morning Skate: Bryzgalov feels like a soccer goalie

Winnipeg Jets v Philadelphia Flyers
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

The Philadelphia Flyers must miss simpler times when Ilya Bryzgalov compared women to exotic animals and pontificated about the universe. Now his confidence is in a place where he said that shootouts make him feel like a soccer net is behind him. Yikes. (CSNPhilly.com)

With this morning’s upcoming big (and totally mysterious) announcement in mind, the Toronto Maple Leafs would love to be involved in the next HBO 24/7 series. Enjoy a few interesting takes on which Buds would be the biggest stars if that happens. (The Toronto Star)

Is Ales Hemsky on the Nashville Predators’ trade radar? (On the Forecheck)

Sure, Rick Nash is frustrated, but Aaron Portzline believes that “nothing has changed” in the relationship between the Columbus Blue Jackets and their captain. (Aaron Portzline’s Twitter)

The Anaheim Ducks stayed hot with an overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes, but it wasn’t without some controversy. It’s hard to deny the sentiment that Corey Perry should have gotten a penalty creating the turnover that allowed him to score the game-winner:

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Rich Hammond examines whether or not the Los Angeles Kings are shopping much-ballyhooed backup Jonathan Bernier. Going further, Hammond wonders what the Kings could get if they decided to deal the hyped netminder. (LA Kings Insider)

Want to read another story about the Philadelphia Flyers bringing Luke and Brayden Schenn together? Of course you do. (Toronto Sun)

Joe Haggerty provides 15 thoughts on the Boston Bruins-Buffalo Sabres game. I bet I’ve than 15 thoughts in a full day. (CSNNE.com)

Harvey Fialkov reports that Jose Theodore is ready to return to action, but he’ll back up Scott Clemmensen on Thursday. Look, when your goalie’s coming off a game where he allowed four goals on 24 shots, you gotta ride the hot ha-wait a minute … (Florida Sun-Sentinel)

Want evidence of the power of the Winter Classic? It will bring beer to the Big House! (Detroit Free Press)

Chris Phillips looks back on his career as game No. 1,000 approaches. (NHL.com)

Despite numbers, Bryzgalov still the man in Philly

Ilya Bryzgalov
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In 30 games between the pipes for the Flyers, Ilya Bryzgalov has a 3.07 goals-against average with a .891 save percentage. Among regular starters in the NHL, his numbers are right down there with the worst.

But don’t talk to Peter Laviolette about numbers – Philly’s coach cares not for statistics.

“I hate numbers, you know that,” Laviolette told reporters today when asked if Bryzgalov was still his number one goalie. “That’s a silly question. I don’t use numbers.”

Laviolette added: “Bryz was brought here to be a horse and has received the majority of games. I don’t see that changing.”

Not that it matters to the coach, but Sergei Bobrovsky’s numbers (2.42 GAA, .921 SV%) are considerable better than Bryzgalov’s.