As CSN Philadelphia’s Tim Panaccio notes, Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette never singles out players in defeat.
The same cannot be said for Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen.
Following Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers, Timonen took a rare — and pointed — shot at his teammate, Ilya Bryzgalov.
“I thought we played a decent game — it didn’t go our way,” Timonen said following the Flyers’ fourth straight loss against the Rangers. So, what was the major difference in the game?
“The goalie,” he replied.
That quote is obviously in reference to the canyon-sized discrepancy in shot-stopping between Bryzgalov and New York’s Henrik Lundqvist.
Lundqvist ranks first in save percentage, second in GAA and fifth in wins.
Bryzgalov ranks 41st, 37th and 14th in the same categories.
While Timonen’s comment was brief — and, let’s be honest, fairly accurate — it’s an intriguing one because it’s a public critique of Bryzgalov by someone within the room. As mentioned above, Laviolette’s had Bryz’s back throughout the year and the Flyers have mostly toed the company line, offering up a myriad of excuses for his inconsistent play (system adjustment, new team, new city, increased exposure), followed by the usual platitudes: “Bryz is one of the best goalies in the league,” and “Bryz has done it before and we have faith he’ll do it again.”
But the reality is this: Philly is 0-5-1 in its last six against elite Eastern Conference teams in Boston and New York. The common theme? The Rangers and Bruins have outstanding goaltending in Lundqvist and Tim Thomas, while the Flyers are still deciding who’s the lesser of two evils — Bryzgalov or Sergei Bobrovsky.