Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012: How Ilya Bryzgalov Will Bring the Cup to Philadelphia

March 5th, 2012 by Rob Kirk Leave a reply »
Call me crazy, but I think somebody has been playing a little possum this year. Luring mediocre shooters into thinking they can contest for the Art Ross Trophy has been Ilya Bryzgalov's M/O so far. Coming from Phoenix via Anaheim via Russia via the universe after signing a fantastically large contract, the furry philosopher has been underwhelming at best. Until now.

While he doesn't seem to have a problem identifying obscure Russian cordials or speaking on topics like hunting endangered species in China, Bryz has had some trouble with the soft goal here and there. The Flyers looked like the team to beat in the Eastern Conference earlier this year, peppering opponents with goals at a breakneck pace. What was hidden in the standings, but not in the stats, was the "star" between the pipes allowing goals at an equally reckless pace.

Overshadowing a potential MVP-type season for Claude Giroux, a return to the NHL for Jaromir Jagr, the loss of team captain Chris Pronger for the season (possibly forever), has been the ineffective play in goal, specifically by the elder of the two Russians in net. Though the fresh-faced Sergei Bobrovsky has had some brilliant play at ...

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