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Blog Entry

Briere says Bryzgalov has been a better teammate

Posted on: March 5, 2012 6:10 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 6:14 pm
 
Bryzgalov and Jagr have a laugh after Sunday night's win. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

If you have been watching the Philadelphia Flyers play, chances are you have noticed a change in Ilya Bryzgalov. He has been starting to resemble a goalie worthy of the nine-year, $51 million contract he received this offseason.

In his last nine starts Bryzgalov has given up 19 goals, an average of a little more than two per start. He has also stopped 180 of the last 199 shots he's seen. That's a touch better than .900. Most recently, though, he stopped all 34 shots from the Capitals in a 1-0 shutout on Sunday night.

None of that is world beater stuff (although hard to quibble with that GAA) but it does mark an improvement. And that's not the only improvement the Flyers have seen in their goalie. Here is what Danny Briere had to say to Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly:

“We’ve seen all kinds of Bryz this year,” Briere said. “He’s never the same. He’s all over the place. But the last couple of weeks, he’s actually been a great teammate and hopefully, he stays that way.

“That’s the way it should be. If he wants the guys to keep playing hard for him, he needs to be a great teammate the way he has been lately, and it’s been fun having him around, too.”

Read that how you want but I can't help but extrapolate Briere admitting that Bryzgalov hadn't been a good teammate this season. All of those antics that we've seen, mostly around the Winter Classic really were apparently rubbing some the wrong way.

So some of the players and the management have been talking with him this season and apparently the message is finally getting through.

“Before, just trying to bring everything, everything was about Bryz,” Briere said. “When he played well, when he played bad, everything was about Bryz.

“I found lately, a lot more, it’s not just about him. He’s able to take the blame when there is and give credit to his teammates when that is. That is a learning process for him. New guys, new teammates.”

Well, playing in Philadelphia certainly is different than Phoenix. And I say that as more than the obvious differences between the markets themselves but also the teams they ice. Not too take away much from Bryzgalov -- or Mike Smith currently -- but Dave Tippett's brand of hockey tends to make goalies look good. The Flyers have tended to play a much more open game that can expose a goaltender.

I've said before that I'm a fan of Bryzgalov. I would like to see him playing well because he is arguable the most entertaining individual in the sport.

Oh, and no Bryzgalov post today would be complete without this little rap from a fan in Philly dedicated to Ilya the Philosopher.

H/t to Puck Daddy for the video

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Comments

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: March 6, 2012 12:26 pm
 

Briere says Bryzgalov has been a better teammate

Giroux has been one of the worst defensive forwards on the team, he has been turning the puck over on the PP, he has been the cause of several shorthanded goals against, he tries to dance up the middle of the ice on the PP....but we dont say anything. We just take everything out on Bryz. BTW Giroux is my favorite player, i love watching him but for the past couple months points asside, he has been lacking in other areas of the game.
And others might not have said anything, but I've said it before that he isn't playing like his normal self.  I have a sinking feeling that knee to the head from his teammate (Simmonds) might have caused a little more than just a concussion.  As one of the most gifted skaters in the league, we typically don't think of Giroux as being a physical player, but he was never a guy to shy away from doing the "dirty work" in the boards and trying to muscle past people.  Anyone who knows his workout regimine knows that he is true physical specimen and while not the biggest person on the ice he certainly has gone shoulder to shoulder against some of largest forwards in the game without hesitation. 

I have some faith, mixed with hope, that once the playoffs roll around he'll be his normal self again.



Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: March 6, 2012 12:21 pm
 

Briere says Bryzgalov has been a better teammate

Listen Legion, I understand that it's a different system and that he is playing out of his norm.  I get that and I can accept it if it weren't that he has just played poorly on shots that were CLEARLY visible to him and he just whiffed like a Ryan Howard strikeout.  I don't care if you typically play up to cut off angles or back in the net to get a slightly longer time to react, when you play a puck poorly there is no excuse. 

I understand the D has not been good, at all, this season and I'm not putting the blame squarely on Bryz's shoulders as I've stated numerous times in the past.  I'm just saying that he has played badly regardless of the situation, his position, the defense, etc.  I said before and I'll say it again, bad D or not, the *majority* of the blame falls on him.  The defense has been playing better with Kubina and Grossman, but he still has a low save percentage but a better GAA.  That simply means the D isn't allowing as many shots, which then puts the pressure on him. 

Lundquist, Thomas, etc. Have to come up with 2-3 big saves a game if that...they get so much credit and they are great goalies but they have a defense infront of them....including forwards that help out.
Bryz comes up with about 2-3 big saves a month.  If he were making 2-3 big saves a game, and the results were similar then I would put more blame on the D.  Again, they've played bad but most of the weight still falls on his shoulders. 



Since: Feb 16, 2007
Posted on: March 6, 2012 9:52 am
 

Briere says Bryzgalov has been a better teammate

Blitz, 

Hes playing in a completely different environment and different style of hockey. As the author even pointed out.

Well, playing in Philadelphia certainly is different than Phoenix. And I say that as more than the obvious differences between the markets themselves but also the teams they ice. Not too take away much from Bryzgalov -- or  currently -- but Dave Tippett's brand of hockey tends to make goalies look good. The Flyers have tended to play a much more open game that can expose a goaltender. 
I mean look at St. Louis as well. They swap Elliot and Halak and both do well because they play in a defensive system with Hitchcock.

Its not a video game where any player can play on any team and just be awesome. I am not defending his play, he has been bad this season but everyone has a bad season. If there was going to be one for a goalie I would imagine it would be in his first season where he went from a defensive team to a team that thinks straight offense. 

I hate how everyone has gotten on Bryz back about his poor play when there are others that should be getting worst treatment (JVR, Briere, Mez, Coburn, Timmo, Carle, Bourdon, etc)

The Flyers defense has been awful pretty much all year. They don't cover anyone infront of the net, they don't clear the slot, didnt block many shots, and flat out just looked lost out there. None of which Bryz could do anything about but the same response every game was "We need a goalie to make that big save". Well dont put him in that position 10-15 times a game. Lundquist, Thomas, etc. Have to come up with 2-3 big saves a game if that...they get so much credit and they are great goalies but they have a defense infront of them....including forwards that help out.

Giroux has been one of the worst defensive forwards on the team, he has been turning the puck over on the PP, he has been the cause of several shorthanded goals against, he tries to dance up the middle of the ice on the PP....but we dont say anything. We just take everything out on Bryz. BTW Giroux is my favorite player, i love watching him but for the past couple months points asside, he has been lacking in other areas of the game.

Bryz is a great goalie, but I dont care who you put in net for the Flyers. With the way we played D it would not have mattered. Bryz hopefully is heating up now, and hopefully the D can begin to heat up with him. I think Grossman and Kubina are great pickups and underrated pickups. They could turn out to be game changers for us.

Just my 2 cents.






Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2012 11:36 pm
 

Briere says Bryzgalov has been a better teammate

In his last nine starts Bryzgalov has given up 19 goals, an average of a little more than two per start. He has also stopped 180 of the last 199 shots he's seen. That's a touch better than .900. Most recently, though, he stopped all 34 shots from the in a 1-0 shutout on Sunday night.

None of that is world beater stuff (although hard to quibble with that GAA)
hard to quiblle with that GAA?  Why because he stopped the few shots coming at him?  This is what always gets me.  The guy doesn't have a good save percentage for a #1 goalie quality.  The GAA is a product of him facing fewer shots, which means the defense is actually doing a better job by not letting these shots get to him, either by blocking the shot or preventing a shot from even being taken.  The fact is at that rate, which is been pretty much the rate he has faced all season, if he faces the typical 25-30 shots a game that a goalie usually faces, that GAA goes up significantly.  That's not to discredit his performance sunday night, because that was really awesome, but it doesn't excuse the type of play he has consisently given all season.  If he is able to turn that around and continue something from last nights performance, then that's a different story.  However he's had many chances this season to make that story and has failed to do so.



Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: March 5, 2012 10:06 pm
 

Briere says Bryzgalov has been a better teammate

@chicks

True about JVR, but I am always skeptical about guys and head injuries.  Concussions are so unpredictable you start to wonder if JVR has gone into career protection mode and is avoiding putting himself in risky situations.  All I know is he was a lot more effective when he was throwing himself around with abandon. He doesnt seem to doing that now. 



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:06 pm
 

Briere says Bryzgalov has been a better teammate

Say what you want about Bryz this year, at least he's contributing SOMETHING.  JVR can't stay on the ice, and even when he is on the ice, all he does is tease you with his potential. It's hard to imagine how he's ever gonna get his head on straight.  Maybe they need to save some of Bryz's happy juice for JVR -- whenever he comes back.  Next year, year after that . . . .



Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: March 5, 2012 7:35 pm
 

Briere says Bryzgalov has been a better teammate

I may have never writtne anything better, but that rap stunk.  Bryzgalov has been playing well lately.  He still scares me every time a puck is shot at him.  Maybe that makes him more exciting to watch. It is a scary prospect heading into the playoffs though.  Briere needs to get back to scoring and stop worrying about the goalie.  I did enjoy watching the Caps game.  It was very physical and Bryz made a lot of tough saves.  Hope he keeps it up.
 


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