Photo by Amy Irvin

Crashing the Crease: Ray Emery Rewrites the Rulebook

This Flyers’ season has all the warning signs of becoming a hellish, merciless trek to the end, with Jay Rosehill and Kris Newbury continually making appearances (nothing personal, as I know they’re both approximately 1,394 times the hockey player I’ll ever be) and each game night’s posing the question of “Will we need our goalie to let up less than zero goals in order to win?” And then, adding to the misery, there was last week when the Washington Capitals, led by the rushing attack of Aaron Ward, put up a touchdown against the seemingly hapless Flyers. I say seemingly …

Image c/o Amy Irvin

Crashing the Crease: Steve Mason and the Case for Temperance

Steve Mason, traded to the Flyers a little over six months ago, has quickly become the talk of the town when it comes to goaltending. His 0.944 save percentage in the seven games he played last season caught the attention of fans and Flyers management alike. Given Mason’s struggles in Columbus and the Flyers well-documented sojourn with Ilya Bryzgalov, it was a pleasant relief for both parties to find such a seemingly good fit. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, who had just watched former Flyer Sergei Bobrovsky set the league alight with game after game of spectacular goaltending in Columbus, saw …

BryzScoredOn

Crashing the Crease: How Many Wins Does a Low Save Percentage Cost?

At the time of my last article, I had a thought about save percentage. We often harp on it, but very rarely do we think of it in practical, dollars-and-cents terms. If a goalie A has a .900 save percentage and goalie B has a .910, for example, what does that tell you aside from goalie B is stopping more shots? A simple way to look at it is that goalie A will let up ten out of every 100 shots he sees, while goalie B only lets up nine. Big deal, right? Prompted by Eric T.’s article over at …

Ilya Bryzgalov lays face down on the ice after making a save against the Boston Bruins during the game on March 9, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts - Image Courtesy of Jared Wickerham/Getty Images North America

Crashing the Crease: Ilya Bryzgalov Cannot Succeed in Philadelphia

This week’s Crashing the Crease comes to you with a somber tone, as the Flyers’ season appears primed to crash and burn. Some of the same wretched storylines we’re so used to being beaten over the head with are creeping into view: “Should [insert Flyers coach] be worried about his job? Who should the Flyers next goalie be? What major move will the Flyers make to fix this?” Part of the issue, in my mind, is this overly reactive approach from the top down. Don’t get me wrong — I love and respect what Ed Snider did for the city …

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Crashing the Crease: Bryzgalov Wearing Down?

How much can one reasonably expect from a goaltender when playing him almost nightly behind a worn down, somewhat-ramshackle NHL defense? If you live in Philadelphia, the answer may be to simply look at his cap hit for your answer. Recently, there’s been a lot of talk regarding Ilya Bryzgalov and how well he “should” be playing based on his AAV of $5.67 million. In a lot of ways, it’s a reliable fallback story for a season full of nearly regular Jekyll-and-Hyde nights where serious hockey analysis of defensive breakdowns and failed offensive forays will bore and confuse the average …

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