Image c/o Amy Irving

Crashing the Crease: Know Your Enemy! Who are the best shootout forwards?

Last night, Patrick Kane scored yet another shootout goal that displayed a huge amount of finesse and once again reminded Flyers fans that the draft lottery is the devil. Even though Schneider got his pad on Kane’s attempt and initially appeared to stop it, the puck bounced off of him and in the net, adding yet another tally to Kane’s career numbers. It wasn’t as fancy as his numerous SO goals, but it got me thinking aloud: is Kane the most dangerous shootout forward for a goaltender to face? The immediate counter argument that sprang up was “no, Datsyuk is.” …

Ilya Bryzgalov - Courtesy of Frenz Photography

Crashing the Crease: Bryzgalov’s Depth

After the first week of the season, Ilya Bryzgalov’s first report card had him pegged as playing well despite not getting results. His play since then has only continued to impress – if not improve altogether – and in lieu of the Flyers matching a season-high two game win streak with Bryzgalov’s back-to-back victories against Carolina and Tampa Bay, the results are starting to come. At one point a week ago, Ilya was holding onto the ignominious position of most losses among NHL goaltenders despite possessing a rather strong 2.40 GAA and .920 SV%. Since then? He’s gotten a couple …

Image courtesy of Tim Frenz, FrenzFotography.com

Crashing the Crease: Bryzgalov Solid, Despite Record

With the NHL’s 2013 Season finally underway, Crashing the Crease will evaluate the Flyers’ goaltending performances every Thursday in order to answer the inevitable dilemma in Flyerdom: what is going on in net? Week one has seen Ilya Bryzgalov play all three games of the Flyers’ 0-3 start, and the questions are already flying about just what is wrong with this team. For many, as is so often the story in Philadelphia, the finger pointing begins and ends with the goaltender. But is that fair? The easy answer would be to look at Bryzgalov’s stat line from the 3-1, 5-2, …

Robert Esche was a key part of the memorable 2003-2004 team. Courtesy Flyers.NHL.com

Crashing the Crease: Unsung Heroes Part 2, Robert Esche

Between 2000 and 2010, the Flyers have been notorious for losing control of the so-called “goaltending carousel” and sending it spinning out of control in an endless search for a sure hand between the pipes. However, during that period the Orange and Black have gotten admirable goaltending that, in retrospect, may have gone under-appreciated at the time. Over the next few weeks, Crashing the Crease will take a look at these unsung heroes. The second mainstay in the Philadelphia crease between 2000 and 2010 — and the second goalie featured in the Unsung Heroes retrospective — is none other than …

In retrospect, Roman Cechmanek was actually pretty good.

Crashing the Crease: Unsung Heroes Part 1, Roman Cechmanek

Between 2000 and 2010, the Flyers have been notorious for losing control of the so-called “goaltending carousel” and sending it spinning out of control in an endless search for a sure hand between the pipes. However, during that period the Orange and Black have gotten admirable goaltending that, in retrospect, may have gone under-appreciated at the time. Over the next few weeks, Crashing the Crease will take a look at these unsung heroes. First up: Roman Cechmanek. Often lambasted for being a product of system or locker room cancer, the fact of the matter is that when he was the …

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