Ilya Bryzgalov #30 of the Philadelphia Flyers stops a shot by Chad LaRose #59 of the Carolina Hurricanes on February 2, 2013 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3. Image courtesy of Elsa/Getty Images North America.

Crashing the Crease: Has Bryzgalov Really Been Better This Season?

As we sit here in the midst of two days without Flyers hockey, let us take pause to reminisce about the old NHL: The forgotten, hazy days of yesteryear, in which teams had more than 21 hours between games, players skated on sharpened butter knives and, in one small corner of the league, an eccentric Russian goalie named Ilya Bryzgalov hitchhiked from Phoenix to Philadelphia and found a new providence, playing hockey for our boys in orange and black. This was a hopeful and optimistic time, one in which that entire City of Brotherly Love ever so quietly gazed with …

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 …