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 c/o  Tim Frenz

Crashing the Crease: BryzNasty

Two weeks ago, I laid out my expectations for Ilya Bryzgalov’s season. In short, I expected him to start well thanks to his keeping the engine warmed up over in Russia, but my fear was the Flyers’ lacking defensive corps would take its toll on him and lead a to a mid-season slump. I felt that a .920-or-higher save percentage wasn’t too likely by season’s end. Early on, he’s fighting to prove me wrong, posting a pretty stellar .924 save percentage and a goals-against average of 2.19, especially given the support he’s had thus far. Right now, it isn’t that …

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, …

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Crashing the Crease: Release Points

In my last post, I touched upon the concept of a release point and what it means to a goaltender when it comes to stuffing a breakaway attempt. This concept was also briefly touched on in my first post about Ilya Bryzgalov. The release point is pretty obvious: the location on the ice where the puck comes off of the stick of the shooter. For a clapper from the point, it’s right before the follow through, as the puck’s velocity carries it away from the stick. For a snap shot in tight, it’s that instant where the shooter’s arms stop …

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 …

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