Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 05/09/12 at 11:19 AM ET
Amidst discussion of Jaromir Jagr’s future and the Flyers’ baffling team-wide performances against the New Jersey Devils, much of the criticism regarding the Flyers’ individual shortcomings involves pointed and harsh criticism of Ilya Bryzgalov’s play (though the Devils are earning full marks for taking out Philly as well).
Given so many suggestions over the last 12 or so hours that “BryzgLOLov’s” giveaway goal to David Clarkson was emblematic of his status as the sole reason why the Flyers lost (though Claude Giroux’s suspension may have fared into the equation, too), however, TSN’s Bob McKenzie offers some much-needed perspective regarding Mr. Universe given that the moons, planets and stars around him didn’t deliver, either:
You can’t lay singular blame on Ilya Bryzgalov for Philadelphia’s loss to the New Jersey Devils, but by the same token, he was brought in to be the answer in net for the Flyers, and he was anything but.
In the clinching game, all three Devils’ goals against Bryzgalov weren’t great. The first one was a flutter ball, the second one was an absolute gift, and the third one, he may have been screened a little bit. At the end of the day, he didn’t get the job done.
You don’t want to equate everything to money but this is a guy who actually pulled down $15 million in signing bonus and salary this year. His cap hit is only $5.67 million for the Flyers but he’s got a nine-year deal at $51 million, or if you take away the somewhat bogus years at the end, a seven-year deal for $47.5 million.
The Flyers had to know when they got him that he didn’t have a playoff track record. He’d never won a playoff series before this year. He got through the first round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but it was almost in spite of himself along with the fact Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t play very well.
He’s now played 22 career playoff games and in 14 of those, he’s had a sub-.900 save percentage. That’s not nearly good enough. Good luck with that contract and good luck with Bryzgalov, Philadelphia because there is no playoff track record there.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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