Philadelphia Flyers: 5 Reasons to Believe in Ilya Bryzgalov

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Philadelphia Flyers: 5 Reasons to Believe in Ilya Bryzgalov
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

"Obviously, we need (Ilya Bryzgalov) to play good, and I believe he will."

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren uttered these words on Monday February 27 in the midst of a successful stretch of starts for his enigmatic Russian between-the-pipes.  

The vote of confidence from the GM, along with coach Laviolette's decision to let Bryzgalov play himself into the role he was expected to fill seamlessly when the Flyers' brass handed him a nine-year, unmovable contract over the summer, have been rewarded with Bryzgalov's longest sustained success of the year.  

Tonight's (March 8) home game against the Florida Panthers will mark Bryzgalov's tenth-straight start, and his previous nine have been inspiring efforts, especially considering how poorly he played at points earlier in the season.  

Bryz is 6-2 with one no decision in his last nine starts, and since Holmgren made the aforementioned comments, he is 3-1, with the lone loss being the 1-0 clunker in San Jose.

Bryz has only allowed six goals on the past 120 shots over this four-game stretch, and is clearly playing more confidently and aggressively.  

Bryzgalov's recent play has lead me to believe he is once again "OTBeT."

Having restored my faith in his goaltending abilities, here are the five reasons to believe in Ilya Bryzgalov.  

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