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Peter Laviolette seems to have no respect for goaltenders.
He won the Stanley Cup as the coach of the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 by flip-flopping between goalies Cam Ward and Martin Gerber.
As a result Laviolette seems to now have it in his mind that he can handle all of his goaltenders that way and find success.
In his defense, since becoming the Flyers head coach in 2009 he has had some of the most ineffective net-minders in the league...and he actually had to play one of them each night.
Ray Emery, Brian Boucher, Michael Leighton and Sergei Bobrovsky: none of these names would ever strike fear in an opposing offense.
In fact, Leighton is not even in the NHL any more, and Boucher is now a winless third-string goaltender on a terrible team who without the massive NHL expansion of the 1990s would undoubtedly be running a skate shop in suburban Rhode Island right now.
Considering this, maybe one can't blame "Lavy" for having no idea how to handle a legit number one goaltender. But all excuses aside, the way he treated Ilya Bryzgalov during the first half of this season was near criminal.
Bryzgalov, a goaltender who played at least 64 games his last four seasons, was virtually splitting time with Sergei Bobrovsky, a goalie who the Flyers signed on the cheap after he was drummed out of the KHL in 2010.
Bryzgalov, who gets better the more he plays, put together a seven-game wining streak for the Flyers, each time only then to have Laviolette inexplicably sit him in favor of Bobrovsky.
These games off did damage to Bryzgalov's groove and he almost always struggled his first game back after sitting a game. Which would then have Laviolette start Bobrovsky in the next game and thus setting in motion an endless cycle of Bryzgalov struggling during his first start after sitting a game.
All of this was compounded of course by the Winter Classic.
After leading the Flyers to seven straight wins in late November/early December, Bryzgalov was given the night off in Montreal. The Flyers won 4-3, and the next game Bryzgalov started against the white hot Boston Bruins and was torched and pulled for Bobrovsky.
Thus followed three weeks of flip-flopping goalies and Laviolette's infamous and ultimately wrong decision to play Bobrovsky in the Winter Classic.
This slightly embarrassed his number one goalie on a national stage and threatened to undermine the season, all so Sergei Bobrovsky could have the opportunity to surrender two goals to the scoring machine that is Mike Rupp.
Since the All-Star break, Bryzgalov has been stellar.
Unfortunately, there was a week towards the end of January where he suffered from the flu and needed to be taken out of the lineup.
It disrupted his groove, and it did show Laviolette and the Flyers fans how bad things would be if Sergei Bobrovsky was indeed the team's number one goalie.
Since then, Laviolette has seemed to stick with Bryzgalov. The biggest step in this was not pulling him after surrendering two bad first period goals against Calgary. That game has proven to be the turning point in Bryzgalov's and the Flyers' season.
Laviolette has started Bryzgalov in ten straight games since he overcame his flu and the Flyers were stuck relying on Bobrovsky as their starter.
In that time Bryzgalov has gone seven and two with one no-decision (the Pittsburgh game where Bobrovsky allowed three goals in just a little over one period of playing time).
Bryzgalov has shown in the past he gets better with more playing time, that he improves with each successive start.
It's about time the head coach realized that.