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It wouldn't be a season of Flyers' hockey without some sort of goaltending controversy.
The reason this is the last of the four aspects referenced as to what went wrong for the Flyers this season is to emphasize the fact that goaltending is not exclusively to blame for Philadelphia's forgettable season.
The fact remains, however, that while goaltending isn't solely blame, it also wasn't a significant difference maker for the Flyers either. In fact, more often than not, it was below average.
Philadelphia's goaltending situation was a nightmare from the beginning. The enigmatic Ilya Bryzgalov was clearly the team's starter, but there was no safety valve to allow Bryzgalov to rest or any contingency plan should his traditionally inconsistent play continue.
Philadelphia inked Michael Leighton on the first day of free agency last summer to serve as Bryzgalov's back up. That signing resulted in one appearance this season: a brutal 5-1 loss at Tampa Bay in late January.
The Flyers then orchestrated a trade for now four-time Philadelphia Flyers netminder Brian Boucher before finally coordinating a transaction to bring Steve Mason over from Columbus at the trade deadline.
All the while, Bryzgalov was Bryzgalov.
There were certainly flashes of brilliance from the Russian netminder this season. Sixteen times this season, Bryzgalov allowed two goals against or fewer to go along with nine outings this year with 30 or more saves.
In the end though, the numbers don't lie.
Bryzgalov's 2.84 goals-against average currently ranks 37th among all NHL netminders, while his .898 save percentage is 42nd overall. He's managed just one shutout this season and has lost more games (20) than he's won (17).
What's worse, Bryzgalov faltered most noticeably during the most critical point of the season. In 10 starts from mid-March to mid-April, Philadelphia's $51 million goaltender allowed 30 goals against while registering a 3.10 goals-against average coupled with a .894 save percentage.
Those were all must-win games for the Flyers and instead of rising to the occasion and stealing a game or two for his team, Bryzgalov produced numbers even more disappointing than his already pedestrian season totals.