Philadelphia Flyers: The Offseason Solution to Their Goaltending Mess

Dominic PerilliContributor IIIMay 1, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 30: (L-R) Goaltenders Sergei Bobrovsky #35 and Brian Boucher #33 of the Philadelphia Flyers arrive for their game against the Boston Bruins in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on April 30, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

As Adrian Dater of SportsIllustrated.com so frankly pointed out, goalies in Philadelphia are "defined as an afterthought." 

The Philadelphia Flyers have a similar habit that is found within the Philadelphia Eagles organization: sweeping the dirt under the rug. 

Instead of going out a grabbing a proven, veteran goaltender to solidify the crease, the Flyers banked their 2010-2011 Stanley Cup hopes on a rookie goaltender in Sergei Bobrovsky.

That plan has since backfired and is now sending the Flyers on a downwards spiral to failure. 

Bobrovsky is the future in Philadelphia, but he obviously needs some work and to bank a Stanley Cup on a flawed goalie is poor management by the Flyers.

That's okay, though. This whole season will be a learning experience for Bobs and he will be great some day, but for right now the Flyers need a safe goaltender between the pipes. 

Brian Boucher is a career backup for a reason. He has spurts of solid play, but the engine runs out of fuel after two to three games. 

 

Solution? Sign Ilya Bryzgalov.

At just 30 years old, Bryzgalov is the type of goaltender that the Flyers can bank on for a few years while Bobrovsky matures.

Bryzgalov is proven in the playoffs. He won the Stanley Cup in 2007 as a backup with Anaheim, but in his five games in which he played during the playoffs, Bryz has a .922 GAA.

He has a career playoffs GAA of .917 and a career regular season GAA of .916.  

Bryzgalov and Bobs are the same type of goaltender. They both get low and track the puck very well, but Bobrovsky needs work on his knack of committing to the butterfly too early; he has to do a better job of limiting the angles and spots that the skater can shoot at.  

I've always said that Bobrovsky's shortcomings in net stem from the seemingly large language barrier.

Bryzgalov is also Russian and speaks fluent English. He can be a mentor to Bobs and show him how to adjust to the American way of life both on and off the ice.