After being swept by the Boston Bruins in the 2011 NHL Eastern Conference Semifinals, Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, as well as every Flyers fan, knew what the team needed to find most in the offseason: a starting goaltender.
After starting three different goalies in the 2010-2011 season, the deficit in net became most obvious in the playoffs.
Brian Boucher was too inconsistent, Sergei Bobrovsky was too inexperienced and Michael Leighton couldn't recreate his performance of the previous postseason that took the Flyers to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Ilya Bryzgalov seems to be a strange choice for the Flyers. His stats in the regular season consistently place him in the top starting goaltenders.
However, his postseason stats are the bigger question.
After an impressive postseason with Anaheim in 2006, Bryzgalov's playoff numbers have become worse each year, ending with this past season where he posted a .879 save percentage and a 4.36 goals-against average in four straight losses to the Red Wings. The Flyers managed to find yet another goaltender who struggles in the playoffs.
These numbers make Bryzgalov, at best, a gamble—a gamble who signed a nine-year contract with a $5.67 million cap hit. A gamble who forced Philadelphia to move center Jeff Carter.
Here are five goaltenders who would have been less costly and less risky for the Flyers than Ilya Bryzgalov.