Welcome to the Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Facebook of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Twitter of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Instagram of the Philadelphia Flyers Official LinkedIn of the Philadelphia Flyers Official DeskSite of the Philadelphia Flyers Flyer Wire
  • RSS

Soul Search Complete

Bryz says he knows how to play in Philly now

Tuesday, 01.8.2013 / 4:04 PM ET / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
Share with your Friends

Soul Search Complete

VOORHEES, N.J. – So much about Ilya Bryzgalov is the same, and yet, so much has changed in the last seven months.

He’s still as droll as ever, with his sense of humor constantly on display.

Take for instance his opinion of Scott Hartnell’s beard, one he hasn’t shaved since September 15.

“He looks great,” Bryzgalov said. “I love it. He’s like from the movie ‘Cast Away,’ remember? We need to supply a volleyball for him so he can have a best buddy ‘Wilson.”

And while his playful spirit remains, he has a new focus and approach to playing hockey in Philadelphia as well.

He admits his first season in a hockey-mad market was a bit trying at times. But, now, in his second season, he is in a more comfortable place.

“I had a great experience last year,” Bryzgalov said. “I understand a lot of things and how they work here with the fans and the media and even the management of the team. I made some notes in my head for myself and I’m going to follow it.”

Yes, Philadelphia is different than Pheonix. Yes it’s different from Anaheim. It’s even different from Russia – where Bryzgalov said some “reporters” make up stories about players.

What Philadelphia is, to Bryzgalov, is a demanding town that wants effort, passion and honesty.

And he’s good with that now. And likewise, the Flyers are good with him in this upcoming shortened season.

“This year he knows what to expect,” goalie coach Jeff Reese said last Fall. “He’s a big boy. The focus for me is going to be on the ice.

“He is a bona fide number one goalie in this league and he’s good enough to win the Stanley Cup. Now, will we do it? We’ll see. But he’s good enough.”

He flashed that ability on more than one occasion last season, but was remembered more for bad performances than good ones because of how he responded to them in interviews.

But, it should be noted that Bryzgalov posted numbers that were better than any goalie the Flyers have had since the 2004 lockout.

Bryzgalov had the best goals against average [2.48] of any Flyers goalie since the lockout – when rules changes were made to increase scoring.

He also won 33 games. That tied for the most since Roman Cechmanek won 35 in 200-01.

Oh, and he had six shutouts. That would be more than all Flyers goalies combined for in the previous two seasons and tied for the most by one Flyers goalie since Cechmanek had 10 in 2000-01.

“I don’t think last year was as bad as everyone else thinks,” Reese said. “I agree that there were some ups and downs and I think it was a big time learning experience for him coming from Anaheim and Phoenix.

“But if you look at his numbers, they weren’t too bad and he beat the team [Pittsburgh] that a lot of people thought was going to win the Stanley Cup. I know it was a wide-open series and that it was enjoyable to watch for everybody except goalies and goalie coaches. But, both of those teams can score goals – and he won the series. He took a lot of criticism, but he won the series. Then, the New Jersey series was a completely different series, and I thought he was one of our best players.”

But he’s always going to be under the microscope. Just being a goalie in Philadelphia is a lot of pressure, but when you have great expectations, like Bryzgalov did when he came to town last year on a big money, long-term contract, it’s even greater.

Which is why he’s focused on improving on those numbers in this shortened season. It’s one of the reasons he decided to play in Russia during the last couple months.

He got off to a slow start, but he chalked that up to being behind the KHL teams in conditioning. But once he got into game shape, he actually played really well.

He feels that not only him playing in the KHL, but a good portion of the Flyers roster having played in Europe, or down in the AHL with the Adirondack Phantoms, is going to be a boost for the Flyers as the try to get out of the gate quickly.

“I think it’s better than having 17 players not playing because… I’m telling you for sure that if you don’t have games and don’t have full practices with a coach and the team, you are in a disadvantaged position. I skated here before I went overseas and it was different. When I got [to Russia] I found I was far behind everyone on the team and I needed lots of workouts because I was in a different speed and a different mode. They were in game shape and everything was much quicker and much faster. I needed time to pick it up. That’s why I think for us it’s great that we had most of our guys who have been playing and skating.”

“The schedule is going to be jammed. It’s crazy. Every game is going to be more important than when you have 82 games because if you have a flat stretch you might find yourself in the bottom [of the standings] and you may never get out.”


Danny Briere was back at Skate Zone Tuesday, but he didn’t skate with the team because of his sprained wrist, that also has a bone bruise.

He has yet to see a team doctor because the new CBA hasn’t officially bee ratified, so he can’t say for certain how long he’ll be out of action, but he said the German doctors told him the injury was about a four-week injury.

With the season expected to begin Jan. 19, Briere said that opening date would be the three-week mark since the injury and that he could miss another week to 10 days afterward, but that nothing would be official until he met with team physicians.


Claude Giroux was also back skating with the team and he was asked by reporters about the possibility of being named the team captain. Giroux said it would be an honor if he was asked, but that he knew nothing about the current process and felt uncomfortable talking about it at length.

General manager Paul Holmgren said he would have to talk to coach Peter Laviolette first and then have a discussion with the team before a decision would be made.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or you can follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


C. Giroux 78 22 45 -8 67
W. Simmonds 81 32 28 -7 60
B. Schenn 80 26 33 3 59
J. Voracek 73 11 44 -5 55
S. Gostisbehere 64 17 29 8 46
S. Couturier 63 11 28 8 39
M. Raffl 82 13 18 9 31
M. Read 79 11 15 -5 26
M. Streit 62 6 17 -1 23
S. Laughton 71 7 14 -2 21
S. Mason 23 19 10 .918 2.51
M. Neuvirth 18 8 4 .924 2.27
Privacy Policy | AdChoices | California Privacy Rights | Contact Us | Advertise Employment | NHL.com Terms of Use

Philadelphiaflyers.com is the official Web site of the Philadelphia Flyers. Philadelphia Flyers and philadelphiaflyers.com are trademarks of Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.