WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 04: Jakub Voracek #93 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates the Flyers 1-0 victory over the Washington Capitals with goalie Ilya Bryzgalov #30 at the Verizon Center on March 4, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Hey, youse guys. Ilya Bryzgalov.
I don't want to jump the gun and say the $51 million goalie has completely turned around his season, but these last several games for him have really been fantastic. Tonight against the Washington Capitals may have been the best of the year.
The Caps came out firing for long stretches of time, and while the Kimmo-and-Mez-less defense did a solid job of keeping the chances to the perimeter for the most part, Bryz looked huge in his net and seemed to be tracking the puck better than he has in his Flyers career to date. With the Flyers offense limited to just one goal, and with Washington dictating the tempo for most of the evening, Bryz had to be huge on several occasions and he was.
I'm not sure a nine-year, $51 million contract for a goalie will ever be justified, but if you're going to be paying up that kind of money, you need a guy to be able to step up like he did tonight in the face of a desperate opponent and a mounting list of injuries. He was humongous big at exactly the right time, and as a result, the Flyers have won back-to-back games for the first time in over a month. Oh, shutout, too.
Questions with Answers
- Can the Flyers get beyond the five minute mark of the first period without allowing a goal? Yes! The entire game, even!
- How's Ilya Bryzgalov perform in this, his ninth straight start? He played ridiculously well. Like I said, very possible this was his best game of the year.
- What's the situation like on defense, and how does it look tonight? Considering the circumstances, they played well. Note: Saw Andrej Meszaros walking out of the building tonight and he didn't appear to have a limp or anything like that, but that lower-body injury could really be anything.
- Matt Read scored two the other night. More hotness from him? Was kind of quiet, but that's okay. Offense was pretty quiet in this one from the Flyers in general -- the only downside of the evening was that they let the Caps control the game for the most part.
- Ratio of Flyers fans to Caps fans inside the building tonight? Originally I thought it was about 30 percent Flyers fans to 70 percent Caps fans, but after the goal the orange really started to show even further. If it wasn't more than 30 percent, it was still a very, very loud group.
Comment of the Night
And that sound you heard, was the wheels falling off the Caps Bandwagon.