2013 Flyers preview: Ilya Bryzgalov could play nearly every game

Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

How many starts will Ilya Bryzgalov get during the shortened season?

How much hockey can we expect Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to play in this shortened 2013 NHL season? If you think he'll somehow play less frequently than he would in a normal 82-game season, you're likely wrong.

Here's a chart of the top goalies, sorted by games played, from the shortened 94-95 season. 48 games were also played that year, and as you can see, a lot of goaltenders played damn near the entire season.

Goalie Stats
Rk Player Age Tm GP W L T/O GA SV% GAA
1 Trevor Kidd 22 CGY 43 22 14 6 107 .909 2.61
2 Patrick Roy* 29 MTL 43 17 20 6 127 .906 2.97
3 Ed Belfour* 29 CHI 42 22 15 3 93 .906 2.28
4 Sean Burke 28 HAR 42 17 19 4 108 .912 2.68
5 Dominik Hasek 30 BUF 41 19 14 7 85 .930 2.11
6 Martin Brodeur 22 NJD 40 19 11 6 89 .902 2.45
7 Kirk McLean 28 VAN 40 18 12 10 109 .904 2.75
8 Bill Ranford 28 EDM 40 15 20 3 133 .883 3.62
9 Guy Hebert 28 MDA 39 12 20 4 109 .904 3.13
10 Don Beaupre 33 OTT 38 8 25 3 121 .896 3.36
11 Arturs Irbe 27 SJS 38 14 19 3 111 .895 3.26
12 Ken Wregget 30 PIT 38 25 9 2 118 .903 3.21
13 John Vanbiesbrouck 31 FLA 37 14 15 4 86 .914 2.47
14 Curtis Joseph 27 STL 36 20 10 1 89 .902 2.79
15 Felix Potvin 23 TOR 36 15 13 7 104 .907 2.91
16 Daren Puppa 29 TBL 36 14 19 2 90 .905 2.68
17 Kelly Hrudey 34 LAK 35 14 13 5 99 .910 3.14
18 Blaine Lacher 24 BOS 35 19 11 2 79 .902 2.41
19 Mike Richter 28 NYR 35 14 17 2 97 .890 2.92
20 Stephane Fiset 24 QUE 32 17 10 3 87 .910 2.78
21 Ron Hextall 30 PHI 31 17 9 4 88 .890 2.89
22 Andy Moog 34 DAL 31 10 12 7 72 .915 2.44
23 Tim Cheveldae 26 WIN 30 8 16 3 97 .881 3.70
24 Mike Vernon 31 DET 30 19 6 4 76 .893 2.52
25 Jim Carey 20 WSH 28 18 6 3 57 .913 2.13

How many games a goaltender plays in a season obviously depends on a lot of different things: Injury, illness, opponent matchups, general gut feeling of a head coach, number of back-to-back sets in a season, etc.

But a bonafide starting goaltender can certainly play 50 games in a regular season without issue, and Bryzgalov has played many more than that each season since becoming a regular starter in 2007. In fact, Bryz hasn't played less than 55 in a year over the last six years.

Bryzgalov won't play every game in 2013, because the Flyers are still paying Michael Leighton money to be a guy who stops pucks every once in a while. (insert lame Leighton joke of choice here) Bryz will almost certainly play more than 35 or 40 games, though.

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