"Universe is just so humangus big!". Who would think Ilya Bryzgalov would be the Flyers' best player through the first four games of the season. Bryz's play has been exceptional to start the season, and it was one positive thing the Flyers were able to build on after their dismal 0-3 start.
Bryz has not been at fault for any of the losses, and played exceptionally well in the opener against the Penguins. Many of the goals against the Flyers early this season have been the result of defensive meltdowns and lack of coverage around the net. Bryz has been able to come up with great save after great save. He is doing exactly what was expected of him when he originally signed here.
The play from Bryzgalov has been one of the few positive things in the early going, and it has allowed the Flyers to worry solely about their play without looking over their shoulder every time the opposition through a shot on goal. The Flyers were able to kick their play up a couple of notches against the Rangers Thursday night. The result? A 2-1 victory over a projected cup favorite. The solid play from Bryzgalov in net allowed the Flyers to pick up a win in a tight game. His saves on Derek Stepan and Rick Nash during the Rangers' two man advantage were key, along with the solid play from Sean Couturier and Maxime Talbot.
Bryzgalov has stepped up early in the season. His early numbers of a 2.52 GAA and a .910 save percentage don't do his play justice. They are great numbers considering the Flyers' bad play early on. If Bryz can continue what he is doing and continue to provide the Flyers with consistent goaltending, Philadelphia will be in good shape going forward.
Potential Lines Going Forward
The Flyers forward lines have been inconsistent with all the injuries early on. But with Brayden Schenn returning next game and Danny Briere and Zac Rinaldo's return on the horizon, the Flyers will be in descent shape up front. The long-term loss of Scott Hartnell will definitely hurt, but the signing of Mike Knuble will help fill the void and add a veteran presence. Potential forward lines going forward will look something like this.
*Predicting Scott Laughton should be returned to juniors (he shouldn't be kept up) and Tye Mcginn is sent back down