Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Look at the Flyers

One can't help but watch the last few games, and see a Flyers team that is all over the map. Goaltending has been suspect at best. Scoring has been inconsistent. And yet the Flyers record is not terrible. A victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in a squeaker, a split with the Senators that included an epic 3rd period meltdown, and a tight defensive win against the Hurricanes.

So what can we take away from these wins? It's hard to say. The Flyers goaltending still leaves much to be desired. a tight game against Chicago included a late game winning goal that saved the Flyers from overtime. A meltdown against the Senators, a 4 goal 3rd period, that gave up a 2 goal lead. And a tight game against the Hurricanes, a team that doesn't strike fear into the hearts of goalkeepers. The question is, has the money spent on goaltending this season been worth it?

The answer, in short, is no. Byzgalov has been a disappointment. His play has been erratic at best. He has been a distraction out of the locker room. No goalie should announce their starting position for a game, that is a coach's job. And yet Bryzgalov has taken that duty upon himself once already this season. The problem is, his replacement couldn't handle the pressure last season, who is to say he will be able to handle it this season?

In short, no matter how the offense plays, the team still hinges upon goaltending.  No matter how many goals Giroux and company can score, if Bryz lets 4 goals in 1 period, it won't be enough. It comes down to who can handle it in the clutch. And right now, neither goalie on the Flyers roster appears able to do that.

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