|Ilya Bryzgalov pulls the puck out of his net as the Flyers|
face elimination in the playoffs
The last time the Flyers won the cup was 1975. While the Flyers have shown themselves as Cup contenders in recent years, goaltending has been a lingering thorn in their side. Since the lock-out, the Flyers have used several goalies from season to season, and even game to game. There have been eight goalies to play more than a handful of games, Antero Niittymaki, Robert Esche, Martin Biron, Michael Leighton, Ray Emery, Brian Boucher, Sergei Bobrovsky and Ilya Bryzgalov. All of which have shown that they are not capable starting goalies. With the exception of Bryzgalov, they are either all back-up goalies or they aren't even in the NHL anymore.
In his defense, Bryzgalov has shown that he is capable of being a good starting goaltender, but he has also shown that it doesn't take much to shake his confidence and he has looked really shaky during most of the season and playoffs. If the Flyers don't have enough confidence in Bobrovsky, they need to go find another goalie that they feel comfortable with riding through the season if Bryzgalov continues to play as bas as he is.
The Flyers have shown that they have quite a bit of offensive firepower, and some games that may overshadow a struggling goaltender. This was evident in the Flyers first round playoff match-up with the Pittsburgh Penguins. But you can't expect that on a nightly basis. And when your players see that their goalie seems to struggle with even some of the easy shots, they tend to adjust the way the play the game. It's hard to play game after game with sub-par goaltending. From losing the Stanley Cup to a shot from the icing line that beat Leighton a few years ago to struggling goalie after struggling goalie since, you have to assume that some players will begin to get rather frustrated. At some point you owe it to your players to get a better goalie that isn't bringing down the rest of the roster before they miss their chance at winning the cup.
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