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Bryzgalov vs. Smith


Guest brelic
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So, Bryzgalov is a better goalie than Mike Smith, right?

Well, maybe not.

Before last night, Smith had a 2.02 GAA. Here are his numbers so far:

Smith, 21GP, 12-6-3, 2.24 GAA, .932 save % (5th in NHL).

To put this in perspective, his career GAA is 2.66, and save % is .909. He's an average NHL goaltender.

Here are his stats last year, in Tampa Bay:

Smith, 22GP, 13-6-1, 2.90 GAA, .899 save %.

Basically, he was a backup, and has a career-high of 42 GP in a season. He's a 29 year old, 5th round draft pick.

And then there's Bryz.

Bryz, 18GP, 10-5-2, 2.83 GAA, .900 save % (31st in NHL).

His career average is 2.55 GAA, .915 save %.

His stats last year, in Phoenix:

Bryz, 68GP, 36-20-10, 2.48 GAA, .921 save %.

Point being that whoever you put in net in Philly is going to see their numbers drop and whoever is in goal in Phoenix is going to see their numbers get better. Which also means it would have been cheaper to hire the right coach with an average goaltender than the wrong coach with a prized and pricey UFA goalie acquisition.

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Without having a clue what Smiths contract is, length or amount, I'd take him over Bryzgalov just for that reason alone.

The strange thing is that Leighton overachieved. In 27 GP two seasons ago, he was 16-5-2, 2.48 GAA and .918 save %, almost identical GAA and save % that Bryz had last year. Which, of course, doesn't support my "right coach, average goaltender" theory in Philly because it was the same coach, lol.

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@brelic

While I get what you are saying, if you throw out the two clunkers ("lost in the woods") that Bryz had on back-to-back nights against Montreal and Ottawa where he allowed 9 goals on 38 shots, his numbers are drastically improved:

The look like this:

Bryz, 16GP, 10-3-2, 2.43 GAA (15th in NHL*), .917 save % (14th in NHL*).

*= at least 16 games started.

When looking at that compared to his last year at Phoenix its very similar. I guess the thing for me is that those numbers are only marginally better than Bobs last year (2.59gaa and .915 sv pctg). The thing is that I think that everyone was thinking that if Bryz could put those kind of numbers up in Phoenix with and inferior team, what could he do with and elite team like Philadelphia. So far, nothing different. So, if we just would have stayed the course with Bobs and assuming that he would progress in his sophomore season, would we be in the same position?

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Bryz, 16GP, 10-3-2, 2.43 GAA (15th in NHL*), .917 save % (14th in NHL*).

*= at least 16 games started.

I suspect you will agree but will make the point anyway: even these "adjusted" numbers are a bitter disappointment given his contract. In fact, it is almost impossible for him to perform up to the money/term he got this past summer.

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With the emergence of Mike Smith in Phoenix this season, it's looking more and more like it was Dave Tippet and his system that yielded Bryz's stats last year. Smith was less than stellar last year, even mediocre and now vollah....he is solid as hell. A solid defensive system can make a goalie look really good. Just ask Mr.Halak and Mr.Elliot....once Hitch showed up, their stats went crazy after stinking it up in Oct and early Nov.

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In fact, it is almost impossible for him to perform up to the money/term he got this past summer.

Yes and no.

There are 10 goalies in the NHL that make 5M plus cap hit.

Of those 10, if you look at the GAA leaders, only 3 of them are in the top 10.

Similarly, if you look at SvPctg leaders, only 2 of them are in the top 10.

So, while I am not happy with the contract (I think the amount is too high, but as a UFA, bryz was in the driver seat), there are many goalies that are paid very well, but not performing to the level / value of their contract.

I posted in another thread that my expectation for a number goalie is: 1) to not crap the bed (which Bryz has done at least 3 times); 2) Steal 3-4 games during the regular season; and 3) raise level of play come playoff time and be a difference maker.

Too early to see about 2 and 3 (obviously).

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@vanflnyer

Any assessment made prior to the end of this season could be called too early. However, I think we've seen enough to form an opinion. Thus far, this signing looks bad and I'm not at all comforted by the notion that a number of other teams have also gotten it wrong. Mediocre goaltending at these prices represents a spectacular failure.

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@vanflnyer

Any assessment made prior to the end of this season could be called too early. However, I think we've seen enough to form an opinion. Thus far, this signing looks bad and I'm not at all comforted by the notion that a number of other teams have also gotten it wrong. Mediocre goaltending at these prices represents a spectacular failure.

Strangely, that would imply the Flyers had the right idea, but bad luck, for the past fifteen-ish years.

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@doom88

I am not sure about bad luck. If you look at the league leaders of svpctg and gaa the league leaders (top 10 with 16games played) are all home grown goalies- with exception to Khabibulin. So the only thing to really take from that is that the Flyers are inadequate in drafting solid goalies and / or developing them. Look at every stanley cup winner in the past 10 years. Every goalie that won was home grown / drafted.

On the other hand, you can take a team like Detroit. I have never regarded Chris Osgood as an elite goalie. I always thought he was a by-product of the defense and team in front of him and adequate enough to give the team a chance to win every night.

That is why I am in the Bobs camp of developing him.

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I was watching the pens play the other night, i guess against the rangers, and MAF has about 10 minutes in the 2nd where he was atrocious, and subsequently opened a tight game up in the rags favor. however, he was solid in the 3rd fought back made a couple of big saves that kept his team in the game , he kept plugging away and fighting to make saves...

i have not seen this from bryzgalov yet. is it because a) he doesn't do it or B) lavy has a hair trigger hook with his keepers or c) that's why MAF was #1 overall ?

if we had MAF on Bryzgalov's deal i'd be good with it.

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I was actually in favor of the Flyers signing Vokoun in the offseason. That way they had a reliable starter if Bob had a sophomore slump and Vokoun would be gone in a year or two to let Bob take over as starter. I think in the long run Bryz will be fine. The Flyers just overpaid big time because many wrongly blamed goaltending for last season's end of year meltdown.

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The Flyers just overpaid big time because many wrongly blamed goaltending for last season's end of year meltdown.

i agree and disagree, the unholy trinity we had in net last year had a penchant for letting in the soul crushing goals almost on cue. big moment in the game why i think i'll lose concentration and let the 50' snapper from the blue line in on the AHL side...

the goaltending was a problem , but you are correct in that it wasn't the only problem. the coach needed to shoulder some blame, as did a couple of guys playing in the western conference this year.

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i agree and disagree, the unholy trinity we had in net last year had a penchant for letting in the soul crushing goals almost on cue. big moment in the game why i think i'll lose concentration and let the 50' snapper from the blue line in on the AHL side...

the goaltending was a problem , but you are correct in that it wasn't the only problem. the coach needed to shoulder some blame, as did a couple of guys playing in the western conference this year.

As did the gm who still han't solved the goaltending problem, still hasn't figured how to manage a salary cap, still hasn't learned to stop giving out NTCs to every single player he signs and still hasn't figured out career long contracts leave little motivation for any player.

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and still hasn't figured out career long contracts leave little motivation for any player.

Except for that whole "winning" thing which does, you know, actually does mean something to some players.

Not everybody. But some players...

still hasn't figured out which players to give career long contracts...

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I was actually in favor of the Flyers signing Vokoun in the offseason. That way they had a reliable starter if Bob had a sophomore slump and Vokoun would be gone in a year or two to let Bob take over as starter. I think in the long run Bryz will be fine. The Flyers just overpaid big time because many wrongly blamed goaltending for last season's end of year meltdown.

The flyers certainly overpaid. And the goaltending wasn't the only problem last year. But they were never going to a win a cup with those goalies. Never.

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The flyers certainly overpaid. And the goaltending wasn't the only problem last year. But they were never going to a win a cup with those goalies. Never.

I disagree that they wouldnt be able to win a cup with Bob. Last year he wasn't ready but he certainly showed enough promise for the future.

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Except for that whole "winning" thing which does, you know, actually does mean something to some players.

Not everybody. But some players...

still hasn't figured out which players to give career long contracts...

I'm sure there's someone who has one (Zetterberg?)) who's kept up their end of the bargain. But from a Flyers standpoint(Pronger, Richards, Carter, Bryzgalov, even Brieres regular seasons ), I'm just not seeing it. I doubt Isles fans (Yashin, DiPietro) would argue with me. I doubt that Caps fans (Ovechkin, Backstrom) would. I doubt Canuck fans (Luongo) would. Lightning fans? (LeCavalier) Doubt it. Hossa in Chicago? He's gone from a 100 point player to 50 his last 2 seasons. They lucked out getting rid of Campbell. And do you think the Rangers are glad they got out of Gomez AND Drurys boatanchor contracts?

You'd think guys who'd worked so hard to get where they are wouldn't change just because they finally hit their big payday, But apparently for the most part they do.

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I'm sure there's someone who has one (Zetterberg?)) who's kept up their end of the bargain. But from a Flyers standpoint(Pronger, Richards, Carter, Bryzgalov, even Brieres regular seasons ), I'm just not seeing it. I doubt Isles fans (Yashin, DiPietro) would argue with me. I doubt that Caps fans (Ovechkin, Backstrom) would. I doubt Canuck fans (Luongo) would. Lightning fans? (LeCavalier) Doubt it. Hossa in Chicago? He's gone from a 100 point player to 50 his last 2 seasons. They lucked out getting rid of Campbell. And do you think the Rangers are glad they got out of Gomez AND Drurys boatanchor contracts?

You'd think guys who'd worked so hard to get where they are wouldn't change just because they finally hit their big payday, But apparently for the most part they do.

Bryzgalov has played a whopping 18 games of his nine year deal. I'm not forcefully disagreeing, but am suggesting you just MIGHT be jumping the gun a bit.

Richards and Crater seem to be working out pretty well for the Flyers :-)

Pronger's deal was designed to circumvent, until they got caught doing it...

Briere has been the best - and cheapest - of the three "#1 Cs, one of which we absolutely must sign (and convert to W) or the universe will end tomorrow." Aside from his career year in Buffalo, his stats - and play - are the best of his career. Yes, he had an injury-wracked season.

That said, I think long-term contracts aren't a very good idea for most players. I do think that the "hunger" is necessary to keep the edge and that security can breed complacency. I would have hoped that the Yashin/DiPietro debacles would have dissuaded GMs from following the lead of the esteemed Mike Millbury, but I'm wrong, of course.

What's the limit? Is Crosby's 5Y/$43.5M a good deal? Is five years the longest?

And, again, it's about choosing the PLAYERS. Would you have given Nick Lidstrom a 10 year deal 10 years ago? Joe Sakic? Mark Messier? There's no question that ALL players aren't worthy of such and I would argue that the occurrance is RARE (just LOOK at those three names!). I would also argue that giving a career contract to a guy in his early 20s might not be the best thing.

You need a guy who brings his own fire. Who wants to succeed whether it's in pond hockey or the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They DO exist.

We'll see how Bryzgalov does, but I'm honestly not looking forward to a 38, 39 and 40 year old $5.6M goalie...

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I have no problem giving a 24 year old great player a 5 year deal. Giving a 35 year old a 7 year deal, or a 31 year old a 9 year deal is insane. Bryzgalovs contract may look bad now. it might look good a month from now. I doubt it looks good 8 years from now. it's like when we signed Pronger and 95% of the old board were all gaga over getting him...how're they liking that deal now? That's the problem with those deals...they aren't for 2 or 3 years when the player is still good, they're for a lot longer when they aren't.

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