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8-2-2 or 13-9-3 - you decide


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Bob vs Universe.

Obviously the W/L record doesn't tell the whole story but jeez look at the difference.

Is there any way to justify Bryzgalov starting in the WC? The object of the game is still To Win, right?

and I think a large measure of Payback is due after the 4-2 loss at the Garden - which, to be fair, wasn't on Bryz. But it sure looks like the Flyers have more jump in front of Bob these days...

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Well, if there's a coach in this league with the balls to put Bob in net over Bryz at the WC, it would be Lavi. Just look at these quotes about Bob, especially the bolded part.

Bobrovsky has allowed just 30 goals this season. Including last night, eight of those goals have come in the first period; five of them were in the first 7 minutes of a game.

Bobrovsky, 23, gave Ilya Bryzgalov the night off at Consol Energy Center after "Bryz" turned in one of his worst performances of the season Tuesday night in Tampa Bay. Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said he would best describe "Bob" as "really sharp."

"Bob works really hard," Laviolette said. "In practice, he's looked really good. I know he likes playing games and wants to play games, but he's got a tremendous work ethic off the ice. On the ice, he keeps himself extremely well prepared. He's been excellent in the starts that he's had recently."

The Flyers are 8-2-2 in games in which Bobrovsky starts this season. They are 13-9-3 when Bryzgalov is in between the pipes for puck drop. And entering last night's game, Bob had a stellar 1.47 goals-against average and .950 save percentage over his previous six appearances.

"He was great," Laviolette said of Bobrovsky's performance last night. "He got that tough one , but I think that shows his mental toughness to come back and make some big saves for us after [the early goal]. He's been really good for us."

Now, after Bobrovsky has bounced back to allow just one goal outside of the first minute in his last two starts, which goaltender will start in the iconic Winter Classic on Monday?

Does Laviolette go with his $51 million man in the most visible NHL game of the season? Or does he go with his best statistical chance to win for a game that counts in the already tight standings?

Yesterday, when asked before the game what was more important, a win or "not hurting anyone's feelings," Laviolette's answer was direct and simple.

"The only thing that really matters is to get the two points," Laviolette said.

With that said, he would not comment on his Winter Classic starter, which is his custom to not announce any lineup decisions ahead of time.

Laviolette was asked once more following last night's game.

"Let's stick to tonight," the coach said after the Flyers 4-2 win. "I'm not even out of the building yet."

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I wouldn't base the decision on W/L, but I'd go with Bob. I don't know if Bryzgalov is distracted by the cameras and shiny things with HBO hanging around, or if he's really horrible (I don't believe so, but he's playing sub par hockey right now), but Bob's last couple of starts tell me he plays. It may be a slap in the face to the upper ups in the organization, but they'll forget it pretty quick if the team wins in front of Bob.

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I wouldn't base the decision on W/L, but I'd go with Bob. I don't know if Bryzgalov is distracted by the cameras and shiny things with HBO hanging around, or if he's really horrible (I don't believe so, but he's playing sub par hockey right now), but Bob's last couple of starts tell me he plays. It may be a slap in the face to the upper ups in the organization, but they'll forget it pretty quick if the team wins in front of Bob.

If that's the case, can't wait to see his playoff performance.

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I wouldn't base the decision on W/L, but I'd go with Bob. I don't know if Bryzgalov is distracted by the cameras and shiny things with HBO hanging around, or if he's really horrible (I don't believe so, but he's playing sub par hockey right now), but Bob's last couple of starts tell me he plays. It may be a slap in the face to the upper ups in the organization, but they'll forget it pretty quick if the team wins in front of Bob.

And if Bob starts and loses? Ouch.

I start bob also.

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Howdy:

Stats say Bob. And it may be that we see Bob. The bigger question is what's up with Bryz? Is this a partial season problem? Is this the whole season? I recall Chicago signing Khabibulan after the Cup in TB. He sucked. We all hope this isn't some permanent career shift. I am sure Homer is as worried about it as we are. And he has the Pronger mess to think about too.

Best,

Howie

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Bob has definitely been more consistent. The call, however, might not be Lavy's. Ed Snider (I am sure) wants to see his $51M goal tender out there and that will likely supersede anything Homer or Lavy wants.

I get what you're saying. But I'd also like to think starting his $51 million dollar headcase and losing yet again would be a tad more embarrassing than leaning toward sheer logic and starting the guy who's outplaying him presently.

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Howdy:

Stats say Bob. And it may be that we see Bob. The bigger question is what's up with Bryz? Is this a partial season problem? Is this the whole season? I recall Chicago signing Khabibulan after the Cup in TB. He sucked. We all hope this isn't some permanent career shift. I am sure Homer is as worried about it as we are. And he has the Pronger mess to think about too.

Best,

Howie

Hey Howie- at least Khabibulin snapped out of it after 7 years. We have that to look forward to.

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And if Bob starts and loses? Ouch.

I start bob also.

Yeah that is a problem. I would sacrifice Bryz. If he fails, Lavy gets the justification he needs to make Bob the #1 until further notice. If Bryz wins, maybe he will get his sh!t together.

While special, it is one game of the season. Lavy needs to keep the big picture in mind, preparing a goalie for a playoff push.

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@doom88

I agree! The WC is just another game but it also provides a stage to evaluate Bryz and plan your goalie situation for the rest of the season.

If I want to win the WC I start Bob. If I want to see who my #1 is for the rest of the season I start Bryz. If Bryz comes up short in the WC then you have all the data you need to push Bob as the #1.

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@doom88

I agree! The WC is just another game but it also provides a stage to evaluate Bryz and plan your goalie situation for the rest of the season.

If I want to win the WC I start Bob. If I want to see who my #1 is for the rest of the season I start Bryz. If Bryz comes up short in the WC then you have all the data you need to push Bob as the #1.

We have the data we need now. Bryz has terrible numbers, Bob has above average numbers. We're deluding ourselves if we think that giving Bryz the WC, and him doing well is somehow going to magically transform him into a goaltender that can stop pucks. For whatever reason, he has been totally exposed in Philly for the fraud he is.

Seriously, nothing about his game looks solid. His puck handling stinks, his lateral movement is Leighton-slow, and he just looks like he doesn't give a sh!t in a lot of situations.

He's like the Jeff Carter of goaltenders. Probably has a lot of raw talent, but just doesn't care very much.

Whew, there... now I feel better :)

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@doom88

that's a pretty good point. it'd be nice to put on a good show for the classic, but as you say, if bryzgalov blows it on the national stage, snider's presumed "play my big investment" thing would be dented pretty good. might even get him on board for a possible buyout. maybe.

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Hey Howie- at least Khabibulin snapped out of it after 7 years. We have that to look forward to.

Yes...after a bout with alcohol abuse and family problems. Redemption...in the Edmonton market with a salary that's probably near the minimum.

Peace and Happy New Year.

Howie

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@doom88

that's a pretty good point. it'd be nice to put on a good show for the classic, but as you say, if bryzgalov blows it on the national stage, snider's presumed "play my big investment" thing would be dented pretty good. might even get him on board for a possible buyout. maybe.

Exactly, big picture. I see the WC as an opportunity to get rid of Bryz for good.

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I'm not sure I see the point of using the WC as a "tryout" for Bryz - "national stage" and "pressure" and all that. Hasn't he already been doing that the past 3 months, trying to perform up to his potential under the pressure of the job?

And while I know it's only 1 game, the whole season is made up of "only 1 game." The points you leave on the table in December can come back to haunt you - as we all know, getting into the POs can hang on a Stupid Shootout.

How can Lavy possibly start Bryzgalov and pretend he's giving his team the best chance to win? He can't. Can he?

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Bryz has had his tryouts, and failed. The starters job was handed to him, and he handed it back. There shouldn't even be a discussion about this, it's so painfully obvious which goalie is earning his paycheck and which one is so grossly overpaid it's sickening.

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exactly - "there shouldn't even be a discussion about this"

Sure it's a somewhat unique situation with the WC. But that only means the decision is even easier - start the guy who wins games for you not guy who's struggling.

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