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Boruk: Why Bryzgalov should start Classic


Guest Digityman
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If all things were created equally in the Russian province of Flyers goaltending, then Peter Laviolette would have the luxury of riding the better goalie into the Winter Classic.

As of now, that would be Sergei Bobrovsky, who has been very solid in his two most recent starts, in Dallas and in Pittsburgh, both victories. Go back two years ago and Laviolette elected to play Michael Leighton over Rhode Island native Brian Boucher in the 2010 Winter Classic at Fenway Park. The decision left Boucher, a die-hard Red Sox fan, chapped by his coach's decision.

But in the case of Leighton and Boucher, you're talking about a pair of back-ups both vying for playing time. The Flyers didn't have a No. 1 once Ray Emery was lost for the season. This time, it's different. The Flyers made a nine-year commitment to Bryzgalov and whether you like it or not, he's the No. 1 now and will be once the playoffs begin

If Laviolette made the bold move of starting Bob on Monday, I'd be concerned over the way Bryzgalov would handle the decision psychologically. Clearly, he's a little different. Clearly, his thoughts don't appear to be locked into hockey when they should be, after listening to his interviews over the past few weeks, and his play on the ice seems to reflect that. When talking to cameras during the most recent 24/7 on HBO, I was slightly concerned about his mindset after feeling "homesick" for the holidays.

I'm sure he has circled the Winter Classic on his calendar from the day he signed that $51 million contract. He's even had a special mask designed for the event. Even though he's a professional who has experienced ups and downs, I still question his psyche, and if he was held out of the Classic, I truly wonder if Bryzgalov would carry a grudge that would have consequences down the road.

When you break it down, this is just one of 82 on the schedule, not Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. I'd give Bob the next couple starts after Jan. 2. He's earned it, but for now, playing Bryzgalov against the Rangers in the NHL's signature event may not be the best move, but it's the safest one. Perhaps, he'll turn in a "humongous big" effort. With him, who knows?

He needs to have success against Henrik Lundqvist and the Blueshirts, because it's quite possible these two teams will meet when it really matters in May.

CSNPhilly
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Should the Flyers really have to worry about the confidence of a grown man being out played by the backup?

As one of the comments said - what worse, his getting booed by 40,000 people or being on the bench for the game?

Sit the guy down and tell him that the choice to go with Bob is because he is the better goalie right now.

He is the best option for the TEAM to get two points.

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It's a short term vs long term thing. Keep Bryz happy and give apparently EVERY opportunity (long term, 9 years or whatever), or start Bob, the better goalie, to get the two points this game.

I hate giving an old goalie on the downswing of his career these chances because he is a flake. Bryz is no where the same situation as Carey Price was. There is no real benefit to boosting up Bryz IMO.

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Should the Flyers really have to worry about the confidence of a grown man being out played by the backup?

As one of the comments said - what worse, his getting booed by 40,000 people or being on the bench for the game?

Sit the guy down and tell him that the choice to go with Bob is because he is the better goalie right now.

He is the best option for the TEAM to get two points.

Exactly.....Bryz still needs to find himself but there is no need for him to be looking with God and everybody watching on the 2nd.

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Should the Flyers really have to worry about the confidence of a grown man being out played by the backup?

As one of the comments said - what worse, his getting booed by 40,000 people or being on the bench for the game?

Sit the guy down and tell him that the choice to go with Bob is because he is the better goalie right now.

He is the best option for the TEAM to get two points.

I agree, Bryz needs to get his mindset back into being the best goaltender he can be for the Flyers and if that means spending extra time with Reese for awhile, then so be it. Give the Flyers the best chance for a win ............Play Bob.

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Bryz should be given the start as a test. The game is worth 2 points and needs to be treated like a regular game. If Bryz flunks this test then he rides the pine for a substantial amount of time. If a back to back pops up then he gets another shot.

As I have stated probably too ofter, You can pay him to lose or you can pay him not to play.

Edited by Phlyer1
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feeling "homesick" for the holidays.]

Keyword right there, tell him to stay home. I wonder if he would return some of the money that he's not earning now. If he's not then Fukkin bench his ass, who cares what he thinks or feels. The team and fans derserve better.

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Bryz should be given the start as a test. The game is worth 2 points and needs to be treated like a regular game. If Bryz flunks this test then he rides the pine for a substantial amount of time. If a back to back pops up then he gets another shot.

As I have stated probably too ofter, You can pay him to lose or you can pay him not to play.

The last thirty something games have been the TEST! Bryz FAILED! BOB has earned the start. Besides, if they start Bryz, what does that say to the Flyers' players, Your playing time will be determined by what you produce, unless you are the 51 million dollar man. Bryz has lost the confidence of the players. If the Management keeps playing him, the Flyers will not make the playoffs!

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@Phlyer1

I posted this on another thread.

As for Bob or Bryz to start Monday or the rest of the year. Bob has to start, if they start Bryz then it just shows him that they approve his play so far. He needs to be bench just like anyother player on this team that is struggling. Snider doesn't care for the money as much as he wants to win, I don't think he would like to see the team lose game after game with Bryz, especially after what was said at the WC announcement if you guys remember. He would love to blow the Rags out of the Park.

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I don't really buy homesick, unless that means hockey is not in his heart anymore. He plays in the East now, with considerably less travel. He is home more often than ever.

Personally, the homesick comment doesn't bother me all that much. First, he's probably referring to Russia, where I imagine most of his family other than his wife and kids live. Having spent several holiday seasons overseas, away from my home and family for long stretches, I'd be more worried if he wasn't a bit homesick. Second, from listening to him speak over the past few months, it's entirely possible that "homesick," while close to what he meant, isn't the exact word he was looking for.

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Digityman:

The first leaky goal that goes in, the Flyer fans are going to be merciless on Bryz.

He will want to be home with his lovely wife and children baking Russian Christmas cookies and enjoying the holday.

Let's see if that does more to his psyche when it happens on a national stage, with longer-term consequences than not starting him.

Bryz could be the real story of the game.

If you are a Ranger, you got his number and shoot high.

As they said in The Grinch, "Not right".

BOI

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