Ho Hum, Ilya Bryzgalov is your NHL's First Star of the Week..... again. The first player, this season, to win the award in back to back weeks.
Mar 10 @ TOR W 1-0 | GAA - 0.00 | Save% 1.000 | SOG - 29
Mar 13- NJD W 3-0 | GAA - 0.00 | Save% 1.000 | SOG - 17
Mar 15- @ NYI W 3-2 | GAA - 2.00 | Save% .935 | SOG - 31
Mar 17- @ BOS OTL 2-3 | GAA - 1.85 | Save% .939 | SOG -33
Mar 18- PIT W 3-2 | GAA - 1.85 | Save% .950 | SOG - 40
Some more numbers for you; Since March 1, Bryzgalov is 8 - 0 - 1 with a 1.20 goals-against average, .960 save percentage and four shutouts.
Ilya's GAA is below 2.50 for the first time in a long time. He's third in the League in shutouts and 6th in the League in wins.
Ilya is quietly tied for 13th in Flyers history with 30-wins this season. He's 7-wins from catching Ron Hextall for 5th most by a Flyers twinesitter in a season with 37.
Ilya is tied for 5th in Flyers history with 6-shutouts for a season, and 2 SO's from his personal best of 8.
And it hasn't been since Darren Puppa's strange love for German Shepherds that we've heard a puck stopper refer to his canine friend as "hot".
After being named the NHL's First Star of the Week the first time, I had mentioned how Bryzgalov's defenders blocked 55-shots on his net, Goalie Coach Jeff Reese's influence on Ilya's recent hot streak, and the overall defensive effort stepping up.
This past week, it was all Bryz. All the time.
At what point can we all agree on the fact that having the video cameras out of his face has given him the best chance to focus on hockey? That 24/7 show was the worst thing for Ilya. He was great for ratings, and I enjoyed watching him become a quote machine. He was good for a laugh, and came off as a "class clown." But his game started to decline rapidly, and I gotta hunch he was questioning why he signed here in the first place.
"Philly, where good goalies go to die," they say.
Now he's either staying away from the soul-stealing cameras, or he's pitching his clichés to the beat writers. Those vultures hate it, which means I love it. Bryzgalov's stopping the rubber, and as a Flyers fan....I couldn't be happier.
Keep up the great work, Bryz.
During a Stanley Cup Playoffs, Flyers Captain Jason Smith played through two separated shoulders, while leading the team with 56-hits and 45-blocked shots. Fellow blue liner Derian Hatcher played with a broken leg and needed fluid drained every other day from his knee and still played more than 21-minutes per game.
"I get shivers thinking about it" said Paul Holmgren. "It was almost like we had to shoot Smith for him not to play. I've been around hockey a long time and I don't know if I've ever seen anything like that".
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