Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bryzgalov problem is "like, so humongous big."

In honor of the Flyers losing yet another shootout, this time to the lowly Islanders, let's beat our own dead horse!

Maybe it seems unfair to rip Bryzgalov after he shut the Islanders out for three periods on Tuesday, but he only faced 17 shots, and also allowed both Islanders skaters to score (easily) in the shootout. Plus, we still have some griping to do after the egg he laid in Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

By now you're aware of what a colossally expensive disappointment Bryzgalov has been. His 2.87 GAA ranks...hang on, I'm still scrolling...oh, there it is! 34th in the league. His save percentage, .900, is tied for 40th, behind such luminaries as Devan Dubnyk and Jonas Hiller. So, yeah, not great.

Surprisingly, despite his seeming propensity to come up small in big games, his numbers against playoff-caliber competition aren't any worse. Not that they could get worse.

Bryzgalov has been the goalie of record in 19 games against opponents who, if the season ended today, would make the playoffs. Though the Flyers have posted just 10 wins in those games, Bryzgalov has recorded a 2.89 GAA and a .901 SV%. Those are almost exactly in line with his overall season numbers. (Full statistical table below).

What to make of this? The good news is that Bryzgalov isn't doing any worse against good opponents. The bad news is that those numbers are still barely backup-caliber. In all likelihood, we probably just notice less when Bryzgalov sucks against lowly competition.

Or it could be this: In five games against the Bruins and Rangers, Bryzgalov has gone 1-3-1 while allowing 19 goals on 118 shots, for a dismal 3.80 GAA and .839 SV%.

Those are the biggest games of all, so, yeah, that might have something to do with it.

             Date   Opponent Result Shots against           Saves   Goals Against
6-Oct   Boston     W 23 22 1
8-Oct   New Jersey     W 20 20 0
12-Oct   Vancouver     W 40 36 4
15-Oct  Los Angeles     L 26 23 3
20-Oct   Washington     L 28 23 5
22-Oct   St. Louis     L 25 21 4
8-Dec   Pittsburgh     W 27 25 2
13-Dec   Washington     W 32 31 1
17-Dec   Boston     L 20 15 5
23-Dec  NY Rangers     L 24 20 4
5-Jan   Chicago     W 34 30 4
7-Jan   Ottawa     W 37 35 2
8-Jan   Ottawa     L 37 32 5
14-Jan   Nashville     L 24 21 3
17-Jan   Minnesota     W 26 25 1
21-Jan   New Jersey     W 31 30 1
22-Jan   Boston     L 37 32 5
4-Feb   Nashville     W 27 26 1
5-Feb  NY Rangers     L 37 33 4
555 500 55
SV%: 0.901 GAA: 2.89

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