Sunday, February 19, 2012

On the Jon: February 19, 2012

As promised in the previous post, this column will usually be reserved for Philadelphia-related commentary. So as much as I’d like to criticize Tiger Woods’ final round performance a week ago or Dereck Chisora’s “slap-you-at-the-weigh-in-and-then-get-my-ass-kicked-by-you-in-the-fight” dalliance with Vitali Klitschko, I’ll cchannel my prose towards our beloved city’s current punching bag: the Flyers’ goaltending situation.

As was poetically on display yesterday in another ugly home loss, the Flyers’ crease is about as open as a slut on prom night. Actually, make that two sluts on prom night, ascneither Ilya Bryzgalov nor Sergei Bobrovsky seem capable of saying no to anything right about now.
To make it worse, Bryzgalov, who has approximately 51 million reasons to keep his mouth shut, chided us Philly fans after the game, saying that he’s going to have to find the “peace in [his] soul” to play in front of us.

Hey, Bryz, here’s some peace for you in three easy steps: Put on mask. Stop puck. Rinse and repeat.

With all due respect to the almost-legendary Ron Hextall, our city has been pining for a dominant goaltender ever since Pelle Lindbergh’s fatal car accident more than twenty six years ago. Since then, we’ve endured the likes of, in no particular order, Dominic Roussel, Sean Burke, Brian Boucher (okay, he was good for a year or two), Sean Burke, Robert Esche, Roman Cechmanek, Ray Emery, Jeff Hackett, Sean Burke (again), Brian Boucher (again) and now the twin turnstiles of Bryzgalov and Sergei Bobrovsky.

Each of the above names was either a high priced free agent that failed to deliver on lofty promises, a flash in the pan that quickly fizzled out, or, in Hackett’s case, a former star derailed by vertigo.

In a column with this title, I’ll pull no punches and appropriately compare the Flyers’ litany of goal “tenders” to a nice big pile of turds.

This brings us to the 2011-12 iteration.

When the Flyers signed Bryzgalov to this gigantic contract last offseason, we as fans were divided on its merits. Some believed that Bryz, as the best goalie available, was the missing piece to the Cup puzzle. Others felt that Bobrovsky was young and talented enough to at least earn the chance
to become the number one goalie.

Nobody, however, thought they’d both be this bad.

Currently the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, the Flyers best hope for advancing in the playoffs appears to be finishing sixth and taking on the Panthers, Capitals or whichever other steaming pile of shit wins the Southeast Division.

But who will “lead” them there? Will Bryzgalov finally get his act together? Will Bobrovsky stop sucking just long enough to earn some confidence from head coach Peter Laviolette? Will one of them, more likely Bobrovsky, be involved in a trade (Rick Nash, anyone?) all but forcing the other one into the spotlight on a nightly basis?

Either way, one thing is clear: the Flyers have an abundance of crap in net, and the toilet must be flushed.

Bryzgalov and Bobrovsky have both been put “On the Jon,” but to make this work at least one has to be put off the roster.

Remember, even prom eventually came to an end…


  1. How could you leave off The Beezer?

  2. He was actually pretty good with the Flyers and didn't fit the criteria of the crappy/underwhelming/inconsistent guys on the list. There were a few more I could have included, though, like Garth Snow and Michael Leighton, but it's hard to get em all.