Keeping up with the Flyers: Ilya Bryzgalov
While the lockout is still going strong, a lot of players have opted to go play in different leagues around the world. Some are lucky enough to have 2-way contracts with NHL teams and their minor league affiliates. Those Flyers that do not have the option to go and play with the Adirondack Phantoms have gone and signed with teams in the KHL, DEL, and SEL, along with some others. Every few days I am going to try and keep the readers posted on what is happening with an individual player on the Flyers during the lockout.
Ilya Brygalov is who I am going to report on first. He is the Flyers starting goaltender and was brought here in the summer of 2011 to change the goaltending trend here in Philadelphia. His first season with the Flyers was a shaky one. He had his ups and downs all season long. He played extremely well at some times, and then at other times was a bit shaky. As of now, he is playing in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) for CSKA Moscow. Other than the NHL, the KHL is the most skilled league in the world. Brygalov had his first start the other day and allowed 4 goals on 30 shots, in a 4-3 loss to Traktor Chelybinsk. I watched some highlights of the game and the goals Bryzalov let in seemed to be similar to shots he had problems with last season in Philadelphia. Bryz tends to sit back deep in the crease and it has been giving players a lot more open net to shoot at. There was one highlight goal of the night scored on Bryzgalov by Andrei Popov that most goalies, even on their greatest of nights, would have let in. Either way, playing in the KHL during the lockout is a great sign for the Flyers. Their goaltender is facing the best possible competition out there and when the NHL does resume, he should be fully ready to start and have no rust to wear off.
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