So I was going to write a bunch of preseason shit about the players and who’s hot, and the whole Wayne Simmonds contavery and all that shenanigans but I figured why do what everyone else covered from Tuesday til now?
Sergei Bobrovsky, he came out of no where last preseason. Third on the all time Flyers rookie goaltending in wins. Bobrovsky finished second among all rookie goaltenders in wins (28) and finished his rookie season with a 28-13-8 record, 2.59 GAA & .915 save percentage.He became the youngest goalie in Flyers history to start an opening night game (previous record was Ron Hextall -22 years, 159 days).
He won his first start of his NHL career, a 3-2 win at Pittsburgh, becoming the first Flyers goalie to win his NHL debut in six years, Antero Niittymaki last achieved this feet back in 2004.
For a kid who came from a dismal KHL team to a top teir team competing for the Stanley Cup. you couldn’t ask for more. All this with hardly no english communication skills, on top of this. Not an easy feat.
Sergei, better known as Bobs, was looking to be the Flyers franchise goalie last year. He is lightning side to side, with over all quick reflexes. He had his challenges, often looked as though he was tired, late in the season, rebounds where an issue at times, and the glove hand needed work.
Let’s not forget though, he was a rookie and it was expected to be that way, hell no one going into camp thought he’d be the starting goalie during opening night, let alone win it. But after the late season derail of the entire team and embarassing exit from the playoffs, being swept by the Bruins in 4 games in the Conference Semi Finals, Ed Snider phoned Paul Holmgren and told him to go after their franchise goalie.
Now here’s where my thoughts come in at. After the huge overhall, where we saw the 2 faces of the Flyers get traded away among others(we know who they are, and if you don’t google the damn trade), we recieved that franchise goalie, Ilya Bryzgalov for a boat load of money and years. But why not give Bobs his chance to improve? He was praised as the future, and yet Snider & Homer shoot that theory down with the Bryz signing, 9 year deal, at $51 Million. Now I know why and I accept it. I like Bryz, he’ll fit well in Philly.
I just feel the team was so desperate they jumped on Bryz as soon as they could. Instead of evaluating other options. Obviously a Russian goalie was needed to help Bobs in developing. The presence of Bryz (I assume) has made Bobs look sharp in this preseason. He’s played 2.5 games and only let in 1 goal. He’s out played Bryzgalov and Michael Leighton. Even outshining the other 2, yet he’ll still be that #2.
The Flyers got younger and gained more talent in the trades, but we won’t win the cup this year (well that’s the assumption), so what’s the rush in getting that #1 when the organizational could see how Bobs did this year with a mentor? Bryz is a great mentor to Bobs, he speaks highly of him. He has a great funny personality in general (hence saying he’ll fit well in Philly) and that’s always better than the Robert Esche, Silent Bob, get pissy at the reporters type deal.
The goalie talent pool was at it’s prime this year, and that had to be a contributing factor as well. Make the move now or you will be S.O.L come next offseason. Still I would of held off and brought someone in cheaper and for less years to mentor Bobs and see how he stands, is he truly the #1 goalie or do we need to sign someone? Then again, we’ve done that with Boucher, Cechmanek, Esche, Niitty, Biron. The goalie carousel had to stop, but it coudla very well stopped at Bobrovsky. Time will tell. The bright side is there is no more guessing who’s #1? It’s Bryz, and Bobs will back him up. The Flyers have the best goalie rotation in the NHL.
I trust in Paul Holmgren. I mean hell if Bryz for some reason doesn’t pan out, I’m sure he can be delt somehow. Look at Mike Richards & Jeff Carter. Homer is a magician with these trades, since taking over the reigns several years ago from Bobby Clarke. He’s like the trick’s rabbit, what will he do next?
For the record, I’m not hating on Bryzgalov. he is funny, talented, and will be a great addition to the team as well as greatly beneficiary to Bobs. But seeing Bobs do so well in the preseason, it’s bittersweet. At least the Flyers can give Bryz rest every so often, and still being confident that Bobs is there to step in. Bryz is a work horse, though knowing how Peter Laviolette is, he is going to be careful not to over work Bryz.
I’m excited for the season to start and I bet you are too! So Let’s Go Flyers!