Ilya Bryzgalov, the Flyers goaltender who has been enlightening the minds of all HBO 24/7 viewers with his deep insights about the universe, announced today that he would not be starting Monday in the Winter Classic. Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette and the team had a plan to wait before announcing who would get the start in goal, but Bryz let the cat out of the bag to the media directly after practice this morning. 22 year-old backup goalie Sergei Bobrovsky will be in net, a smart decision by the club if you look at his numbers. Bobrovsky is 8-2-1 this season, which raises questions about why he hasn’t been playing more often. Maybe it’s because the Flyers, given all their past goaltending struggles, feel the need to prove that the $51 million dollars they spent on Bryz was worth it. Unfortunately, he’s yet to play at the level he was previously playing in Phoenix, as showcased by the 16 goals he has given up in his last 4 appearances.
Tomorrow afternoon’s Winter Classic game between the Rangers and Flyers is about more than honoring the outdoor roots of the sport. The teams are separated by only 2 points with the Rangers ahead. If the Flyers can win tomorrow, they will be tied for that # 1 spot in the East. The two teams played each other just a little over a week ago, where the Rangers dominated in a 4-2 victory. Maybe the goaltending change will give Philly a better chance at redemption, but it’s still a little disappointing that we won’t get to hear Bryz mic’d up during the game rambling on about sh*t like this:
The Winter Classic start time has been changed to 3pm EST tomorrow 1/2/12. You can watch Bryzgalov’s post-practice interview here.