After a six-game road trip that twice took the Flyers to Canada, and coming off an emotional 6-5 win in Pittsburgh the night before, the Orange and Black returned home last night to play the Florida Panthers.
That’s not the lede for this post… that’s the definition for Letdown Game. So, we can sit here and talk about how the Flyers are really inconsistent… or we can just chalk it up to their plane still being on the runway in Pittsburgh when the puck dropped last night. Yeah, let’s do that. And then let’s talk about the goofy goalie.
On Wednesday, in an apparent fit of rage, Ilya Bryzgalov launched his stick at the glass during practice.
He did it again when he gave up a penalty shot goal on Thursday.
And again when he was pulled from the game after giving up a fourth goal.
As you may know, I’m not very good at math. But by my unofficial count, Bryz has now thrown his stick three times, given up nine goals, and allowed 11 pucks to cross the goal line (if you count two disallowed goals against the Penguins) in just over 36 hours. It would appear that we've turned back toward negative town. Or, you know, high school.
Let’s explore Bryz’s two stick throws last night.
You’ll notice that Bryz nearly killed the referee, which probably would have been bad. And then that throw. Who throws like that, except for maybe Katniss if she were trying to maim a small Indian child in The Hunger Games?
The second throw was a bit more conventional, sort of a Tom Hanks-spears-a-fish-in-Castaway spear technique… one that almost killed the Flyers’ smokeshow trainer and a Ben Franklin-looking security guard:
Note the equipment guy retreating behind the wall just before Bryz kicked what looked like a floor seat from the Spectrum (for real, can the Comcast Spectacor folks move past that awful 1970s red motif on everything, or is it mandated by Ed Snider?).
Not sure what’s up with Bryz, who apparently irked reporters by initially refusing to speak with the media last night. He eventually came out, and explained his stick throwing (at least on the penalty shot) thusly:
"I was mad because I just missed him on a poke check. I knew he was through it, between the legs, I couldn’t regroup quick enough and it was three-nothing and two-nothing it’s a big difference. I almost had it then it was in the net and I am so upset."
Yeah, this is all going to stop when he hurts someone, that someone being Claude Giroux.