Bryz_benchIn Soviet Russia, goaltender sleeps through outdoor game! via The School Philly

When Ilya Bryzgalov informed the media that Sergei Bobrovsky would be starting the grandest showcase of Flyers hockey perhaps ever, I imagined Ed Snider slunked on the floor screaming incoherencies at the top of his lungs in a scene reminiscent of Julia Louis-Dreyfrus carrying on about “My diamonds!” in Christmas Vacation.

My goalie! My Russian goalllliiie… 

Apparently, though, Snider took the news quite well… or was heavily medicated when he spoke to Philly Sports Daily’s Ryan Bright about the goaltender situation we now have on our hands*:

“We have two goalies and one was playing better than the other coming into the game, he won the start,” said Snider. “It’s not a big issue, we’re a team with two good goalies that will work out whatever issues they have and we’ll be in good shape.

“There’s no issue, we have no issue. We have two good goalies, we’ll be fine. We’re fighting for first place, something must be working well. It can’t be that bad.”


*If you don’t think there’s a goaltender situation or controversy, then you need to look no further than the fact that we (and the Chairman) are talking about it.

Here’s the thing, humans: the Flyers didn’t sign Bryzgalov to a nine-year, $51 million contract so Peter Laviolette could continue to play his cherished game of Start The Hot Goalie, which is the sports equivalent of that well-educated friend of yours who has started three unprofitable companies, had six jobs, and briefly entertained thoughts of a career as a male stripper. Everything is all roses for a few days, but then reality always sets in and it becomes obvious that Bobrovsky (or the career as a male stripper) isn’t a suitable long-term option. Unless you have a big dick. 

Unless. You. Have. A. Big. Dick.

The point in spending so much for a “number one” goalie is that you have a big-game go-to. Do you think the Phillies would swap Roy Halladay for Kyle Kendrick because Doc was struggling and KK mowed ‘em down in his previous three appearances as a long-man? Absolutely not. Even if Halladay was 0-3 with a 5.65 ERA in the month, he would get the start over Kendrick, every time.

That’s a bit of an extreme example, and hockey lineups have much less stringent practices than those in baseball, but it’s the same principle. Bryzgalov is here to stabilize a roster spot that has been unstable for 30 years. Starting Bob two consecutive games, which were important both in terms of the standings and because one was the largest spectacle the sport has ever seen, coupled with the fact that yes, we’re talking about it, means that there is very much a goaltender situation or controversy or issue or problem or crazy motherfucking Russian goaltender is tweeting pictures of his fucking Thermos the night before the Winter Classic. Whatever you want to call it.

The argument that Bob is playing better doesn’t work. Bryz is here to put an end to the _________ is the better goaltender right now argument, not take it to another level.

And oh by the way, Bob performing his best Michael Leighton on Mike Rupp’s (Mike Rupp's!) second goal is the reason the Flyers lost in front of 46,000 fans yesterday.

I’m not so sure I believe Mr. Snider.

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