Good morning, humans. Another Monday, and another week of being better than the alternative.
I imagine that’s not how Stuart Smalley intended his self-help speech to be remixed, but we’re here for all your sports (and personal?) needs.
Big weekend– The Sixers played their first two home games of 2012. They won both, and, more importantly, the ownership group tried really hard. And the Flyers split a home-and-home with the Senators… thanks in part to Ilya Bryzgalov continuing to be simply average.
Judging by Twitter reactions yesterday, you’re split pretty much 50/50 down the middle– half of you blame the defense for many of Bryzgalov’s struggles, and half of you blame Bryz.
I blame Bryz.
Yesterday, there was probably only one goal that made you groan, but a $51 million goalie needs to be better than Brian Boucher. Bryzgalov was brought here to put an end to sayings like “those goals weren’t his fault” and “_____ is the better goalie right now.” Ask New York and Boston fans if they ever have to say those things about Henrik Lundqvist and Tim Thomas– the answer is no.
Maybe our expectations of what an elite goalie should be are out of whack. I don’t know. Personally, I’ve never watched an elite goalie on a nightly basis (still haven't, it seems). Perhaps their struggles are only slightly less infrequent than those of the Bouchers and Michael Leightons of the world. I doubt it, though.
Goalies like Lundqvist and Thomas win games for their teams, not just prevent them from losing. Every team – ever – in the National Hockey League has defensive breakdowns. The best goaltenders – which is a group Bryz was supposed to be a part of – bails their team out more often than not. If the Flyers wanted a goalie to just stop the shots that he was supposed to stop, I would think they could have found someone for less than $51 million, or at least a goaltender who put up better numbers than this: [Bryz] 3.07 GAA (57th in the league), 89.1 SV% (66th in the league… one ahead of Boucher), and 1 SO (there are 19 goalies with at least 2, 8 with at least 3, and 4 with 4 or more).
To put that filth in perspective, over the last two years Bryzgalov had a save percentage over 92% and a goals against average under 2.50– both with a not-that-good Coyotes team, which I'm assuming had many defensive breakdowns, too.
I’m done. Let’s hit it.
But first, a word from our sponsors:
– Quizzo, Thursday night, 8 p.m., at Drinker’s Tavern in Old City. Details soon as to the topic, but you can be assured that there will be cheap beers… and a $25 gift certificate to the winners.
– Want FREE Flyers playoff tickets? Sure ya do. Our friends at SportFitDeal.com are giving away a pair. All you have to do to enter is click this link and enter your email address for their daily sports and fitness deals. Simple.
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– On Monday, January 23, Joe Montana will be signing autographs at the BC Sports from 6:30-8. Details and tickets here.
– Philly Phaithful is back at it again with their Knock Knock, Another Win t-shirt, which pays tribute to the Flyers’ victory song. Get one here, use code cb10 and save 10%.
– Sixers color analyst Malik Rose channeled his inner “Negrodamus” this weekend. That’s always fun.
– A Claude Giroux video compilation, Ain’t Nuthin’ But a Giroux Thang.
– Someone posted a sign searching for Philadelphia’s lost Dream Team.
– The Philadelphia Honor women's hockey team (which includes CSN Flyers beat reporter Sarah Baicker) is raising money to support the troops by selling calendars featuring the girls. Yes and please.
– Want to work at Xfinity Live!? They're hiring, and there will be a job fair on Sunday, January 15 from 10-2.
– If you haven’t heard, Ryan Howard is six weeks from returning to baseball activities.
The Phillies may be interested in Kerry Wood.
Bill Lyon, legend, wants you to hop on the Sixers’ bandwagon.
– Like 50 people have sent me this story about a pregnant woman getting beaten at a Penguins game. My BS Meter (on the story, not the fine folks at The Pens Blog) is going off. But you can read it anyway.
– Gonzo chronicled the Sixers’ home opener, which was at times awkward– and it’s possible the team gave away tons of free tickets.
– And, um, Tim Tebow.