Skate Bites: Bryzing Excellence

Screen Shot 2012-03-14 at 9.06.20 AM

Cliff Lee pissed on Bryz.

It’s the only logical explanation I can come up with to explain the excellence spewing from Ilya Bryzgalov during his three-game shutout streak.

Stats: [via the Flyers’ city-leading PR department]

Ilya Bryzgalov tied a Flyers record with his third consecutive shutout tonight, joining John Vanbiesbrouck as the only other goaltender to do so.  Vanbiesbrouck recorded three consecutive shutouts from October 20-24, 1999. 

Vanbiesbrouck was involved in one other span of three consecutive shutouts.  The Flyers shut out their opponent three games in a row from Jan. 7-13, 1999.  Vanbiesbrouck was the sole goaltender in the first and third game of those three, and relieved Ron Hextall during the second game, thus splitting the shutout. 

Bryzgalov extended his shutout streak to 196:13.   Per the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the third-longest shutout streak for a goaltender in Flyers history:

John Vanbiesbrouck – 227:40, Oct. 17-26, 1999

John Vanbiesbrouck – 218:42, Jan. 3-16, 1999

Ilya Bryzgalov – 196:13, March 16 – present


With last night’s win, Bryz also passed the great Michael Leighton, who had a shutout streak of 172:55 in the 2010 Stanley Cups Playoffs… before eventually letting in Patrick Kane’s game-winner from an impossible and horrifyingly devastating angle.

After the game, Bryz, of course, didn’t want to speak about himself:

People say when goaltenders get in streaks, the puck looks like a beach ball or something…

I don’t know.

Did you hear the fans chanting your name today?

Yeah, I heard. Yeah, thank you for support.


He hates us. He’s winning despite us. It’s the Herb Brooks Corollary: In 1980, the US Olympic Mens Hockey Team hated their coach. The players bonded over that common thread. Bryz, on the other hand, was fed up with the boos and negativity surrounding his play. He turned to his more inviting teammates– his only option. Now he’s the consummate team player. A goaltender winning mostly so he can stick it to his critics. It’s like one of Kobe’s Black Mamba streaks, in which someone, somewhere, said something bad about him, causing the former rapist to rip throats out all over the league.

That’s Bryz– he’s in fuck you mode. In a fucking trance. A brainwashed Soviet warrior, living among us, programmed to destroy North America one humongous save at a time.

Like a pitcher in the middle of a [redacted] right now– nobody talk to him!

And let’s not forget to give credit where credit is due: the zit on Bryz’s neck, it deserves player of the week honors: 

Screen Shot 2012-03-14 at 9.21.35 AM

This picture is only made worse by beat writer Wayne Fish's ghoulish eye

Judging by the size and scope of this thing (Bryz's zit, not Fish's eye), it’s been around for all three shutouts. Bryz and the Flyers should embrace it. Coddle it, almost. Cultivate it with a perfect mixture of sweat, dirt, and Cliff Lee’s excellent piss. Give the zit its own seat on the plane. A traveling heat lamp. Anything to keep it happy.

All of this being said, however, the Flyers allowed only 17 shots last night, and only three in the third period:

The Devils had three shots on goal in the third period.  It’s the third time this season in six games against the Devils that the Flyers have held them to three or fewer shots in the third period.  New Jersey had three shots in the third on October 8 (Flyers 2 at NJ 0) and had one shot in the third on February 4 (New Jersey 6 at Flyers 4). 


Bryz is playing great, yes. But the Flyers have completely changed their game plan over the last two weeks: defense first.

Look at the scoring output in the six games since March 4: 1, 3, 5, 1, 1, 3. Compare that to the previous six games: 6, 0, 5, 0, 5, 4. That’s a 20-14 difference. But they’ve allowed only nine goals in seven games in March. Outstanding.

There was no way the Flyers were going to win a Stanley Cup with the volatile results they saw through the first five months of the season. You can only play a wide-open style if you know there’s going to be great defensemen and goaltenders to back you up. The Flyers didn’t have that. So, they’ve seemingly shifted their entire philosophy. They’re playing defense first and capitalizing on mistakes. And it’s working.

Full game notes and highlights over on our

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

54 Responses

  1. -that zit is gross
    #1 rule when working up a sweat, always wash the back of your neck or an ugly looking zit will pop up.

  2. Too late to jump on the Bryz wagon, you trashed him all year thinking he’d NEVER step it up, if you knew the game, you would know Goalies go on hot and cold streaks, don’t just go by guy’s on WIP’s opinions and roll with it like you did here, you thought it was playing in a big city. You trashed him and brought up his salary every damn night, right after Richie and Carter posts…..and Babin….TOO LATE!!!
    You should hand in your Bryz card and ask for it back next year.

  3. macgruber throat rip reference, nice. Go for the turkey today kyle, you deserve it.

  4. Harry O, are u serious man? Really are you serious, just save yourself and say “no I was just playing with my ridiculous post”…otherwise you are an absolute idiot.
    …Hot and Cold streaks do not last 3/4 of a SEASON!!!
    Hes playing stellar now, and its with great timing, lets just let it be, and stop pointing useless fingers that have no merit……
    Harry O please hush child..

  5. I’m crediting Homer on this attitude change. By solidfying the defense without trading away any current roster space, and not panicing at the last minute for Nabakov/Nash/flavor of the week, the locker room is now that much tighter and more appreciative.
    Ed Snider has to be glowing right now. Imagine if Bryz keeps this up in the playoffs.

  6. Why is this city considered “bandwagoners” when we let our players know when they don’t play up to their ridiculous contracts? It’s called being brutally honest, people.

  7. “…Hot and Cold streaks do not last 3/4 of a SEASON!!!”
    1) Bryz was not bad for 3/4 of the season…1/2 at most. Ryan Miller was in the same boat this season which is proof it does happen for extended periods of time. Plus being a goalie its easy to notice.
    2) Maybe you could tell that to Briere who is now 24 games without a goal against a goalie…and has a whopping 38 points on the season. Yet nobody rides him cause the players around him are picking up for his lack of scoring.
    “They’re playing defense first and capitalizing on mistakes. And it’s working.”
    Odd how that works huh? See how well St. Louis is doing? Defense almost always wins out.

  8. Sometimes being a “bandwagon” fan of certain players is just being smart. Why would I want to support an overpaid, unreliable goalie who routinely let in weak goals that visibly deflated the team while being a media distractions for almost 3 months of the season?
    Being a good fan entails being able to criticize your team and its players.

  9. That pimple is almost as impressive as Bryz’s play of late. Keep shutting teams down and you can pop that pimple in Lord Stanley’s cup!

  10. Somewhere a siberian tiger paws at the air and yawns contentedly… The difference with the flyers is simple, when they use an intelligent forecheck they can stay in position in the neutral zone and create turnovers and good transition, they don’t get stretched and they are in better position to back check support the puck and each other. i.e. Sunday vs Last night. 17 shots allowed, tons of blocks, this is playoff hockey.

  11. Harry O – Lay off the crack pipe.
    Anyone else…Didn’t get to catch last nights game…I’m just watching the replays now. What the shit was the reasoning for the Devils having an empty net with that much time left on the Briere goal?

  12. Pete and Aaron, you guys must be Kyle’s friends…
    Both of you guys just shut up, you gave up on Bryz and I didn’t, so stop being a fake fan.
    And the Cliff Lee “pissing excellence” is played out!!!! More than the Carter and Richards stories!!


  14. @Pete H,
    Was 4 on 4 hockey. Pulling the goalie at that point gave the Devils basically a 5 on 4 PP with an empty net. Since the teams were even the Flyers would not have had the freedom to ice the puck as they went for the open net.
    Any coach would take a 5 on 4 with an empty net over a 6 on 5 with an empty net because less guys to score for the opponents team. Also the Devils I believe were in the top 5 for PP so they knew they had a good enough 5 on 4 to make something happen.
    Not saying it was the right move, but it was not a dumb move. in the end it helped us out anyway so no complaints here lol.

  15. Man… 20 some comments and no sign of a… “That zit is HUMANGAS BIG.” You guys are letting me down.

  16. 20 some comments and no Bryz hate from Thomas M.
    Looks like Chirp & J.T. won that battle

  17. Holy Shit, does anyone else see a peeing vigina when they focus on Wayne Fish’s ghoulish eye? Seriously the brass glasses looks like a stream of urine.

  18. Chirp…Gotcha, that makes sense. I’m at work and watched the highlights on a shitty monitor and couldn’t really tell it was 4 on 4, hence my confusion lol.

  19. Harry O – Wow, you didn’t lose patience with Bryz when he had a shit GAA, couldn’t stop a whiffle ball, and had the on/off ice composure of pre-reformed Charlie Sheen…Go buy yourself a fuckin cookie.
    I think you need to readjust your definition of bandwagon fan. Most sane fans, who you claim “gave up on him”, were supportive but didn’t have anything to support. Being fed up with him isn’t giving up on him. Being mad at him isn’t being a fake fan. Holding him accountable for letting in shit goals for over half a season isn’t being a fake fan…Quite the opposite, in fact. They all support him now and were hoping he’d start playing like this all season…Doesn’t make them bandwagon.
    You can beat your chest all you want about how supportive you were and how smart you are..But the fact is that for a long stretch, given his on ice and off ice fragility, there was no real sign that Bryz was going to suddenly return to form this season like he has.
    “Goalies go on streaks”, while true, isn’t concrete evidence. Its circumstantial. Some streaks are longer than others. Remember when Tim Thomas was an afterthought in Boston? That lasted a full season. Bryz could have easily kept shitting the bed and not have returned to his Phoenix form until next season, and that still would fit under the “goalies go on streaks” banner.
    No one had an answer, which was why 99% of flyers fans were pissed at the guy. Sitting on your high horse, with hindsight by your side, pointing fingers at “fake fans” is about as useful as bathing in wet cement.

  20. So wait…you’re saying that the defense hasn’t been playing well all season? And it wasn’t all Bryz’s fault? That’s the exact opposite of what you’ve said the past couple months.

  21. So wait, you’re saying when a team plays good TEAM defense (it’s not just the defensemen, it’s all 5 skaters on the ice), the goalie stops more pucks? And the goals against go down? And everyone looks better? Quality analysis.
    It’s a two-way street. If there’s no team defense, and you give quality scorers quality scoring chances, the goalie’s going to look bad. Henrik Lundqvist would have horrible numbers on this team earlier in the year.
    If you’re going to credit Bryzgalov’s success to the defensive play, then you have to credit his failures to the lack of defensive play.

  22. Pete, you are just mad I was right and you were wrong about him.
    300 word comments won’t make you look better, either.
    Tim Thomas was an after thought and I said the same thing then because I like the Bruins too. We won a Cup after that, didn’t we?

  23. The only difference here is, I am a leader and you are a follower. Your opinion is what CB’s is and you just roll with it.

  24. Aww, Lima and Harry..My guys! Sad to see that someone responds to “Fuck you” type comments with more than a “fuck you!” back? Glad to hear that you enjoy reading/writing sentence long, swear ridden comments with the substance of 3rd grade jibberish instead of taking 30 seconds to read a couple paragraphs of logic and substance. Representing angry internet-trolls everywhere doesn’t make you look any better, Harry O. 😉
    And how was I wrong about Bryz? Despite our defenses best efforts to make him look bad, Bryz still played like shit. And having confidence in him didn’t make you right and didn’t make anyone who was fed up with him wrong. It made the small amount of morons who thought it was the worst signing in history wrong, not most reasonable fans.
    And you talk about fake fans yet you root for the Bruins as well? Awesome, bro. What, when the home team doesn’t do good you jump on the closest bandwagon around? Hey, I hear Crosby is coming back soon, you have your 87 jersey all dry cleaned and ready to go?

  25. @propper…yea i guess so huh?
    This is odd…where are all my haters?
    Keep up the good fight Pete.
    Never understood why people jumped on others for long comments…
    Harry your a fake…your a Bruins and Flyers fan? Come on. That’s like me saying I am a Nationals and Phillies fan, or an Eagles and Redskins fan. At least pick a western conference team to have as another team…

  26. Haha, thanks Chirp. Yeah I don’t really get it either.
    And if you’re feeling left out I can just throw a token “Fuck you Chirp, you suck at goalie” comment your way if you want.

  27. Mr. Chris Chirp,
    You have blown Bryz all year and killed us for ripping him for sucking, while you ripped the defense. Lets not be a hypocrite and call a spade a spade here. The Team Defense played absolutely outstanding last night and won them the game. When you giving them credit? The goalie did his job, but did not have to do anything above average. The previous 2 games, he was outstanding. You love quoting shot stats, here is one: The Flyers allowed 3 shots in the entire 3rd period, one in the first 15 minutes. ONE. Your still an ugly clueless troll

  28. It doesn’t matter to me if Bryzgalov hates us (I for could care less what athletes think, most of them don’t anyway), as long as he continues playing lights out, that’s the important thing.

  29. I don’t think this has to do with jumping on the Bryz band wagon or not. He played like shit for the middle portion of the season. He, himself, even said that sometimes he felt like he was standing in front of a soccer net. I wanted him to do well. I needed him to do well in order for the Flyers to do well. But I can’t stand behind a goalie that can’t stop the puck. It’s his job. Defense is going to break down in front of him and sometimes he’s going to get beat on a ridiculous shot. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was all the soft goals he was letting in. I don’t care how good offensively the team is in front of you, if you don’t stop the easy goals, you put undue pressure on the offense. They are always in a hole, scrambling to make plays, which then leads to more and more defensive breakdowns. HOWEVER, I can stand behind a goalie who is playing well (or unbelievable like his is now). I can cheer for him, chant his name at the game, and give him a standing O when he wins. That doesn’t mean I’m on or not on a band wagon. It just means I couldn’t get behind him when he wasn’t helping the team win games. Now he is, and now he’s proving his worth to Flyers fans.
    I’m so tired of the Briere-Bryz comparisons. 2 different positions, 2 different responsibilities. Yes his production is down and it sucks. The good news is they have plenty of other talent that can pick up the slack when someone like Danny has an off season. Look at Hartnell’s production, Matt Read, Wayne Simmonds, etc. The problem with Bryz is that there was no one to pick up his slack. Bob is not the answer- he’s proven that 2 years in a row, and that’s why they went out and signed Bryz to his giant contract.

  30. Mr. Propper. I’m not hiding, just at work, where CB is now filtered from the firewall. I’m currently taking a dump and reading on my iPhone.
    I’d just like to echo what Rob House said. Bryz didn’t look that great last night. But I have said in the past that he looks like a different goalie and is playing well.
    It won’t last though. Guaranteed. Now that Timmonen is bak, they’ll suck again.
    I also 2nd what Ron shelly said. And, I think we, meaning myself, house, chirp, JT, Propper, etc., can agree that women belong in the kitchen.

  31. @pete,
    Thanks man I don’t feel so out of place now. Was getting pretty jealous that you were getting all the hate…

  32. I’m Harry O and I’m the perfect Flyers fan because I never got mad when Bryz was sucking for the entire season.
    Learn to be a Philly fan. When a player sucks, you say he’ll suck forever and you let him know. Once he starts playing well, you support him, because that’s how Philly works. We pay the salaries of the players because we buy the jerseys and the tickets, and we deserve the best from them, and now that he’s giving us his best, he deserves our support.

  33. Adam, keep your opinions to yourself. Nobody likes you or cares what you have to say.

  34. Thanks Pete. I’ve posted under another name in the past and have been complimented on what I’ve had to say. Silly me, I thought that posting as myself would be fine. I forgot that some people automatically assume a girl couldn’t possibly know anything about sports.

  35. It’s ok Jess. I stopped posting for a while because the sexist comments got old after a while. Anyways, is anyone else thrilled with the Grossmann pick up? This guy has been an absolute beast. I don’t think it’s a coincidence Bryz’s play has improved significantly since picking up Grossmann. I hope Bryz continues to play lights out. If he does, there’s not doubt in my mind that this team can make a deep playoff run.

Comments are closed.