By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For years, getting a “superstar” goaltender was something many said the Flyers needed. A guy who could carry them in the playoffs if necessary. In the off-season, they finally took the plunge and traded for, and signed Ilya Bryzgalov to a long-term deal. Things haven’t exactly worked out as planned so far, and Randy Miller of the South Jersey Courier Post thinks the Flyers front office may be partially to blame.
Miller joined 94 WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and The Morning Team on Thursday to talk about Bryzgalov and the Flyers shootout troubles. “I think unfortunately because [Bryzgalov] had some troubles earlier in the season, the Flyers have tried to change his personality,” Miller said. “And that personality worked in Phoenix, and by trying to change him, in a nine year, $51 million dollar contract, a quarter of the way through the season, I think it got in his head and really hurt him even worse. I would let Bryzgalov be Bryzgalov.”
Listen to the interview with Randy Miller:
One of the issues with Bryzgalov has been his performance, and the team’s inability to score, during shootouts. Miller said that the Flyers may be better off in that department with more practice. “The coach says they’ve done it [practiced the shootout] three times in the last ten games, I’ve seen them do it twice last season,” Miller said. “I’ve been to most practices at home and some on the road. They’re 20-39 all time in the shootout, worst in hockey, 1-5 this year. I know Pittsburgh, because I followed them in the past closely, they end every practice with a shootout.”