Friday, November 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Bob or Bryz: Who should get Winter Classic nod?

PITTSBURGH _ So did Sergei Bobrovsky’s strong performance in Thursday’s 4-2 win in Pittsburgh complicate matters for head coach Peter Laviolette?

Bob or Bryz: Who should get Winter Classic nod?

Ilya Bryzgalov, who has lost four straight, is 14-8-3 with a 3.01 GAA and .890 save percentage. (Ron Cortes/Staff file photo)
Ilya Bryzgalov, who has lost four straight, is 14-8-3 with a 3.01 GAA and .890 save percentage. (Ron Cortes/Staff file photo)

  PITTSBURGH _ So did Sergei Bobrovsky’s strong performance in Thursday’s 4-2 win in Pittsburgh complicate matters for head coach Peter Laviolette?

   In other words, will Laviolette have a difficult time selecting a goalie for Monday’s Winter Classic against the New York Rangers?

    “What a big win tonight,” Laviolette said, sidestepping the question with a smirk."Let's stick to tonight right now. I mean, I'm not even out of the building."

      Bobrovsky continued to look like the team’s best goalie, winning for the fifth time in his last six appearances.

More coverage
Video: Keys to on-ice Winter Classic success
 
Bobrovsky keeps finding ways to win
 
Special Section: Closer look at the Winter Classic
Which goalie should start for the Flyers in the Winter Classic?
Ilya Bryzgalov
Sergei Bobrovsky

    For the season, Bobrovsky is 8-2-1 with a 2.52 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. In his last six games, his GAA is around 1.60 and his save percentage is near .940.

      Starter Ilya Bryzgalov, who has lost four straight, is 14-8-3 with a 3.01 GAA and .890 save percentage.

     If Laviolette was picking his goalie strictly on performance, he would choose Bobrovsky. He is playing with more confidence and is making more clutch saves than Bryzgalov, who signed a nine-year $51 million contract in the summer.

    But if Laviolette gives Bob the nod in one of the showcase games of the NHL season, he risks the chance of diluting Bryzgalov’s already-shaky confidence.

    For that reason, the hunch here is he reluctantly gives Bryzgalov the start.

    What would you do?

                                                     * * *

      Bryzgalov, was back to being his playful, jovial self as he kidded with reporters following the morning skate. He also said he was “frustrated” by his inconsistent play.

    His formula to turn around his game?

       “Be patient and work hard and maybe the bounces start going your way,” he said.

                                                      * * *

      Cheers: Jaromir Jagr scored the game’s pivotal goal in his return to Pittsburgh on Thursday.

     Jeers: Somehow, Jagr was not given one of the game’s three stars.

     Cheers: In a classy move, the Penguins showed highlights of Max Talbot’s career with Pittsburgh on their scoreboard during a first-period stoppage. Talbot is in his first year with the Flyers.

      Jeers: A Penguins fan held up a Flyers jersey that had an obscene version of Jagr’s name on the back of it _ and it was shown on the scoreboard as the crowd roared. Classless.

                                                         * * *

        Jagr gave the Flyers the lead for good, at 2-1, with 13:57 left in the middle period. He made a clever move in the slot, and his backhander beat Marc-Andre Fleury to the short side.

      “It was important not only for him, but for the whole team to get that goal,” said Claude Giroux, who boosted his league-leading points total to 46 with a pair of assists. “He got it pretty tough from the fans, but I think he kind of liked it a little bit.”

                                                          * * *

 A smiling Jagr enjoyed telling writers how his backchecking helped prevent James Neal from scoring an early goal.

   “Remember me for the Selke!” he said.

  The Selke is given to the league’s best defensive forward.

* * *

   Winger James van Riemsdyk, apparently bothered by a lower-body injury, played just 9:36. Only Harry Zolnierczyk played fewer minutes for the Flyers.

                                                          * * *

               The Flyers have the day off Friday; the Flyers’ alumni will practice Friday in Voorhees at 4 p.m. as they prepare for Saturday’s game against the Rangers’ alums.

                                                           * * *

   Defenseman Kimmo Timonen had another strong game: He scored his first goal of the season, was plus-2, blocked four shots and had two hits while playing 22 minutes. He is quietly having an all-star season.

                                                            * * *

   Brayden Schenn (four hits) had the best game of his brief Flyers career.

                                                            * * *

     Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

Sam Carchidi Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Broad Street Bull is your place for the latest updates, trade rumors, and everything connected to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Sam Carchidi Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected