BOSTON _ Raise your hand if you thought this was going to happen three weeks ago: Boston’s Tim Thomas, the NHL’s best performer as he led the Bruins to last year’s Stanley Cup, would be struggling mightily, while Ilya Bryzgalov would be the league’s hottest goaltender.
That’s what I thought. I don’t see many hands.
In March, Thomas _ whose workload has increased because of an injury to Tuukka Rask _ is 3-5 with a 4.06 GAA; Bryzgalov is 7-0 with a 0.99 GAA.
Many of us thought Bryzgalov would return to form, based on his solid credentials in Phoenix. But no one could have predicted he would go on the second-longest shutout run (249 minutes, 43 seconds) in the NHL since expansion in 1967-68.
Bryzgalov will oppose Thomas as the Flyers face the host Bruins in a Saturday matinee.
The Flyers have won seven of eight and are fifth in the East. Boston has lost four in a row and has slipped one point behind first-place Ottawa (first-place Ottawa!!!) in the Northeast, though the Bruins have two games in hand.
Stunningly, the Bruins, losers of seven of their last 10, have dropped to seventh in the East.
The Flyers are two points behind fourth-place Pittsburgh, the team they meet Sunday afternoon at the WFC. The Penguins play in New Jersey on Saturday afternoon.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.