Matt Read was injured in Wednesday night’s playoff-like game against the Penguins. Yesterday it was announced Read has torn rib muscles and will miss 6 weeks, a big blow for the Flyers (Watch: Briere talks about the loss of Read). Read is tied for 4th on the Flyers in scoring with 7 goals and 6 assists in 18 games, nothing spectacular, but he’s a reliable player who does a lot for this team on a consistent basis, night in and night out.
The Flyers expect to get forward Scott Hartnell back in about a week or, so losing Matt Read comes at an unfortunate time.
Last night after an emotional, thrilling, 6-5 win over the Penguins, the Flyers (8-10-1) got smoked at home by the Panthers (5-7-4). It was the all-time trap game, and many people could see a let down coming after their big win over the Penguins the night before. However, the concerning thing for me is that Flyers actually didn’t come out flat, or lethargic at all. Actually the Flyers out-shot the Panthers in every period (13-10 in the first period) and 34-26 in the game.
Another sign of a lackadaisical team coming off a big win, is that team taking penalties, early and often. Well, the Flyers didn’t take any penalties in the first period and only four (8 penalty minutes) in the game, all coming in the second period.
The Flyers just got beat, by a below-average NHL team at that.
Ilya Bryzgalov, who everyone has praised for his faboulous season so far, allowed 4 goals on 15 shots and was pulled. I’m sick of everyone making excuses for him, hoping he is the prodigious goalie we thought he would be. He’s just not.
Stastically, Bryzgalov (8-8-1) has been awful. He is 24th in the NHL with a 2.76 GAA and 27th in the NHL with a .900 save percentage. The Flyers rely on him heavily, and in fact, he leads the NHL in games played with 17. They want him to be that guy, a top NHL goal-tender who wins you games every now and then, while consistently keeping you in games every time he suits up in net. That’s why the Flyers paid him $51 million, over 9 years, because they expected that. Well, hate to break it to you, but Bryz is not that guy. Win games? I just hope he doesn’t lose them.
However, his piss-poor attitude is even more frustrating to me. Last night Bryzgalov threw his stick over the net, into the glass after allowing a penalty shot goal.
Then, when after he was pulled, Bryz threw his stick down the tunnel after leaving the ice (just like he did in practice on Wednesday!).
Against Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, after allowing a goal, he flailed his arms in disgust (watch here), something he does often.
He has the attitude of an eleven-year old kid, and it’s unacceptable. Personally, I can’t root for a guy like that. He doesn’t have the composure or the personality of a professional athlete. We appreciate when athletes show their emotion on their sleeve, but Bryz does it in all the wrong ways. Maybe he doesn’t get the competitiveness of sports, or he was never taught the way you should behave while competing, but he just plain doesn’t get it, and his skills aren’t good enough for him to get away with it.
He has no passion, no drive to be great. Am I asking too much from a goalie who signed a 9 year, $51 million contract? To be consistent and not to crumble after allowing 5 goals in a win (he was praised for?) against Pittsburgh, to come back the next night and play decent? Just stay in the game. Is that too much? For him to have the composure and mental state a goalie should, and not be flailing his arms and throwing his stick when things don’t go his away?
Am I nuts?
Full highlights of the Flyers 5-2 loss to the Panthers on the other side…