The Philadelphia Flyers have won 11 games this season, yet have never put together a win streak of more than two games. The good thing is, they haven’t lost more than three games in a row since the beginning of the season either. For all of the offensive talent the team possesses, the less than reliable goaltending of Ilya Bryzgalov continues to handcuff the Flyers at the other end of the ice. One night the Flyers play like world beaters (Feb. 18 7-0 win over the New York Islanders) while another finds them surrendering five goals to a team near the bottom of the standings (Feb. 21 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers).
Bryzgalov’s 11-10-1 record shows how up-and-down the season has been, and while his 2.79 goals against average isn’t that bad, his .899 save percentage could definitely stand to see some improvement. An NHL-top-five power play continues to help the Flyers out offensively, and has accounted for 10 goals in the last six games. Kimmo Timmonen, Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds have led the way for the team in even strength situations as well as with the man-advantage. Brayden Schenn continues to impress in his second season, but the Flyers could still use a stronger contribution from their depth players.
With the bulk of starts going to Bryzgalov, the team making the playoffs may very well hinge on how he performs. The Flyers face the Boston Bruins tomorrow and will try to get a win to help get back on track. If they come up short, they will find themselves facing a lot of tough questions about the rest of the season.