Philadelphia Flyers: Ilya Bryzgalov's 2013 Struggles Continue At World Championship

By Jonathan Katje
Team Russia Bryzgalov Flyers
Marc DesRosiers – USA TODAY Sports

Russia was eliminated from the 2013 IIHF World Championship on Thursday, as Team USA rolled past them by an 8-3 score. Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov struggled and was eventually pulled after allowing four goals, a sight Philadelphia Flyers fans are all too familiar with. The eight goals ended up being the most Russia has surrendered at the worlds or in Olympic play, and cast yet another shadow over Bryzgalov following his less than stellar regular season with the Flyers.

Bryzgalov played in 40 games for the Flyers this season, but managed only 19 wins. He posted a 2.79 goals-against average and recorded one shutout, but his play was inconsistent and not enough to get the Flyers to the postseason. His name has frequently come up as a prime candidate for an offseason buyout, as he has failed to live up to his hefty, lengthy contract and the Flyers are incredibly tight on cap space.

Russia entered the tournament as the defending champions, but will now head home without a medal. Bryzgalov finished with a 3-1 record and a 2.20 goals-against average for the tournament, but when it mattered most he turned in his least impressive start. Since the 2009-10 season his goals-against has climbed steadily while his win total has taken a hit each season. The Flyers would have loved to see him take home a medal at the World Championship and maybe get some of his confidence back, but that just isn’t the way things worked out. With Steve Mason in the fold, the team has options but with a long summer ahead what happens to Bryzgalov in the future is still anyone’s guess.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL senior writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.

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