For the first time in an extremely long time in Philadelphia, there rests quite the weapons of attack, defense and guard/contain when you look up and down the club's roster. From the youngsters who are NHL ready, to those "kids" that have developed further with two straight seasons in the playoffs, to the veterans who become the glue between the old and new, this team is poised for success.
Even with the major overhaul that took place to the Philadelphia Flyers roster this off-season, this team can not be looked at lightly. One of the biggest reasons -- aside from Chris Pronger, Danny Briere, Jaromir Jagr, Claude Giroux and Peter Laviolette -- rests between the pipes.
Not only because of the acquisition and signing of Ilya Bryzgalov, but also because of the potential of a two headed monster that has a possible arrival in Philadelphias goaltending. Well, not just yet, but with the pre-season performance by last season's rookie standout Sergei Bobrovsky, Bryzgalov can be rest assured that pressure-filled Philadelphia has an amazing fall back plan if a rest is needed or a bail out is called for.
Yes, the aforementioned Bryzgalov was brought in to be the teams "true number one" backstop. And after two games, against two top-tier counterparts (Tim Thomas, Martin Brodeur), Bryzgalov has stood tallest. However, Bobrovsky's stellar pre-season could seriously help him (and the Flyers) see a decent amount of rest for Bryzgalov this season.
For Bobrovsky, he will gain guidance and knowledge from the team's newest addition in net. However, he should not be discouraged and only attempt to work harder and perform better when called into action.
It leaves quite the tandem for the Flyers. The position in which they have struggled the most to secure since the days of Ron Hextall, looks to finally have a stranglehold upon it.
Bryzgalov may very well be the saving grace for the Flyers' Stanley Cup drought. And for Bobrovsky to grow behind such a talented netminder, the sky is the limit.
And with positive comes more positive.
Opening night, on the road, during an emotional and lively ceremony at TD Garden in Boston, the Philadelphia Flyers were able to gain their first victory of the season. Bryzgalov stopped 22 of 23 shots face, many being of the highlight reel variety.
With the defense keeping the action limited and the forwards owning control of the offensive zone in game two of the season against the New Jersey Devils, Bryzgalov played his part and earning his first shutout of the year -- the first one for the Flyers since Apr. 6, 2010.
The common ground discussion seems to be how the Flyers "finally" have a goalie and how it can make them scary. Yes, very scary considering Bobrovsky is the backup to Bryzgalov. But with 'Bryz' on board, the Flyers have not looked this dangerous in decades.
Through two games, Bryzgalov is 2-0-0 with a 0.50 goals-against average and .977 save percentage. Yes, it's only been two games, but foreshadowing at it's finest.
The offense is in place. With a healthy season from one of the best defense corps in the league, and after what Bryzgalov has shown early on, scary is an understatement.
Our podcast 'RLD Hockey Talk' is LIVE every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 ET/Noon CT. Some of our notable guests in past episodes have been Dustin Brown, Doc Emrick, John Buccigross, Dave Strader, E.J. Hradek, Elliotte Friedman and Jay Grossman.