Outta’ Right Field: Goalie controversy?

By Laura Hancq
February 22, 2012

It wouldn’t be Philadelphia without a Flyers hockey goalie controversy. And here we go again, even though one would think that signing a $51 million man, Ilya Bryzgalov, would put an end to it. But that would just be too easy for us.

Is he just too stressed out playing under the pressure in this top sports market? Does his personality not suit this city and match the mentality? Do the fans expect too much too fast? Is Peter Laviolette to blame for his very well-known method of switching goalies from game to game? Or was the Flyers management just too quick to invest huge (and I mean humongous big) amounts of money into a guy who had a decent career for a non-hockey town? All incredibly possible and my guess would be that it’s a mixture of a few of those.

As Philly fans, we tend to turn on our “superstars” very quickly and are nationally known for hating our best players. I, for one, am incredibly guilty as you can find me on any given summer night giving the Big Piece Ryan Howard a really big piece of my mind from the 400 level of Citizens Bank Park. We are a working class city overall and it doesn’t sit well with most when we shell out any expendable income we have to go watch our players make a killing off of barely showing up.

This may be crazy considering how Bryz has gotten under our collective skin this year but I am proposing leaving that mentality behind and trying some Bryzga-loving in order to help him out. It’s no secret that overall, the Flyers have played horribly at home this year and in the postseason. Hello, last year. And we’ve gone through how many goalies since we’ve had a good one? Ron Hextall? Hello, a decade ago. That’s pressure.

Bryz wasn’t wrong when he said he was going to goalie hell. Considering we are the common denominator in this goalie story, maybe we should adjust our approach. Of course, the Flyers haven’t wanted to shell out any real money for a goalie in recent history and it is possible that every goalie we’ve had since Hextall has been terrible, but this guy has proven to be good so what do we have to lose by laying off and giving him some time?

If we support him and that doesn’t work, then at least we know it’s some other factor. After all, it’s a humongous big universe and I’m sure he can find somewhere else to not stop the puck.

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Laura Hancq

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