Better With Popcorn

Burnin' down the woods: Bryz named NHL first star again

It’s starting to become ridiculous.

Earlier this season, Ilya Bryzgalov was receiving criticism left and right.

Now, he’s having kudos, awards and accolades tossed his way so fast that even he wouldn’t be able to catch it.

On Monday morning, Bryzgalov was named as the NHL’s first star of the week for the second consecutive week in a row.

He is the only player this season to be named the first star in back-to-back weeks.

In four starts this past week, he had a 3-0-1 record with a 1.44 goals against average and a .950 save percenatge.

He also added his sixth shutout of the season, broke the Flyers franchise record for consecutive shutout minutes (now standing at 249:43) and put together back-to-back dominating performances this past weekend that by all accounts kept the Flyers hopes alive to win the Eastern Conference crown.

 Not a bad week, eh?

Since the start of March, Brygalov has a record of 8-0-1, has allowed just 11 goals in nine games, has four shutouts and a GAA of 1.19 with a .960 save percentage.

He has now improved his season numbers to 30-13-7 with six shutouts, a 2.49 GAA and a .911 save percentage.

Certainly an impressive turnaround compared to where he was only a few weeks ago.

Earlier in the year, the Flyers seemingly won in spite of Bryz.

Now, the club is winning because of him.

There is little doubt that without his superior play this weekend that the Flyers could not have earned points against either the Boston Bruins or Pittsburgh Penguins.

Especially against Pittsburgh where the Flyers were held to only 10 shots over two periods, Bryzgalov was forced to stand on his head to battle off 27 shots from the Penguins in the first 40 minutes of play.

The fact that the team only trailed by two heading into the third was solely because of Bryzgalov.

While he may have been lost in the woods early this season, it’s fairly safe to say that Bryzgalov has not only found his way out, but for all intents and purposes has burned the woods to the ground. 



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