Preview: Game #37 Flyers @ Leafs – Bryzga-let me out of here!

What do you get when you cross a team with an overworked goalie, a solitary forward unit with positive puck-possession statistics? The 2013 Philadelphia Flyers. All you need to know:

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Of all the statistics I compile when looking up teams, the one that stood out the most to me was Ilya Bryzgalov’s 34 starts as a Flyers goaltender this season. The team has played just 36 games. He has started games six times in back-to-back situations, and tonight will be his seventh.

The Flyers repaid his efforts by going out and paying a human being and an actual draft pick for Steve Mason.

Short preview today, but here are the relevant numbers between the two teams. The game is at 7 and on Sportsnet Ontario and TSN Radio 1050. Should be a dandy.

By the Numbers:

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  Philadelphia Toronto
Corsi Tied % 48.0% (21st) 45.5% (26th)
5v5 GF/GA Ratio 0.79 (28th) 1.10 (9th)
Team Shot % 6.99% 10.46%
Team Save % 0.907 0.926
PDO 0.977 1.031

Special Teams:

  Philadelphia Toronto
PP Success 24.3% (2nd) 18.8% (14th)
5v4 GF/60 9.13 (2nd) 6.51 (13th)
5v4 SF/60 55.7 (3rd) 47.2 (15th)
PK Success 84.2% (8th) 85.7% (4th)
4v5 GF/60 5.82 (9th) 5.03 (5th)
4v5 SF/60 40.7 (4th) 41.5 (5th)


  Starts Quality Starts Quality Start % EV SV %
Ilya Bryzgalov 34 16 47.06% 0.906
James Reimer 20 11 55.00% 0.926

Numbers via and Hockey Analysis


Check out the Flyers usage chart. Max Talbot doesn’t get a whole lot of help back there, but he’s been hurt, so Sean Couturier, a high pick in the last NHL draft, has to play alongside Tye McGinn and Zac Rinaldo. At least one of those players has a reputation as a goon.

Jakub Voracek – Matt Read – Claude Giroux
Scott Hartnell – Brayden Schenn – Wayne Simmonds
Ruslan Fedotenko – Mike Knuble – Simon Gagne
Tye McGinn – Sean Couturier – Zac Rinaldo

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Bruno Gervais – Kimmo Timonen
Luke Schenn – Olivier Lauridsen
Kent Huskins – Erik Gustafsson

Ilya Bryzgalov
Steve Mason

The deadline additions were Steve Mason and Kent Huskins. The Flyers right now are so banged up on defence, including some big names. Those are Nicklas Grossman, Braydon Coburn and Andrei Meszaros, all of whom could play in a top four.

Up front, Giroux, Voracek, Read and Schenn are all pretty fun to watch. I’d love to see Philly give Couturier a chance to shine, but he’s been buried for his first two seasons in the Flyers bottom six when he’s a remarkably capable two-way centre for quite some time. Him and Mikhail Grabovski know the other’s pain.

As for the Leafs, all we know is that Joe Colborne is up and he may replace Frazer McLaren. That it would take a bout of the flu for Colborne to replace McLaren in the lineup is positively Flyersesque. Leo Komarov is out. Clarke MacArthur may be in, Henny doesn’t seem to know.

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I’ll post lines when they’re known. Not sure what the D will look like. Maybe Ryan O’Byrne comes in. Maybe Jake Gardiner does. It’s always a shell game with Carlyle.

Last Leafs home game, Randy Carlyle sent Grabovski, Komarov and Nik Kulemin primarily out against Claude Giroux’s line. Wonder if he does the same tonight, or if he just decides to run Kadri power-on-power. It’s tough to gauge how good the Philly forward unit really is because their defence is so depleted, but it’s worth noting they have good specialty teams and their powerplay seems far more scoring proficient than you’d expect based on their even strength numbers.

Lines info via Left Wing Lock

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  • jasken

    Couldn’t imagine a worse place for a goalie to play than Philly. Lavs treats goalies like he has no clue. BTW I picked Hawks Leafs Cup final. Don’t let me down