VOORHEES, N.J. -- Watching Ilya Bryzgalov in his first season with the Philadelphia Flyers, teammate Scott Hartnell was reminded of his first season with the team.
Like Bryzgalov, Hartnell arrived from a non-traditional hockey market and signed a lucrative, long-term contract.
"Took me 20 games to get my first goal coming here," Hartnell told reporters Thursday. "You got the big contract … I was definitely feeling pressure for sure when I got here."
Goalie - PHI
GAA: 3.46 | SVP: 0.887
The second season, he said, was far easier for having gone through the first-year difficulties. On the ice, he responded with the best season of his career to that point.
He's not alone in believing Bryzgalov could travel that same path next season.
"Once you get to know the guys and you feel more comfortable in your house, in your life, all that kind of stuff, definitely you get more confidence as the year goes on," Hartnell said. "Next year he'll come back from Russia in the summer and his house is all set up -- he'll be ready to play."