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Confidence in the Crease

by Lauren Cochran / Philadelphia Flyers
With many goalies looking for contracts this off-season, the Flyers wasted no time acquiring the rights from Phoenix to negotiate with the top goalie free agent. The Flyers, like every year, look to win the Stanley Cup and signing Ilya Bryzgalov as the number one goalie was one step in the right direction to making that happen. 

The Flyers new goaltender was introduced to Flyers fans and the Philadelphia media late last week. His outgoing personality was clear from the moment he took the podium. But even more evident was his desire to capture hockey’s ultimate prize. Bryzgalov has high expectations and a lot of confidence in himself, the organization and the fans.

When asked whether he feels the pressure having signed such a large contract, Bryzgalov responded, “I never put pressure on myself. I know my job, and I know what I have to do.”

It was too soon for him to comment on all the moves the Flyers made this off-season, but Bryzgalov was confident it would be a smooth transition. “We are all hockey people, and we know why we are here and what we have to do.”

It seems apparent that both the Flyers organization and Bryzgalov are committed to winning and are willing to do what it takes to bring home a championship. In his short time training and skating with the players that are in town, Bryzgalov says he has observed “lots of talent, a passion to play hockey and win.” 

Having previously played with Chris Pronger in Anaheim, Bryzgalov is looking forward to reuniting with someone he called a great defenseman and great leader.

The Flyers goalie knows that he and his teammates are not the only piece to this winning equation; he is also counting on the fans.

“I know there are passionate fans. It is not going to be silent.”

“There were lots of people and it was pretty loud,” he recalls from last playing in Philadelphia.

With training camp just around the corner and 39 days until puck drop, one thing is certain—Bryzgalov has a vision for himself and his teammates. “Only one goal…Stanley Cup. That’s the only thing that matters.”

Kick Saves
Recently, the Flyers released photographs of Bryzgalov’s new mask designs, one of which depicted a tiger. Bryzgalov said that the design was inspired by a Flyers fan who tweeted (@bryzgoalie30) suggesting that he incorporate a tiger. The animal shares the same color as the Flyers. Bryzgalov liked the fan’s idea and the connection to the Rocky movie whose theme song, “Eye of the Tiger” has strong ties to Philadelphia.

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