Jan 19, 2012, 6:54 PM EDT
The Flyers’ dominance over the New York Islanders in recent seasons is well documented and increasingly not even worth the key strokes to detail again. The Isles have fallen from their heyday, and the future of the franchise is not exactly promising.
But ‘dominance’ is part of tonight’s storyline, in that it has factored into Peter Laviolette’s decision to start Sergei Bobrovsky over Ilya Bryzgalov despite Bryz having a very good outing against the Wild on Tuesday.
Rather than give Bryz the nod to let him continue to get his universe in order, Lavy will go with Bob, who has a sparkling 7-0 record against the Islanders, complete with a sub-2 GAA. Bryz’s numbers against them aren’t great, but his sample is pretty limited. Here’s Adam Kimelman on both.
I’m not one to argue with Lavy’s decisions, but were it mine, I’d probably have been of the opinion that “everyone beats the Islanders” and started Bryz in the hopes that someone other than Bobrovsky is able to stifle the Eastern Conference team with the fewest goals scored on the season.
Of course, that’s the kind of opinion that has me going to the bathroom during the same commercial breaks that see Laviolette motivating millionaires.
The Isles can’t be treated like cellar dwellers. Decisions need to be made based on winning, and Bob does that when he plays the Islanders. Perhaps the call shows Lavy’s confidence that Bryz either is or will be fine, that he doesn’t need to be fed cupcakes. Especially cupcakes that may be a little more dangerous than their season stats would indicate; these guys can score, and they’ve been winning lately. Those things are far more important than the fact the Flyers haven’t lost to the Isles in Philly since 2007.
Which goalie would you have started tonight?
One other note: Sarah Baicker says Steve Staios won’t be in the lineup for the Islanders (healthy scratch), so there won’t be the opportunity for retribution for his elbow to Max Talbot’s head in the third period of their meeting last week.
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