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Flyers Ride Wave of Momentum into Toronto, Face Opponent Riding Wave of Momentum

Apr 4, 2013, 3:52 PM EDT

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If the Flyers are looking to the future in their crease,
they have a funny way of showing it. Despite trading for Steve Mason on Wednesday,
Ilya Bryzgalov is expected to start the second half of a back-to-back against
the Toronto Maple Leafs, bringing his streak of consecutive starts to 22.

One would think Mason might get the opportunity to prove his
worth right away given the circumstances. If he was acquired for no other
reason,
it was to give Bryz a breather, one he could surely use tonight.

I suppose this Mason guy might be tired from being on the
road a lot recently, flying into Philadelphia from Columbus so he could join the
team on their trip to Toronto. All Bryzgalov has been doing in the meantime is
PLAYING 22 GAMES IN A ROW.

In all seriousness, there are probably several reasons why
Peter Laviolette sticks with Bryz tonight, one of which is Mason hasn’t even
had a chance to practice with his new teammates yet. Broad Street Hockey has
some troubling numbers on goalies playing both parts of a back-to-back though.

Bryz hasn’t exactly had success against the Leafs this year,
either, posting a 0-2 record, 4.98 goals against average, and .800 save
percentage. Yikes.

Elsewhere on the ice, two more recent additions should be
making their debuts in Orange & Black. Jay Rosehill was brought in so guys
like Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux won’t have to drop the gloves, while
journeyman forward Adam Hall was claimed off waivers to fill the void left by
the injury to Max Talbot.

Talbot is out for the year with a broken leg suffered in the
win over Washington on Sunday.

The Flyers are finally on a roll having won their third in a
row for the first time all season, but a tough task awaits them in Toronto. The
Maple Leafs are 5-0-3 in their last eight, with all three overtime losses
coming in shootouts. They’re also fresh, not having played since Saturday.

Consider it a test. Are the Flyers really clawing their way
back into postseason contention, or are their seven points out of the last
possible eight just a cruel tease? We shall see.

Previously: Obligatory Check-in: James van Riemsdyk Goes Cold