Originally written on Buzz On Broad  |  Last updated 1/8/13
3.. 2.. 1.. Take off. The Flyers' season doesn't begin for another week and a half, but goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov is already making headlines in the Philadelphia media with his quotes. “He's like from the movie Cast Away. We need to buy some ball for him so he has best buddy Wilson," said Bryzgalov when asked about forward Scott Hartnell's hairstyle.  It was a line that certainly generated some laughs around Twitter and the blogosphere today, but does Bryzgalov's joking nature distract him from performing well on the ice? Last season, Bryzgalov saw some stretches where he really struggled, and it sometimes seemed as if he would never gain his bearings and fit well in Philly. Heading into 2013, the 32-year-old goaltender seems much more prepared to be the go-to guy. “I had a great experience the last year. I understand the philosophy of how it works here, the fans, media, even the management of the team. I make some notes in my head for myself. And I’m going to follow them," said a collected Bryzgalov. The former Phoenix Coyote netminder is also looking forward to an expanded workload, at least percentage wise, this season. Head Coach Peter Laviolette has vowed to play Bryzgalov more this season, and Bryz certainly welcomed that opportunity. “When I play in Phoenix, I play almost 70 games a season and I feel great," said Bryzgalov. Obviously, 70 games isn't going to be an option in this 48-game, lockout-shortened campaign, but not having a goaltender like Sergie Bobrovsky behind him stealing more than just spot starts will certainly force Bryzgalov into a more prominent role. Last season, Bryzgalov finished with a .909 save percentage, 2.48 goals against average, and one charge of larceny after a fully-extended glove save on Pittsburgh Penguins' defenseman Kris Letang in the playoffs. Bryz started just 59 games in the regular season. With the Coyotes in '10-'11, Bryzgalov played in nine more games. He finished with an identical goals against average (2.48), but his save percentage was much more efficient at .921 for the season. The year before that, Bryzgalov started all 69 games that he played in. He posted a 2.29 goals against average with a .920 save percentage and 42 wins in what stands, right now, as the best season of his nine-year career. The moral of the story? Ilya Bryzgalov needs to play, and he needs to play often. He has the ability to be an elite goaltender in the National Hockey League when he's on top of his game. With the mental hurdles seemingly in the past, and without anyone breathing down his neck for playing time or overly criticizing his off-the-wall quotes, Bryzgalov can focus on being the starting goaltender.  We're acclimated to Bryzgalov's personality and playing style. He's acclimated to the hightened media attention and extremely passionate fan base. Let's hope the Russian goaltender can build upon a decent 2012 campaign and turn it into a stellar 2013 season. That would be one small step for Bryz, one giant leap for the Philadelphia Flyers. C.J. Burns is a contributor for Buzz on Broad. Follow him on Twitter @CJBurns215
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Mexico in talks with Marcelo Bielsa for coaching job

Brady: Never thought about air pressure until refs inflated to 16 PSI

Report suggests C.J. Wilson’s teammates not happy he’s seeking season ending surgery

Clowney’s father arrested for attempted murder outside club

Report: L.A.-area venues wary of temporarily hosting NFL teams

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jimmy Graham to block for Marshawn 75 percent of time

Kobe Bryant not sure if 2015-16 is his final NBA season

Report: Arian Foster could be headed to injured reserve

Ari Fleischer: Belichick 'can get away with' shutting down media

RG3 on team's expectatons: Not asking me to be Superman

Bills' Kromer issues statement without apology

UT preview: Why the Volunteers can win the national title

WATCH: Michael Jordan embarrassed by camper over his shoes

Ray Rice: 'I can understand why some people will never forgive me'

Rod Marinelli: “Fortunate” to go through 0-16 season with Lions

WATCH: Jimmy Rollins gets big ovation in return to Philly

2015 Premier League preview: Avoiding relegation

NHL and MLB Advanced Media announce $1.2 billion deal

Knicks analyst Walt Frazier isn’t very enthused about team’s chances next season

Dave Dombrowski is out as Tigers GM

Bubba Watson’s caddie: Bubba has a ‘fear of crowds’

Melvin Gordon’s mom won’t wear his jersey this year

Waiver wire deals to keep an eye on following trade deadline

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 Premier League preview: Avoiding relegation

Kris Bryant on changing to feet-first slide: ‘I only have one head’

MLB season in NY better than expected

Adrian Beltre gets mad when assaulted after HR

Lindsey Vonn shows support for Tiger

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker