I am a Flyer fan but don't worry I am one of the reasonable ones. I know our fanbase gets a bad rap but I am only here to hear some of the Penguins fan's opinions on our great upcoming series.
The Penguins have star power scoring.
The Flyers have depth scoring.
The Penguins and Flyers to my knowledge have pretty even defense. Both are solid but give up lots of odd man rushes.
In MY opinion, the Flyers have the advantage in goal. I understand most of you won't agree with me but if you don't then please leave your reasons why. Here are my reasons.
Fleury is a great young goaltender who won a cup. But he won it based on Crosby and Malkin caring the team not him. He did have big stops, but highlight reel stops are not worth it unless you are also quite good. Just ask Steve Mason who was on the top ten saves of the week each week this year and sports the worst season numbers.
Fleury's status as an elite goaltender is also inflated with his shootout performance, which while fantastic is meaningless in the playoffs. I don't want to diminish or seem arrogant when I say his 42 wins and .913 SVT doesn't scare me, but they are average numbers (Except for the wins but the Penguins are one of the best teams in hockey).
Now onto my own Netminder
Bryzgalov was a laughing stock through the first half. I would argue unjustly so. He had bad problems with deflections and poor defense that gave up close to 16 scoring chances a game! (That is very high). But he simply wasn't very good. But he did show signs up playing very well (Such as his 3-2 win over the penguins earlier in the season).
Then March came, and I will be the first to admit one good month doesn't mean a lot. But I think for a lot of people that watched Bryz, it wasn't one insane month out of nowhere. It was just a month where all the little things went our way.
I know Bryz has struggled in the postseason but he was playing Detroit with a Phoenix team. And his first postseason appearance he posted 3 shutouts and was a used backup to a Stanley Cup.
At the end of the day we have a comparison of:
Fleury- 34 Regulation Wins 10 Ties .913 SVT 2.36 GAA 3 SO
Bryz- 30 Regulations Wins 8 Ties .909 SVT 2.48 GAA 6 SO
Fleury wins. Hands down. But I would argue given Bryzgalov's truly Horrid first half, that was not an accurate representation of his ability, Bryzgalov has to be given the edge for getting his numbers to be comparable to Fleury over the whole season.
But here is where (Again in my opinion) Bryz starts to outshine Fleury
Since the All Star Break:
Fleury has had a .914 SVT
Bryz has had a .937 SVT
Bryz has been pulled 3 times to Fleury's 5
Bryzgalov also has a .925 save percentage in close games (Games decided by 1 goal) whilst Fleury has .913 in close games.
Bryzgalov vs the Penguins (This season)= .913
Fleury vs the Flyers(This season)= .867
(I am ignoring the last game of the season because that was not a real game)
Bryz vs Penguins (Last 3 years)= .929
Fleury vs Flyers (Last 3 years ) = .888
Both have dealt with injured defensive corps. (More so I would argue Bryzgalov)
Both have run and gun type systems so that cannot be used to boost Fleury at all.
I as a Flyers fan look forward to a great series, with a team I respect (Except for Cooke) and dare I say even like (To an extent).
But I personally think the Flyers have the absolute advantage in Goaltending. If you disagree then please leave a reason and not just "You don't know what your talking about, Fleury is sooo much better".
See you guys in the playoffs!