Luongo versus Bryzgalov. It’s a matchup and conversation that before last Friday, we would only really have discussed in the Stanley Cup Finals. Now, due to reports being leaked out of the Flyers interest in him, has the Flyers fan base rattled on whether or not a move should be made. We have had several conversations about it publicly, discussed it in detail on our Podcast which can be heard here, and have answered multiple questions on twitter. This article is an attempt to put the conversation to rest. Rather than give you statistics to support either side, I am just going to provide logic. All the statistics in the world may still not change the gut instinct of a fan that wants something done, so I am going to talk through my thought process, and see if we can come to an agreement.
First, the mindset. Both goalies are head cases. Bryz mindset is something that we all have been able to witness first hand. Not only because he is a Flyer, but because of 24/7. He came to a big market where is “the” guy, was put in front of a camera for the whole sport to watch in a premier showcase and it turned into an unmitigated disaster. Luongo however, is just as bad. He is a goaltender that already plays in a big market, a Stanley Cup contender, and a guy that crumbles come playoff time. He was benched in the playoffs on the President’s Trophy winning organization and has never regained his confidence knowing he was expendable. He would come into another big market, expected to win immediately, and will be given no adjustment period by the fans. Why trade one head case for another?
Second, the roster move. Bryz is on the roster, Luongo is not…it doesn’t get any more simple than that. For Bryz, you gave up small pieces for the ability to sign him prior to FA last offseason, and then you traded away your leading goal scorer and your captain. Now, you want to amnesty/retain for the season Bryz and give up MORE pieces for Luongo? Which pieces should we give up? Should we give up our young core of forwards , or deplete our defense even more? Maybe we should trade away some prospects, not like we need them to fill a roster that will need to eventually replace Kimmo, Danny B, Rusty etc. Why give up more pieces when you really don’t have the resources to do so? Those pieces could be used around the trade deadline for an impending FA star on a team that may not be able to resign them (Perry, Getzlaf etc).
Third, the opportunity. Bryz was not given a legitimate shot to earn our trust. One season does not cut it for me and I am a “diehard.” It was a completely new situation to him, and coming into the spot light he had never been in before, coupled with all the Winter Classic entails, it was a recipe for disaster. Look at Bryz in the second half of the season. In March, he was the first star for the whole NHL and in the Devils series, he was the least of our problems (minus the one goal we won’t speak about). Coming into a more familiar situation with few distractions, Bryz can be Bryz and make saves like this.
When all is said and done, I will support Holmgren in any move that he makes. He is the 1 GM in this city that I have the most faith in to make the right moves to get us a championship. If he sees Luongo as a better fit, go do it. I just hope whatever Homer does, pans out.
As always, please follow our team on twitter @TheOrangeUpdate @215cash @feelgoodfrank @ebbonderr and @peltzerjm. Make sure you tune into TOUcast every Sunday at 10pm where we discuss all things Flyers.