Sam Carchidi over on Broad Street Bull has an insightful interview with Philadelphia Flyers chairman Ed Snider, who feels the Flyers would have won the Stanley Cup had Chris Pronger and Andrej Meszaros been healthy. Which is a sentiment we're sure more than a few Philly fans might share.
It'll be interesting see how many of the Flyers faithful follow Snider's beliefs in defending his 9-year, $51-million investment into Ilya Bryzgalov as the solution in goal. It was Snider that pushed for Bryz, declaring that the Flyers' goaltending carousel had to be shut down.
So what did he think about Bryzgalov's first season with the Flyers? Snider called it a "mixed bag."
"It went from shaky at times to spectacular at tikes. The Bryz we saw in March" — the goalie was named the league's player of the month — "I hope will be the Bryz that we see consistently in the future. I think he wasn't prepared for Philadelphia fans and the microscope that he's under. I think we're tougher on goalies maybe than any other team in the league. I think our fans are frustrated, and rightfully so, for the goaltending carousel that we've had through the years. It's the problem of management, not of Bryzgalov. We blew it and we created the situation (in the past). I watch the playoffs and regular season games, and ALL goalies let in bad goals, but when a goalie in Philadelphia lets in a bad goal, it's like a disaster."
Again, Snider said it's ownership and management that created the environment and pressure that appeared to get to Bryzgalov during the season:
"Even though he jokes around, he's extremely sensitive and it affected him. But you can see how he can play. He was voted the best player in the league in March, and it's a great accomplishment."
You couldn't expect Snider to do anything but back Bryzgalov — anything else would kick-start the goalie carousel he attempted to shut down last summer. Too bad … it would have been fun to see the Flyers move off of Bryzgalov and scare up the resources to sign Ryan Suter and trade for Roberto Luongo as a complete overreaction.
Read much, much more from Carchidi here. Oh, and on Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, Snider said: "I hope they win the Cup. They're nice guys."