Moments ago, BroadStreetHockey.com released an article covering a recent Ilya Bryzgalov interview.
Instead of just copying & pasting the whole thing, click here and give it a read.
But here's where my eyebrow flew up;
Q: Are you prepared to deal with the pressure of being the guy that is look to as in some ways a goaltending savior for this organization?
"I want to be. I want to be and I want to be the guy who can carry this team. I don't know what else to say. I want to help this team win the Stanley Cup because people in Philadelphia and the organization have waited long enough. I want to win the Stanley Cup also and I think we have similar ideas, similar goals. That's why we have to work hard and reach this goal. Pressure...we have to deal with the pressure every way and every day in our lives, hockey, everywhere."
Ilya, Philadelphia's happy you know all the right things to say and come off very motivated, but there isn't any pressure existing in the hockey world like there is in The City of Brotherly Love.
Even Sergei Bobrovsky said he was surprised how a fanbase can love you for putting out great performances but then give you such a hard time after just one poor outting. He has never seen anything like our Flyers Faithful.
There isn't going to be a human being followed by more watchful eyes come October 6th than Bryzgalov. And even though this city's been aching for a starting goaltender for close to a quarter century, it is Ilya's ample existing contract with the Flyers that puts the weight of Broad Street on his shoulders.
He's eager to prove himself, which only gets me more excited. He's been there before, he wants it again, and he wants it for Philadelphia because we've "waited long enough."
Is there any doubt that Bryz is a talented netminder? Absolutely not. But what makes a great player is how he handles tremendous pressure. Philly is not only a test for that, but as far as the hockey world is concerned, we're the Supreme Court of pressure. The highest it goes. It has made and broke players in our sports history countless times.
If Ilya assumes he's going to skate on to our ice fully grasping the levels of our soul crushing expectations then someone's going to need to tap him on the shoulder and let him know that he's seen NOTHING yet.