Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
You should write this down for next year's fantasy hockey draft - selecting Ilya Bryzgalov means enjoying/sweating through a rollercoaster ride.
Bryzgalov has been the definition of up and down this season. He was just 3-2-3 in October, then went on a six-game win streak in November. The following month saw him fall below .500, going 3-4-1 with a .918 save percentage.
Since the turn of the calendar to 2011, Bryzgalov has tried to pick up the pace, going 6-4 in January. The month included a four-game win streak, but also a streak of four losses in a five-game stretch.
Bryzgalov is currently riding an eight-game win streak, including two shutouts.
This is nothing new for Bryzgalov, who last season had a resume which included a seven-game win streak, a five-game win streak and two four gamers.
Bryzgalov was the sixth goaltender off the board in this season's draft, but until this win streak wasn't living up to fantasy owner expectations. Of course a lot was expected of Bryzgalov after a 42-20-6 record in 2009-10 with a GAA of 2.29 and a save percentage of .920.
Before this current streak began, Bryzgalov was just 19-14-6 and his GAA was way above last year's level. He had just given up five goals to Vancouver and was replaced by Jason LaBarbera midway through the third period.
If only head coach Dave Tippett had given him the "secret elixir" earlier in the season, we'd be much happier with his current season results.
Still, with his current record at 27-14-6, Bryzgalov has a slight chance of reaching last year's totals if he stays hot. Over the final 21 games, 11 are at home and 10 are away from the Jobing.com Arena.
Bryzgalov has actually played much better on the road, going 12-4-2 with a 2.34 GAA and a .927 save percentage versus 15-10-4 at home with a 2.68 GAA and a .913 save percentage.
He's ranked 10th among goaltenders at the moment, so he'll need to keep the streak going if he is to give you "fair market value" for the season.
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