"I don't use numbers," Laviolette said. "Now Bryz has gotten the majority of the starts, if that answers your question or not."
Laviolette acknowledged he's bothered even when he concedes who's on the Flyers' No. 4 line, because he does not like to indicate where players rank. The greatest indicator, though, is time on the ice.
Despite Bobrovsky's superior statistics, Bryzaglov has started 29 games this season. Bobrovsky has started 14.
"As evident, Bryz has gotten the majority of the work," Laviolette said. "In the last five games, Bryz has gotten the majority of the work. I don't see it changing."
Laviolette added Bryzgalov was signed to be the Flyers' "horse." The team will need him to play as he did in Phoenix, when his average goals allowed per game topped 2.48 only once in four seasons. He's allowed 3.07 goals per game this season with the Flyers. During those years with the Coyotes, Bryzgalov averaged 64 starts. He's on pace to start 55 this season.
"That's philosophy, kind of like a philosopher question," Bryzgalov said when asked how many starts he needs. "When the team needs me, I'm going to play."
Laviolette said he has no number in mind for the amount of games Bryzgalov needs to start. Bryzgalov acknowledged he'd like to get into a rhythm with consistent starts, although he couldn't say whether it's necessary for him, because he's never experienced a season when he was the starting goalie and did not receive consistent playing time.
The Flyers recalled defenseman Erik Gustafsson last week after the 23-year-old missed nearly 2 months with a wrist injury. Before Gustafsson's injury, he played from 16 to 23 minutes in each of his five games. In his return on Saturday against Nashville, Gustafsson played only 12:41.
Asked whether he expects his ice time to increase, Gustafsson said, "You get the ice time you deserve, so I hope so."
His increased time likely would come at the expense of Andreas Lilja, who was a healthy scratch on Saturday. Gustafsson acknowledged he felt nervous in the game, but he became more comfortable as the game progressed. He thought he had a "pretty good" practice yesterday and believes he's benefited from the time away.
"It's a long season, so short- term, I'm more fresh now for the end of the season," Gustafsson said. "Long term, it gives me perspective when you sit in the stands and watch the games. I try to watch Kimmo [Timonen] or Matty [Carle], see what they do and try to learn from it. The more experience you have, the better you're going to be."
Tonight's game against the Minnesota Wild marks the first of 11 of 15 games at the Wells Fargo Center. This stretch follows four consecutive road games and a December schedule that included 10 of 13 games on the road, so the Flyers appreciate the time in their building.
"It seemed like we were home a couple of games and then back on the road for 8 days," Laviolette said. "You mix that with our late November and December . . . It was a grind. It's good to get through it still being in good shape, and we hope to make some hay down the stretch here."
Of the four upcoming road games, two are against the Devils and Rangers, so the Flyers board an airplane only twice until a trip out West starts on Feb. 21.
The Flyers gave no update on forward James van Riemsdyk, who is out indefinitely with a concussion. He was unavailable for comment yesterday after practice . . . Forward Blair Betts practiced with the club, although he's still out indefinitely with a knee injury. Betts said after practice he expects to play this season . . . Forward Zac Rinaldo, who would seem to benefit with playing time in van Riemsdyk's absence, was hit in the head and left practice early. However, the team does not expect Rinaldo to miss any time.