But Phoenix Bryz - he's the guy who was a Vezina contender a couple of years ago - has morphed into a goalie who lost his confidence in the big city and dragged the Flyers' goals-against average to 2.97, 26th in the 30-team NHL.
"I will try to find peace in my soul to play in this city," Bryzgalov said after the Flyers' 6-4 loss to the Penguins on Saturday.
Lost in the woods one month. Lost in the city in another. (BTW, it's tough not rooting for Bryzgalov. He is refreshingly honest. If only his candidness could translate into a higher save percentage.)
Since there are no do-overs, the Flyers are stuck with his nine-year contract and forced into Plan B: get as many big, physical defensemen before the Feb. 27 trade deadline and hope they can clear bodies and prevent Philly Bryz from having to make many difficult saves.
Grossman is 6-4, 230 pounds; Kubina is 6-4, 258.
Lots of fans, sensing the Flyers have little chance to win a Cup this season, wanted them to be sellers and trade prospective free agent Matt Carle and the aging Kimmo Timonen,
My response: Remember 2010.
That was the year the Flyers stumbled down the stretch and needed a shootout win on the last day of the regular season - somehow, Brian Boucher outdueled Henrik Lundqvist, the New York Rangers' superb goalie - just to qualify for the playoffs.
A little more than seven weeks later, the seventh-seeded Flyers were Eastern Conference champions and playing Chicago for the Stanley Cup. It's a Cup they probably would have won if Michael Leighton hadn't been so awful in goal.
Fast-forward to 2012. After an impressive first three months, the Flyers have been a model of mediocrity. They have gone 6-7-3 since Jan. 14. Worse, they are 0-5 against the Rangers, a team they might meet in the playoffs.
But with the addition of two physical defensemen and an offense that averages a league-best 3.31 goals per game, the Flyers have what it takes to be a Cup contender - if Bryzgalov reverts to his old self.
Make that IF.
By the time the playoffs roll around, James van Riemsdyk, Jaromir Jagr (who started his revival Saturday with two goals), and Danny Briere could return to form after battling injuries.
If those players are effective, they help give the Flyers three dangerous lines - and take some of the pressure off rookie Matt Read.
For those who say the Flyers cannot match up with the Rangers or Bruins in the playoffs, I hear where you are coming from.
But, again: Remember 2010.
That's the year everyone figured the Flyers could not compete with Pittsburgh or Washington if they met in the playoffs. So what happened? Both of those teams were jolted in early rounds and the Flyers never had to face them.
"There's no science to this," coach Peter Laviolette said a few days ago. "Teams have struggled right up until the last day of the year. They get in there and they win a Cup. Teams that have been dynamite the entire year, they lose in the first round. There's no method to the madness."
That's why Holmgren pulled the trigger on two deals. Toronto's Luke Schenn, who leads the NHL in hits, would have been a better fit, but apparently he wasn't available.
Still, the pieces are in place. On offense. On defense.
In goal? Well, there was a "Bring in Evgeni Nabokov" clamor on Twitter on Saturday, and it was understandable.
Inside the Flyers: Getting Physical
Nick Grossman, a self-described "defensive defenseman," gives the Flyers a more physical presence on the blue line. With Dallas, the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder had 96 hits and 100 blocked shots. Each of those totals would have placed him third among Flyers blue-liners. Here are his totals entering Saturday, along with the Flyers' other defensemen (before the trade later Saturday for Pavel Kubina):
Player GP Hits Bl. Give. +/-
Andrej Meszaros 56 132 81 26 +2
Braydon Coburn 56 119 80 33 +2
Nick Grossman 52 96 100 25 Even
Marc-Andre Bourdon 38 64 63 20 +2
Kimmo Timonen 57 46 103 23 +13
Andreas Lilja 33 42 48 13 +2
Matt Carle 57 38 114 38 +3
Key: Bl. - Blocks; Give. - Giveaways
- Sam Carchidi
Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at email@example.com or @BroadStBull on Twitter.