“DEFCON Goalie Panic 1”

Sean McIndoe for Grantland:

God bless the Philadelphia Flyers.

Look, Ilya Bryzgalov is one of the few genuine characters in the league. Between his legendary performance on HBO’s 24/7, his bizarrely endearing Twitter account, and his fear of bears, it’s hard to root against him.

Hard, but not impossible, as hockey fans will learn this year when they’ll all be secretly hoping that he fails spectacularly. Not because they don’t like him, of course. It’s just that he’s a goaltender who plays for the Flyers, and that means that even two bad games in a row will trigger DEFCON Goalie Panic 1 in Philadelphia.

They may be there already, if you believe recent reports that they’re in on trading for Luongo. But I want to see it go further. I want “Brodeur to Philly” rumors. I want a Roman Cechmanek comeback. I want them to sign Henrik Lundqvist’s identical twin brother, even though he doesn’t play goal.

Is it wrong that I really want this to happen? Read the whole article for the Down Goes Brown treatment of nine other players to watch in the NHL this year.

(You should buy his book, too.)

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