John Vanbiesbrouck has never met Ilya Bryzgalov, but has been inside his skin and admits never having been comfortable there in his two years as a Flyers free-agent goaltender signee.

"When you have been drafted and nurtured by the club, as opposed to being brought in as a free agent, you view things differently," said Vanbiesbrouck, a Flyer in 1998-99, when he lost a tight first-round duel against Toronto's Curtis Joseph – whom Philadelphia could have signed instead –and in 2000, when Brian Boucher was the goalie for a semifinal run.

"There probably is more pressure on yourself and the pressure is a self-induced thing," said Vanbiesbrouck, who will be in the Rangers' goal in Saturday's Alumni Game, only because they asked him four days before the Flyers did.

"Nobody knows what's going on in another person's insides. I didn't even know [Bryzgalov] was struggling until you just asked me about this. But the pressure he is putting on himself to not only perform but to analyze his performance, he is going to be his own worst enemy for a while. And he's got to go through it until he realizes he is not here to impress everybody during practice, in the press and in management, trying to be Superman.

"He is one of the best goalies in the league. They wouldn't have signed him unless he was impressive. To look back, it's easy for me to say, but when you are locked and loaded on impressing everybody, it's hard to overcome that."