If all things were created equally in the Russian province of Flyers goaltending, then Peter Laviolette would have the luxury of riding the better goalie into the Winter Classic.

As of now, that would be Sergei Bobrovsky, who has been very solid in his two most recent starts, in Dallas and in Pittsburgh, both victories. Go back two years ago and Laviolette elected to play Michael Leighton over Rhode Island native Brian Boucher in the 2010 Winter Classic at Fenway Park. The decision left Boucher, a die-hard Red Sox fan, chapped by his coach's decision.

But in the case of Leighton and Boucher, you're talking about a pair of back-ups both vying for playing time. The Flyers didn't have a No. 1 once Ray Emery was lost for the season. This time, it's different. The Flyers made a nine-year commitment to Bryzgalov and whether you like it or not, he's the No. 1 now and will be once the playoffs begin

If Laviolette made the bold move of starting Bob on Monday, I'd be concerned over the way Bryzgalov would handle the decision psychologically. Clearly, he's a little different. Clearly, his thoughts don't appear to be locked into hockey when they should be, after listening to his interviews over the past few weeks, and his play on the ice seems to reflect that. When talking to cameras during the most recent 24/7 on HBO, I was slightly concerned about his mindset after feeling "homesick" for the holidays.