Ilya Bryzgalov

Goaltending optional: Jets beat Flyers 9-8


It was “Back to the Future” night in Philadelphia tonight as the Winnipeg Jets made their first trip to the City of Brotherly Love in 15 years. The old new team brought more than a nostalgic name to Wells Fargo Center—they brought 1980s hockey with them. Seventeen combined goals later and the Jets left with a crazy 9-8 victory.

After the game, the news wasn’t the great offense displayed by both teams. Instead, the high-priced offseason acquisition Ilya Bryzgalov had some rather critical things to say. About himself.

Here’s an exhaustive list of things that you wouldn’t want to hear your own goaltender say about himself after a game:

– “I can’t tell you anything right now. I’m lost in the woods right now.”

– “I couldn’t stop the simple shot. That’s probably why players make mistakes, because they have no confidence in their goalie.”

– “I can’t stop the puck. It’s very simple. You can’t ask more from the forwards. They scored 8 goals and we’re still losing.”

– “I’m terrible. I want to apologize to the fans and my teammates. I don’t know what’s going on. I have no answer.”

– “I have zero confidence in myself right now.”

Philadelphia, we have a problem.

The problem is that Bryzgalov’s struggles aren’t a new thing for the Flyers. After getting off to a fantastic start, Bryz has struggled mightily in his last four games. He topped it off tonight by giving up 4 goals on only 10 shots. Needless to say, the Flyers are going to need him to straighten things out if they want to compete for the Eastern Conference crown this season. When you score eight goals and still lose at home, things need to be fixed.

There is a little bit of karmic wonder surrounding the game tonight as well. Remember last season when Bryzgalov was waxing poetically about the lack of parks in Winnipeg? Then he’s lit up like a Christmas tree against the Jets the very next season?

There’s a joke in there somewhere.

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?