Ilya Bryzgalov

Bryzgalov finds his way out of the woods

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Ilya Bryzgalov doesn’t regret falling to pieces in front of the media following his performance on Oct. 27 against Winnipeg. Philadelphia’s goalie was lost in the woods, so he said he was lost in the woods. If he were trapped in a glass case of emotion, he’d say that too.

“I never run from responsibility,” Bryzgalov said, as per “When I play bad, I tell you I played bad. When I play well, I tell you I play well. It’s just life, it is what it is.”

Things have turned around dramatically for Bryzgalov since that wild night at the Wells Fargo Center. He’s 4-0-1 in his last five, surrendering just nine goals along the way with a .939 save percentage.

By no coincidence, Bryzgalov is working better with his defensemen after some earlier communication breakdowns.

“I think he’s got to adapt to us like we’ve got to adapt to him,” said Chris Pronger. “He’s a goalie that plays a certain way, and we play a certain way, and the two need to mesh. Sometimes it takes time.”

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.

On a new contract, Avs don’t dress Stuart in opener

DENVER, CO - MARCH 14:  Brad Stuart #17 of the Colorado Avalanche looks on as he skates against the Calgary Flames at Pepsi Center on March 14, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Flames 3-2.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Brad Stuart wasn’t on the ice for the first game of his two-year, $7.2 million contract and it had nothing to do with his health.

Avalanche coach Patrick Roy felt Stuart simply wasn’t one of the six best defensemen in training camp and consequently he wasn’t in the lineup, per the Denver Post.

“Things could change for the next game,” Roy offered. “Like I said (Wednesday), we’re going to use those eight D all year long. (Last night was) just the first game of the season.”

Perhaps, but it’s still a terrible indicator, especially given that Stuart will turn 36 on Nov. 6. Stuart is a veteran of over 1,000 games, but now the question is if he has enough left in the tank to provide Colorado with much value.

The Avalanche also scratched defenseman Brandon Gormley, who was acquired from the Coyotes in exchange for Stefan Elliott. The hope was that both players would benefit from the change in scenery. Gormley was taken with the 13th overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but has only played in 32 career NHL games.