Ilya Bryzgalov is a better man than I am. After hearing about how his former Phoenix teammates Derek Morris and Adrian Aucoin ripped Bryzgalov for how he played when he was a Coyote saying he was known for letting in bad goals, Bryzgalov went out and stoned the Coyotes en route to a 2-1 Flyers win.
Afterwards, Bryzgalov spoke a little about those comments and came away looking like a guy hurt by the barbs of guys he helped make the playoffs repeatedly while manning the nets in Phoenix. CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio gets the sad and respectful take from Bryzgalov.
“No, I didn’t hear what they said first of all. Second of all, I don’t know how to say this, you can’t be nice to the whole world; some people hate you, some people like you, some people love, some people it’s just normal. It’s just life. I hope they continue to play well.”
I don’t know about you but I’d love for Bryzgalov to write a book on philosophy with his take on situations in life. “The Tao Of Bryz” has a ring to it. It’d be something like what Bill and Ted came up with when they said, “Be excellent to each other.”
On the serious side, give credit to Bryzgalov for taking the very high road here. It would’ve been easy for him to take pot shots back at Aucoin and Morris especially in the afterglow of a victory, but he kept it cool and just did his own thing. In an era where trash talk is easy to come by, Bryz was the gentleman and let his play do the talking. Good on him.
The New Jersey Devils have been incredibly difficult to beat at home. Lately, the St. Louis Blues have been on a roll just about anywhere.
On Friday night, the Blues were the hotter team, handing the Devils their first home loss in regulation in 2016-17. And it wasn’t particularly close, with St. Louis winning 4-1.
It’s a convenient time to note that the Blues rank among the hottest teams in the NHL. Most recently, they’re 5-1-1 in their last seven games, but they’ve been especially impressive since they flirted with .500 at 7-6-3. Beginning with a 4-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 15, the Blues are on a 8-2-1 tear.
That’s impressive stuff.
This 4-1 win was quite the showcase for Robby Fabbri and Vladimir Tarasenko, in particular. Tarasenko collected three assists while Fabbri scored two goals on Friday night. His second goal was particularly slick:
The Blues are right in saying that this was a pretty fitting opportunity to drop a “Holy Jumpin.”
Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk has been the most difficult goalies to score against this season. Leave it to a high-level player like Leon Draisaitl to make it look this, well, “easy.”
Draisaitl scored his 13th goal of 2016-17 by capping this pretty give-and-go play with Benoit Pouliot. You can see the frustration from Dubnyk at the end of the tally, as if he was saying “How was I supposed to stop that?” (though probably with more colorful language).
Draisaitl came into Friday with five goals and three assists in his last five games, so he’s been almost unstoppable lately.
Read more about his rise here.
In his fifth NHL game, intriguing Washington Capitals prospect Jakub Vrana scored his first NHL goal (and point).
Let’s be honest, though; Evgeny Kuznetsov deserves plenty of the credit, as he sent a fantastic pass for Vrana’s tap-in tally.
See it for yourself:
Even if that was mostly Kuznetsov, Vrana has been getting his chances so far.
He generated four shots on goal in two separate occasions so far in his four games of NHL action, so maybe he was due for a chance like this.
Considering he’s just 20 years old, the Capitals could get used to Kuznetsov to Vrana.
Update: The Capitals won 4-1, and Vrana’s first goal wasn’t the only noteworthy “first.” After piling on shots, John Carlson finally scored his first goal of the season:
No one’s going to confuse Dmitry Kulikov with Jack Eichel, but the Buffalo Sabres are likely happy to have him back after a long absence, too.
The Sabres have been on an upward trend lately (5-2-2 in their last nine games), and now they get a key defenseman back against the Washington Capitals on Friday night.
Kulikov last played on Nov. 9 and hasn’t recorded a point in 12 games, making for a tough start to his stint with the Sabres. Maybe he’ll begin to get a little more traction with his new team tonight?
He’s far from the only returning Buffalo player, either, as Josh Gorges and Nicolas Deslauriers are also back in the mix. Kulikov is slated to be on the Sabres’ second pairing with Cody Franson.
Buffalo sent Brendan Guhle to the AHL to make room for these tweaks.