Ilya Bryzgalov

Outdoor games in Russia sound fun

1 Comment

The upcoming Winter Classic (Jan. 2 on NBC!) won’t be Ilya Bryzgalov’s first outdoor hockey game. As reported by, the Flyers’ goalie also played one in Russia during the mid-90s. And by the sounds of it, the fans at Citizens Bank Park will have their work cut out to match the…atmosphere.

“It was really cold,” recalls Bryzgalov. “A big, drunk crowd. Fights. Very entertaining because the fans were right behind the boards.

“Some of the guys, you dig the puck in the corner, and fans yelling and grabbing and they start to fight and punching each other and yelling at the players. That was very entertaining.”

Now, this is normally the part where a blogger includes a lazy shot at Philly sports fans. Something like, “Hey, if any group can punch each other like a bunch of drunk Russians, it’s Philly sports fans.”

Instead, here’s a classic Yakov Smirnoff commercial.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara
Leave a comment

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.

Kassian suspended without pay, placed in Stage 2 of Substance Abuse Program

Anaheim Ducks v Vancouver Canucks
1 Comment

Zack Kassian may have avoided major injuries stemming from his Sunday car accident, but it likely sent the signal that he may need help.

The response: he was placed in Stage Two of the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program (SABH) of the NHL and NHLPA on Monday.

According to the league’s release, Kassian “will be suspended without pay until cleared for on-ice competition by the program administrators.”

Speaking of being suspended without pay, here’s a key detail:

The 24-year-old ended up with a broken nose and broken foot from that accident. The 2015-16 season was set to be his first campaign in the Montreal Canadiens organization after a tumultuous time with the Vancouver Canucks.

Kassian spoke of becoming more mature heading to Montreal, but the Canadiens were critical of his actions, wondering how many wake-up calls someone can get.

In case you’re wondering about the difference between stage one and two: