Ilya Bryzgalov - Epic - 24-7

Ilya Bryzgalov is the NHL’s First Star of the Week…again


It’s Ilya Bryzgalov’s universe.

The rest of us are just living in it.

For the second consecutive week, the Philadelphia Flyers goalie was named the NHL’s first star — this time after posting a 3-0-1 record while allowing just six goals, pushing the Flyers to within three points of the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers.

“He’s got his swagger back,” Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossmann told “He’s been real good. This is the way we need him to play.”

Bryzgalov is the first player this season to be named First Star in back-to-back weeks.

Second star went to another oft-scrutinized goalie — Chicago’s Corey Crawford. Despite starting the week bolted to the pine, he notched three wins for the red-hot Blackhawks while allowing just three goals. Crawford came off the bench to relieve an ineffective Ray Emery (three goals on six shots) against St. Louis last Tuesday, backstopping the ‘Hawks to a 4-3 comeback win. He then proceeded to register victories over Dallas and Washington, pushing Chicago within four points of Nashville for fourth place in the West.

Speaking of Nashville, third star of the week went to Predators forward Martin Erat. He had 2G-5A-7PTS as the Preds went 2-1-1 last week, including being in on three goals in Tuesday’s big 5-4 win over Phoenix.  The 30-year-old Czech now has 18G-38A-56PTS this year, one point shy of a career high set in 2006-07 and 1007-08.

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
Getty Images
Leave a comment

It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.