There’ll be no rest for Ilya Bryzgalov.
That was the word out of Philadelphia prior to Tuesday’s Flyers-Leafs game, as the Flyers announced Bryzgalov would make his 19th start of the season — the most in the NHL thus far.
The development is newsworthy given Bryzgalov said he was ‘exhausted’ last week.
“I feel exhausted, and I’m pretty sure my team feels the same way because it’s a crazy schedule,” he told CSN Philadelphia. “Lots of travel, lots of games, lots of back-to-back games and sometimes it’s just tough to find the energy and emotions to play some games, even when you know it’s a very important game.
“But nothing is left inside you because you need some time to regroup.”
Bryzgalov’s 19th start will put him two ahead of Detroit’s Jimmy Howard and Buffalo’s Ryan Miller as the busiest goalie in the NHL. He also leads in minutes played (1,018) and is second in shots faced (478).
That said, Bryzgalov sounded energized following Saturday’s 5-3 win over the Jets, saying he felt “good, like always.”
The 32-year-old netminder will need to keep feeling good, as Philly’s schedule doesn’t get any lighter.
The Flyers are in the midst of a five-game homestand but, on Mar. 5, will set out to New York to play the Rangers at MSG.
That begins a stretch that will see them play five of their next eight games on the road, which includes a back-to-back on Mar. 9-10 (at Boston, vs. Buffalo.)