On Monday, Ilya Bryzgalov practiced with his new AHL Oklahoma teammates in preparation for his first game — Tuesday’s 10:35 a.m. local time (yes, you read that right) puck drop against the San Antonio Rampage.
The plan, it seems, is to give Bryzgalov a series of games in quick succession to get him up to NHL speed, then join the Oilers. The Barons play tomorrow morning (again, that’s right) before hosting Abbotsford in a pair of exhibition games this weekend.
“It’s a good opportunity for me to play a few games, get some good practice with good players to get some shots and get myself in good shape,” Bryzgalov said, noting that he has some experience with morning affairs. “I played for years in the minors with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks and they had those kinds of games.”
Assuming Bryzgalov can cram in a week’s worth of practices and three games by Sunday, it’s possible the Oilers could recall him in time for next Tuesday’s game, a home date against Columbus — where he’d have a chance to go up against former Flyers goaltending mate and reigning Vezina winner, Sergei Bobrovsky.