Ilya Bryzgalov is on his way to the American Hockey League.
The veteran netminder, who cleared waivers on Monday, informed the Ducks he would accept his assignment to AHL Norfolk, the club announced today. Bryzgalov will re-join the Admirals for the second time this season; earlier, he appeared in a pair of games on a conditioning stint, going 1-1-0 with a 2.53 GAA and .915 save percentage.
There was some thought that the 34-year-old wouldn’t report to the AHL, but heading to Norfolk makes sense for Bryzgalov. One, the Ducks are still in a state of flux with regards to their goaltending; Frederik Andersen is out injured and John Gibson, for all his promise, remains a 21-year-old rookie with just 14 games of NHL experience.
After those two, the No. 3 gig is essentially up for grabs between Bryzgalov and fellow veteran Jason LaBarbera, and it stands to reason Bryzgalov could play his way back into form with some reps at the American League level.
That said, it doesn’t sound like Ducks GM Bob Murray is overly hopeful:
Ilya Bryzgalov cleared waivers on Monday — to nobody’s surprise — and, shortly thereafter, the Ducks moved quickly and replaced him on the active roster recalling veteran Jason LaBarbera from AHL Norfolk.
For Bryzgalov, this could be the end of his NHL activity for the season. Signed to a one-year, $2.88 million deal — which is a fairly big price tag, given he’s only played eight games for the Ducks — the 34-year-old netminder could report to AHL Norfolk, though it remains unclear if he’ll accept a move to the minors.
For Anaheim, the move gives them three goalies at the NHL level. LaBarbera joins John Gibson and Frederik Andersen — who’s close to returning from injury — and it sound as though Gibson will start and LaBarbera will back up tonight when the Ducks take on Detroit.
The Anaheim Ducks have reportedly placed goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov on waivers.
Bryzgalov joined the Ducks in December on a professional tryout and appeared in eight games posting a 1-4-1 record to go along with a 4.19 G.A.A. and an .847 save percentage.
His last appearance came on Feb.10 against the Florida Panthers where he allowed three goals on eight shots before being replaced by John Gibson.
Gibson has started all five games (3-2-0) for the Ducks since that 6-2 loss to the Panthers. Anaheim plays host to the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night. According to Eric Stephens of The Orange County Register, Frederik Andersen (neck) could be back this week.
Bryzgalov split last season between the Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild before going unsigned in the offseason.
Ilya Bryzgalov faced only eight shots against the Florida Panthers, before getting hooked early in the second period of Tuesday’s game.
However, despite not facing a huge total of shots, the three goals allowed — the final one coming on Aaron Ekblad’s ninth of the season — ended Bryzgalov’s night. John Gibson, recalled with Frederik Andersen now on IR, took over in net.
The Ducks, Pacific Division leaders and with a chance to take over top spot in the Western Conference, found themselves down 3-0, but scored less than two minutes after Bryzgalov was pulled to cut the deficit to two goals before the midway point of the second period.
The San Jose Sharks have just had the Anaheim Ducks’ number lately. That continued in a big way on Thursday, as they prevailed 6-3.
Just take a look at two stats that exemplify the fact that it wasn’t all on Ilya Bryzgalov.
There were some out there who wondered if Bryzgalov was getting unfair treatment when he went into the 2014-15 season without an NHL contract. On a night like this, it’s difficult to imagine him playing at the highest level next year.
The San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks came into Thursday’s second period tied 1-1 and then things just fell apart for Bryzgalov & Co. It wasn’t all Bryzgalov’s fault, yet it’s still hard not to focus on him after he gave up six goals on 25 shots.
Some of those tallies were just pretty, like this great bit of puck movement that set up Joe Pavelski’s power-play goal:
Others were just rough to watch, like this Matt Irwin tally:
The Ducks probably wanted Bryzgalov to stick it out, but that was just getting uncomfortable.
Bryzgalov came in with a 1-2-0 record and a lousy .854 save percentage, yet his last start showed some promise. That’s gone away now.
The last two goals allowed were especially rough:
Update: The Ducks scored a couple garbage goals to make the score more respectable, but there weren’t really any fireworks in the third period. The Sharks ultimately took the game 6-3.
OK, one eventful thing happened in the later moments: