Ilya Bryzgalov

Bryzgalov doesn’t know what his illness is: “I’m not a doctor”


Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov knows he’s not feeling well.

But as to why he’s not feeling well?

No clue.

“I’m still sick,” Bryzgalov told CSN’s Tim Panaccio on Sunday. “I have no idea what [it is]. I’m not a doctor. I wasn’t throwing up.”

The $51-million man has missed Philly’s last three games with the illness and was dropped from the lineup entirely in a 5-2 loss to the Rangers (Jason Bacashihua was recalled from the AHL to back up Sergei Bobrovsky.) Bryz was healthy enough to back up Bob in Detroit last night, but said he’s still not feeling up to snuff.

“I can’t breath normally,” he said. “I have a sore throat. Headaches.”

There does appear to be a light and the end of the tunnel, however. Bryzgalov has started reacting positively to antibiotics and with the Flyers in the midst of a four-day break, there’s a good chance he’ll recover in time to face the Sabres on Thursday.

PHT Morning Skate: Bryzgalov feels like a soccer goalie

Winnipeg Jets v Philadelphia Flyers

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

The Philadelphia Flyers must miss simpler times when Ilya Bryzgalov compared women to exotic animals and pontificated about the universe. Now his confidence is in a place where he said that shootouts make him feel like a soccer net is behind him. Yikes. (

With this morning’s upcoming big (and totally mysterious) announcement in mind, the Toronto Maple Leafs would love to be involved in the next HBO 24/7 series. Enjoy a few interesting takes on which Buds would be the biggest stars if that happens. (The Toronto Star)

Is Ales Hemsky on the Nashville Predators’ trade radar? (On the Forecheck)

Sure, Rick Nash is frustrated, but Aaron Portzline believes that “nothing has changed” in the relationship between the Columbus Blue Jackets and their captain. (Aaron Portzline’s Twitter)

The Anaheim Ducks stayed hot with an overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes, but it wasn’t without some controversy. It’s hard to deny the sentiment that Corey Perry should have gotten a penalty creating the turnover that allowed him to score the game-winner:

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Rich Hammond examines whether or not the Los Angeles Kings are shopping much-ballyhooed backup Jonathan Bernier. Going further, Hammond wonders what the Kings could get if they decided to deal the hyped netminder. (LA Kings Insider)

Want to read another story about the Philadelphia Flyers bringing Luke and Brayden Schenn together? Of course you do. (Toronto Sun)

Joe Haggerty provides 15 thoughts on the Boston Bruins-Buffalo Sabres game. I bet I’ve than 15 thoughts in a full day. (

Harvey Fialkov reports that Jose Theodore is ready to return to action, but he’ll back up Scott Clemmensen on Thursday. Look, when your goalie’s coming off a game where he allowed four goals on 24 shots, you gotta ride the hot ha-wait a minute … (Florida Sun-Sentinel)

Want evidence of the power of the Winter Classic? It will bring beer to the Big House! (Detroit Free Press)

Chris Phillips looks back on his career as game No. 1,000 approaches. (

Despite numbers, Bryzgalov still the man in Philly

Ilya Bryzgalov

In 30 games between the pipes for the Flyers, Ilya Bryzgalov has a 3.07 goals-against average with a .891 save percentage. Among regular starters in the NHL, his numbers are right down there with the worst.

But don’t talk to Peter Laviolette about numbers – Philly’s coach cares not for statistics.

“I hate numbers, you know that,” Laviolette told reporters today when asked if Bryzgalov was still his number one goalie. “That’s a silly question. I don’t use numbers.”

Laviolette added: “Bryz was brought here to be a horse and has received the majority of games. I don’t see that changing.”

Not that it matters to the coach, but Sergei Bobrovsky’s numbers (2.42 GAA, .921 SV%) are considerable better than Bryzgalov’s.

Roenick on Bryzgalov: “Bryz is an odd bird”

Ilya Bryzgalov

Sam Donnellon of spoke with former Flyer (and NHL on NBC analyst) Jeremy Roenick about the plight of Philadelphia netminder Ilya Bryzgalov.

Roenick, as you may have seen on HBO 24/7, sought out Bryzgalov at the Winter Classic and offered words of encouragement, something the Russian netminder probably appreciated. Bryzgalov has struggled throughout his first season in Philly (3.07 GAA, .891 save percentage) and was benched for the marquee event in favor of backup Sergei Bobrovsky.

Making matters worse, Bobrovsky will make his second consecutive start tonight against the Islanders.

So, what does JR make of the Bryzgalov situation?

“It’s a very tough position,” Roenick said. “And when you get a contract like he got in a city like Philadelphia, where the expectations are immense, it’s very easy to feel the pressure.”

Some say Bryzgalov’s antics only increase that pressure. Deemed quirky at the best of times and flaky at the worst, Bryzgalov’s bizarre quotes and unique outlook on the universe are becoming less endearing (to Flyers fans especially) with every poor performance.

Notorious oddballs like Ed Belfour and Dominik Hasek — both former Roenick teammates — were given a green light for their goofiness because they were arguably the finest netminders in the game.

Bryzgalov currently ranks 59th in goals-against and 66th in save percentage.

“I definitely think that Bryz is an odd bird,” Roenick said. “Lots of goaltenders I’ve played with are odd birds. It doesn’t make him different.

“I don’t know if Bryz goes into his own little world and just hangs out there, but sometimes goaltenders need to just do that. Belfour would do that on game days. He’d go into his own little world, a world in which he just got angry. So that competitive edge would just come out in him.

“When Dominik first came over from the Czech Republic, he would just drop the stick in practice and tell you to shoot harder and faster. He’d tell you to shoot at his head so he could practice making saves with his head.

“He was just nuts.”

Another difference between Bryzgalov and Belfour/Hasek is Bryz routinely owns up to his shortcomings, even joking about them. He said he was “lost in the woods” after a 9-8 loss to Winnipeg earlier this season and joked the Flyers had “a chance to win” the Winter Classic because Bobrovsky was playing, not him.

Not that Roenick sees a problem with such honesty.

“Actually my hat’s off to him for calling himself out,” said Roenick. “I respect him for calling himself out. For telling the media that he’s not been good. He’s not hiding behind anything.

“He might be a little too honest. But hopefully people can appreciate that.”

Flyers brass tells Bryzgalov to stop talking for a while

Ilya Bryzgalov

According to’s Tim Panaccio, Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov has been told to knock it off with all the chit-chat.

Ilya Bryzgalov’s pre-Winter Classic press conference, in which he announced he wasn’t going to start and then proceeded to have four different scrums with the media, didn’t go over well with Flyers brass.

Naturally, for the second time this season, the Bryzard of Oz was told to shut his mouth and keep his conversations simple — not planetary complex.

Panaccio reports that Bryzgalov still chatted and joked around with the media today, but he was “clearly on-guard.”

Bryzgalov stopped 30 of 34 shots in yesterday’s 5-4 win over the Blackhawks. While the victory was nice, it didn’t help his numbers (3.01 GAA, .890 SV%).

Panaccio expects Bryzgalov to start tomorrow afternoon at home to the Senators, with Sergei Bobrovsky getting the nod in Sunday’s rematch at Ottawa.