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Laviolette on Bryzgalov gaffe: “That goal was tough. It stung. It hurt.”

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Peter Laviolette didn’t really throw Ilya Bryzgalov under the bus when speaking of the stunning goal that ended up booting the Philadelphia Flyers from the playoffs. He didn’t sugarcoat its impact to NBC’s Tom Layberger, either, though.

“I thought that second goal was a tough bounce,” Laviolette said. “We were in possession and the puck ends up in the back of our net. That goal was tough. It stung. It hurt. I thought our guys were playing hard and skating early in the game. That was more of an unfortunate bounce than anything else.”

In other words, he basically seconded Ilya Bryzgalov assessment of it being “unlucky.” Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that he stood by his goalie after allowing him to fight through some tough times throughout the 2012 playoffs.

When asked if the Penguins series took something out of the Flyers, Laviolette’s response was simple: “No.” Instead, he gave the Devils a lot of credit.

“I think you have to give New Jersey credit for the way they played defense and the way they forechecked,” Laviolette said. “They kept it from being the game that we wanted and we could never seem to get down that road.”

One other thing the Flyers (and their opponents) couldn’t do was take advantage of a 1-0 lead. In their 11 playoff games, the team who scored the first goal went a stunning 1-10, which is just another confounding thing for Laviolette and the rest of the franchise to chew on.

It sounds like they’ll do their best to let that memorable goal go, though.

Bryzgalov reflects on Game 5, gaffe: “An unlucky night”

bryzgalovbelievegetty
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It’s almost too easy to scapegoat Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov for their five-game second round letdown against the New Jersey Devils. After all, the series-clinching goal he allowed will likely live on in fans’ memories long after people forget about Philly’s tepid offense (it was only 2-1 New Jersey in the first period of what was eventually a 3-1 loss) and porous defense. One could say Bryzgalov was a victim of bad luck.

In fact, that’s basically what Bryzgalov said when he explained that gaffe to NBC’s Tom Layberger.

“I tried to put the puck in the corner for Kimmo [Timonen] for him to start a breakout,” Bryzgalov said. “It was an unlucky night.”

Bryzgalov’s not totally wrong, yet I get the feeling he’ll get a beating for not following Joel Ward’s lead by taking the blame whether it was totally fair or not.

That being said, Bryzgalov can easily be blamed for trying to make “the fancy play” rather than having crucial self-awareness. Breezy is in the league’s lower ranks when it comes to puckhandling, so one could argue that he was ill-advised to attempt a lower percentage pass.

See for yourself by watching the goal again, although if you’re a Flyers fan, you’re probably already primed to see it in your nightmares.

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Video: Ilya Bryzgalov’s 2012 playoffs in one huge gaffe

Ilya Bryzgalov
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PHT’s own Joe Yerdon captures this goal the best. If you’ve played a hockey video game, you’ve likely made this mistake before: you get antsy to pass with your goalie … so you cough it up to the opposing forward for a grief-stricken goal. That’s exactly what Philadelphia Flyers albatross-in-net Ilya Bryzgalov did with New Jersey Devils forward David Clarkson in the 2-1 goal, which was the eventual series-winner as the Devils closed things out 3-1 to win the series 4-1.

Here is that highlight, which will likely haunt Breezy and the Flyers for weeks if not months:

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It kind of symbolizes Bryzgalov’s sloppy, almost unfathomable 2012 playoff mess in a way, doesn’t it? Feel free to insert your favorite “humongous bad” jokes in the comments because they’re pretty much inevitable.

Bryzgalov laments all the monkey astronauts lost to space travel

Ilya Bryzgalov - Epic - 24-7
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First, a disclaimer — according to various Flyers beat reporters, nobody actually recorded all of Ilya Bryzgalov’s latest “this guy might be a genius, but he also might be on peyote” dissertation. According to Sam Carchidi of Philly.com, Bryz was rambling along until the cameras went on and he declined to say anything further.

In light of that, kudos to Comcast’s John Gonzalez for piecing this together:

When asked what he would have done if he hadn’t become a professional hockey goalie, Bryzgalov didn’t hesitate.

“Astronaut,” he said quickly.

The media pack sort of blinked back at him. No one was sure whether he was kidding. He wasn’t.

“No, seriously,” he added.

At which point Bryzgalov began a long dissertation about the American space program versus the Soviet/Russian space program and which was superior. He noted that the first two animals in space were Russian dogs, which led to a strange exchange between Bryzgalov and a reporter about who had lost more monkeys in space — the Americans or the Soviets/Russians. Bryzgalov conceded that too many monkeys had lost their lives in that vocation. 

“The problem with monkeys,” Bryzgalov quipped, “they push the wrong buttons.”

Well, you know what they say: Chimpin’ ain’t easy.

/bangs gong, makes wokka wokka sound

Bryzgalov wants you to credit Devils instead of bashing Flyers

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For anyone aware of Ilya Bryzgalov’s eccentric personality before HBO fixed its cameras on him,* the idea of him playing in a harsh media and fan environment for the Philadelphia Flyers was fascinating. (Or worrisome, if you were a Philly fan “in the know.”)

After all these months, Breezy’s tiger-protecting naivete is still sort of charming. When asked about the New Jersey Devils’ dominant 4-1 win – and the Flyers’ flaccid effort – Bryzgalov told Sam Carchidi how he’d like the story to be framed.

“Bryz says give Devils credit instead of criticizing Flyers.”

My guess is that will happen right around the time that the Philadelphia Eagles erect a Donovan McNabb statue.

* – Yes, he said weird and hilarious things well before 24/7 came along.