Joe Pavelski, Ilya Bryzgalov

Sharks chase Bryzgalov, down Ducks


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:

Bryzgalov was willing to retire, but he’s happy in Anaheim

Ilya Bryzgalov

The summer of 2014 went by without Ilya Bryzgalov securing an NHL contract. The team he finished the 2013-14 campaign with, the Minnesota Wild, gave him the opportunity to participate in training camp on a tryout basis, but he ultimately didn’t make the squad.

His career seemed to be in jeopardy despite his largely solid season, but Bryzgalov wasn’t worried. Already financially set following the Philadelphia Flyers’ decision to buy him out, he would have been content to call it a career.

“I was enjoying my life, to be honest,” he said, per “I was not worried about hockey at that time. If something came up good, I would look at it … if it was not, I was in a great position too. I had a great career if nothing came up.

“I read lots of articles about myself in the newspapers like some journalists (said) maybe he felt bad, he got to come back. No, it was like I felt great. I was enjoying my life.”

Eventually Anaheim took an interest in him though after goaltender John Gibson suffered a groin injury and Bryzgalov liked the idea of returning to the team that drafted him in 2000. Bryzgalov has only played in three games with the Ducks since signing on Dec. 9, but that hasn’t dampened his spirits.

“I have like lots of connections with California,” he said. “Me and my wife were married here, my son was born here, we built the first house here, we won the Cup here.”

He’s happy to get another chance to win it all with Anaheim. On the rare occasions that they need him, he’ll go out and try to secure a victory.

“That’s all I can do,” he said. “The rest of the stuff I don’t worry about.”

It’s a long way from where he was just a couple years ago when he said he endured a season he “wouldn’t wish to an enemy.”

Bryzgalov gets first Ducks start since 2007

Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Anaheim Ducks 6-2

Considering Frederik Andersen’s iron man streak, it’s been an even longer time coming, but Ilya Bryzgalov is finally getting the first start of his second tour with the Anaheim Ducks tonight.

By facing the Ottawa Senators tonight, Bryzgalov starts for the Ducks for the first time since Nov. 7, 2007; the team points out that 2,599 days have passed since that last happened. Perhaps such a gap in time explains the horrible/awesome/horrible-awesome pun the team’s Twitter feed trotted out to mark the occasion.

If any team has a reason to see the upside of the 34-year-old, it would probably be the Ducks (or maybe the Arizona Coyotes).

Bryzgalov showed some promise despite sparse work (70 regular season games played) during five seasons with Anaheim in his previous stay, as the Russian goalie played especially well in two playoff spurts (.944 save percentage in 11 playoff games in 2006 and a .922 mark in five games played during the 2007 championship year).

Bryzgalov already made one appearance for Anaheim this season, as he allowed two goals on seven shots in about 15 minutes of relief work against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Dec. 16.