Any hope of Ilya Bryzgalov beginning his stint with the Edmonton Oilers in Philadelphia on Saturday has been dashed, as the 33-year old appears headed for a brief conditioning assignment prior to seeing any NHL action.
Oilers coach Dallas Eakins is leaning heavily on the newest member of his team, starting goaltender Ilya Brygalov for the third time in four days.
Bryzgalov earned a shutout in his first start with Edmonton when he blanked the Predators Thursday but allowed four goals on 23 shots Friday in a loss to the Blue Jackets. Devan Dubnyk, who replaced Bryzgalov briefly in Friday's loss, has not started a game since being pulled Monday.
Fresh off a shutout victory against the Nashville Predators on Thursday, Ilya Bryzgalov will get his second straight start for the Edmonton Oilers Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, as per the team's official Twitter account.
Bryzgalov stopped all 29 shots faced on Thursday, and matched one other goalie in franchise history with a shutout in his debut.
In net for the Blue Jackets will be former Philadelphia teammate and reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrosvsky.
Ilya Brygalov came up humongous big in his first start as an Edmonton Oilers goaltender on Thursday night. He summed up his (inter)stellar performance in simple terms post-game:
"Checkmarks across the board for him tonight," Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins said in discussing Byrzgalov's Oilers debut. "He did a great job."
Controversial goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, who couldn't get a contract all summer after being bought out of his exorbitant contract by the Philadelphia Flyers, has returned to the National Hockey League in triumphant fashion.
Starting his first game of the season with his new team the Edmonton Oilers, Bryzgalov made 33 saves to shutout the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.
So... Is Bryzgalov "the answer" in Edmonton?
As Ilya Bryzgalov prepares to get the start for the Edmonton Oilers against the Nashville Predators on Thursday, the 33-year old goaltender seems to have developed a new perspective on the game.
After being bought out by the Philadelphia Flyers and plying his trade in the ECHL, Bryzgalov told the Edmonton Sun he's come to a place where he's "just enjoying the game."
"I changed my points of view,” he said. “After the last few months, every day in hockey and every opportunity to play the game, I just enjoy it."
Bryzgalov added he's not worried about how much playing time he'll get in Edmonton; he's just happy to be back on the ice.
I will compete hard in practice, I will compete hard in a game, but my goals aren’t how many games am I going to play, that’s not a question I worry about at all. Right now, I feel some passion to play hockey again and that’s the best feeling.
And with that, all seems right in Bryz's universe.
After debuting with the Edmonton Oilers on Monday in relief of Devan Dubnyk, goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov will get prime billing on Thursday as the starter against the Nashville Predators.
It may be as safe a game as any to give Bryzgalov the start, as the Predators rank 24th in the NHL with 56 goals for in 24 games.
Prior to Monday's 5-1 loss to Chicago - in which Bryzgalov allowed one goal on 13 shots - the Oilers had averaged five goals per game in three straight wins, which may be the type of goal support needed to help their new teammate earn his first win with the club.
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made his regular season debut for Edmonton on Monday night in a relief appearance after the Chicago Blackhawks scored four goals on starter Devan Dubnyk.
Bryzgalov stopped 12 of 13 shots faced in his Oilers debut, allowing a goal against on an Andrew Shaw deflection with less than two minutes remaining in the game. It was the first of what is likely to be many goals against for Bryzgalov playing behind the permissive Oilers defense this season.
On Monday night, after Edmonton Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk was scored on by Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw to put Chicago up 4-0, Dubnyk was replaced by, drum roll, Ilya Bryzgalov!
It was Bryzgalov's first appearance this season and his Edmonton Oilers debut! Byrzgalov managed to stop the first shot he faced, so he's off to a fine start!
Newly signed Oilers netminder Ilya Bryzgalov will start in goal for Thursday's game against the Predators or Friday's game against the Blue Jackets.
Bryzgalov has officially been on Edmonton's NHL roster for about a week, but he has not taken the ice in a game. The Oilers are targeting one of the games in a back-to-back turnaround Thursday and Friday for Bryzgalov to make his debut with the team. It will likely be determined as the week progresses.
With Ilya Bryzgalov back making headlines in the NHL with his new job in Edmonton, and around the league people are weighing in with their thoughts on one of hockey's most unique personalities.
Scottie Upshall, a former teammate of Bryz's in Phoenix, shed some interesting light to Harvey Fialkov of the Sun-Sentinel on what it's like to share a locker room with with the goaltender and part-time cosmonaut.
“He’s a unique dude,’’ Upshall said. “I sat beside him for two years in our dressing room and let him do his own thing. He really competed when I was with him and a lot of guys have said he had his best years under Dave Tippett. There's no question that goalies will flourish under that system.
“There were a couple of incidents where he wasn’t happy with the way our team played in front of him and he did a few things that caused us to say something to him and put him in his place. [He called us out] in not a very professional way. We had to take care of him because it wasn't always about him. It was about the team."
When goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov joined the Edmonton Oilers for practice Monday morning, he was naturally met with media members who had questions for him. The colorful goaltender didn't mention anything about endangered Tigers, but he did shrug off the idea that he lost his job in Philadelphia.
When a reporter asked if he saw the Oilers as a second chance, Bryzgalov said "What do you mean?" followed by "I never lost my first chance, you know." While Bryzgalov didn't take the buyout personally or take it to mean he had lost his job, he took it as a business decision.
Bryzgalov isn't bothered by the buyout and explained “Not at all. You know, it’s out of my control. I can’t do anything about it. It’s just like, ‘Ok, guys. If you decide… to make that move, I’ve just got to accept it and move on.’”
Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins said he wasn't worried about the media and Bryzgalov "This is an intelligent guy. There is absolutely no concern about how he was framed in a TV show. It was a turbulent time. It’s over.” It's a new take on the enigmatic Bryzgalov to suggest he was framed, but as Eakins says, it's over.
When asked if he would change anything about the way carries himself, Bryzgalov said "What exactly do you mean? My quality of life? What I’m going to eat in the restaurant? You’ve got to be yourself. I’m going to be myself. And after, guys, you can make the statement and judgments of me. I’m just going to be myself.”
When Ilyz Bryzgalov signed a one year contract a couple of weeks ago, the writing was on the wall for Oilers goaltender Jason LaBarbera. On Monday the Oilers placed LaBarbera on waivers, presumably for for the purpose of re-assignment.
The team announced the news on Twitter:
In six appearances this season, LaBarbera has managed a woeful .858 save percentage.
The Edmonton Oilers, Northern Alberta's perpetual cellar dwelling club, have recalled netminder Ilya Bryzgalov from the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League.
From the horse's mouth (with photo!):
According to a report from TSN's Ryan Rishaug, goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov is schedule to participate in a full practice with the Edmonton Oilers on Monday.
Bryzgalov spent the past week in Oklahoma City practicing with the Barons, and played in two games (stopping 44 of 50 shots).
While the Oilers and Flames renewed acquaintances in Calgary on Saturday, Edmonton's goalie-in-waiting was busy earning his first win for the AHL's Oklahoma City Barons.
This was Bryzgalov's second start in the AHL.
The Oilers host the Columbus Blue Jackets and Florida Panthers in the coming week, so it's possible that he will make his Edmonton debut in one of those games.
Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov is making his Oklahoma City Baron's debut tonight, and so far, things are going...
An Oklahoma City Baron, that is.
That's right, we have obtained rare photographic evidence of outspoken goaltender/exisentialist Ilya Bryzgalov with his mouth closed.
The photo comes courtesy the Oklahoma City Barons, for whom the mercurial Bryzgalov appears set to play in the coming days.
Newly signed Edmonton Oilers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov hit the ice with the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League on Monday.
If Bryzgalov is feeling good and continues to progress over the course of the week, he could start his first professional game of the season on Friday according to TSN's Darren Dreger:
The Barons are scheduled to host the Abbotsford Heat for back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday this week.
Freshly minuted Edmonton Oilers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov will return to the National Hockey League in short order. But first he has to get himself back into game shape, which could take as much as a week.
"I am leaving in the morning," Bryzgalov told the Edmonton Sun on Saturday. "I think it’s going to be one week to get myself in good shape to go to Edmonton. I must play a couple games. If I’m not playing any games, I wouldn’t know what things to work on. Only the games show that."
Bryzgalov also addressed his memorable comments comparing Edmonton with the North Poll. "I said it’s LIKE North Pole. Didn’t say it IS North Pole," said the context loving goaltender. "Saying LIKE North Pole and not the same as saying IS the North Pole. Is a little bit different."
"It was an interview which went on YouTube. People loved it."
During the first intermission of Rogers Sportsnet West's broadcast of the matinee contest between the Edmonton Oilers and the Philadelphia Flyers, broadcaster Gene Principe was joined by Oilers General Manager Craig MacTavish.
MacTavish discussed his struggling team at length and frankly touched on his club's recent acquisition of goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov in particular.
"I don't know if he's the goaltender he was," MacTavish answered honestly. "He certainly has that capability."
"He's got a chance, he has a high pedigree, he's had success at this level in the past," continued MacTavish. Obviously the Oilers executive is going into this deal with his eyes wide open.
On Bryzgalov's reputation as a bit of a space cadet personality wise, MacTavish had the following insight to offer: "I've had a number of conversations with him over the past several months, and I'm satisfied that people will be impressed with his character. He's indicated the right things to me."