Archive | 11:13 PM

Ilya Bryzgalov Says He Is A “Bad Liar”

10 Dec

WELLS FARGO CENTER — With seven minutes to go in the third period, Ilya Bryzgalov left the ice and Sergei Bobrovsky relieved him. He was briefly in the tunnel, speaking with a trainer and reemerged on the bench with his mask resting on top of his head.

“It’s an equipment issue,” said the goalie after the game.

Are you sure about that?

“Yeah it was…no, I’m a bad liar.”

Sure, the one-liner is funny, but a potential injury is not.

“It’s an old boo boo, that’s it,” said Bryzgalov. “It starts for a little bit.”

He said he was able to go back in the game, but Peter Laviolette said there was no thought to putting him back in. General manager Paul Holmgren said that he expects Bryzgalov to be available for the next game and the goalie did him one better and said he’s not day-to-day, but rather “hour-to-hour probably.”

Bryzgalov was seen rubbing his right thigh in the tunnel, but wouldn’t confirm the injury.

“It was an injury issue, lower-body,” said Holmgren. “After the second period he wanted to continue and it stiffened up on him during the third.”

“It was starting to bother me more and more during the game and we decided to be safe,” said Bryzgalov.

The goalie didn’t appear to be limping and was joking around with his five-year-old son Vladdy in the locker room after the game. The Flyers are bracing for the worst with Claude Giroux’s head injury, but they seem to have dodged a bullet with Bryzgalov.

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Giroux, Bryzgalov Leave In Flyers Victory Over Lightning

10 Dec

WELLS FARGO CENTER — The Flyers will gladly take the two points in the standings after their 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, but they will not be happy if Claude Giroux or Ilya Bryzgalov misses serious time.

The NHL’s leading goal scorer

Claude Giroux Leaves Game After Taking Knee To Head

10 Dec

WELLS FARGO CENTER — Another head injury may be haunting the Flyers. In the second period of Saturday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Claude Giroux was kneed in the head and left the game.

With under two minutes left in the second period, Giroux was trying to catch up to Ryan Shannon and went down on all fours at center ice. Wayne Simmonds was behind him and tried to leap over his teammate, but his right knee caught Giroux in the back of the head.

The NHL’s leading goal scorer skated off the ice under his own power and eventually left the bench for the locker room after talking with athletic trainer Jim McCrossin.

Giroux did not join the team on the ice for the third period.

“He was evaluated by our doctors, held out for precautionary measures in the third period and we’ll evaluate him again tomorrow and see how he is,” said Paul Holmgren.

“Not really a headache or anything like that. This was really just a precautionary stage where we didn’t want to put him back in there at that time. It’s a game in December and obviously he’s one of our better players. We’ll just err on the side of caution here.”

This is a script the Flyers have seen before and the vibe from the bench wasn’t pretty.

“It’s scary to see Claude go down like that, but it’s the game,” said Danny Briere who filled in on Giroux’s line periodically. “We’re hoping and praying for the best right now. There’s not much you can do. I think the team probably did the right thing by not letting him go back and trying to make sure everything’s OK before letting him go back on the ice.”

Chris Pronger is out with concussion-like symptoms and Brayden Schenn has a mild concussion. Matt Read missed three games earlier in the year with what is believed to be a concussion. The Flyers can ill-afford another injury, especially one as serious as a concussion.

“That, and you look around the league and it’s a scary injury, starting with Sidney Crosby,” said Briere. “You want to be on the safe side and hope that it’s not the same thing and after a day or two he’ll be ready to go back.”

A concussion is certainly the fear, but it’s also too soon to make that call.

“I just talked to him a minute ago and he feels better,” said Holmgren about 15 minutes after the game ended. “I just said ‘Go home and get some rest and we’ll see you tomorrow.’ Our doctors will see him tomorrow early and we’ll see where we’re at.”

Flyers Say They’ll Treat Tampa Trap The Same

10 Dec

VOORHEES, N.J. — The Tampa Bay Lightning are a trap game. No wait, the Tampa Bay Lightning play a trap game. A few years ago, the former would have been true, but now it’s the Lightning who are circled on the calendar, not passed over on the way to playing an elite team. Even if they are only four points better than the basement dwellers of the Eastern Conference, sleeping on Vincent Lecavalier and Steven Stamkos is a mistake.

Last time the two teams met, the Flyers found a new way of avoiding Tampa’s trap defensive scheme. They stood pat…quite literally. They didn’t advance the puck out of their defensive zone unless a Lightning player forechecked and some in the hockey community found that infuriating.

The argument was made on both sides — some said that Tampa was unnecessarily slowing down the game, others that the Flyers were making a mockery of a legitimate strategy.

In the end, the Lightning struck last, in overtime, when Brett Connolly scored from close range for the 2-1 win.

But the game was overshadowed by the strategy. And if it happens again, the Flyers won’t change a thing.

“Typically we don’t like to announce our game plan for the opponent to the newspaper,” said Peter Laviolette with a wry smile, “but we might sit there for four or five minutes at a time. We might.”

The Flyers clearly wanted no part in the 1-3-1 formation, but say that it’s not that the trap is hard to play against.

“I wouldn’t say so,” said Braydon Coburn. “It’s a strategy they use. Obviously they got to the conference finals last year, right? Every team’s got a different style of play. They have some great players and that’s their style.”

So what makes Tampa’s system that different from the one that New Jersey played with for years and the Flyers struggled with?

“They’re a little more patient with it,” said Coburn.

With four straight victories, the Flyers have streamlined their way to the top of the Eastern Conference. But one thing they’re making clear: they won’t be patient with the Tampa trap.