Flyers Notebook: Jagr Skates, Bryzgalov Gets The Start

5 Jan

WELLS FARGO CENTER — Whether it’s his calf or his groin, something is ailing Jaromir Jagr. The good news, the winger said on Thursday, is that it won’t keep him out of the lineup too long.

He joined the team for morning skate but did not take part in any drills. While all the forwards wore white jerseys, Jagr wore orange and did some skating to stay in shape.

“It’s totally different than it was the first time,” said Jagr. “The first time I got injured, I felt a sharp pain. This one was a different pain, and it wasn’t that much pain. But I knew if I was played longer, it could get a lot worse. That’s why I stopped playing [Monday].”

While the pain is still there, it is minute according to Jagr. He said that when he becomes pain-free, he’ll give it a go. The initial diagnosis from the Flyers was seven to 10 days, but he thinks it might actually be a little sooner.

“I was kind of shocked when I heard that because I didn’t feel that way,” said the 39-year-old. “But I’m saying sometimes when you cannot skate, when you come back you need an extra three days to practice to get into game shape. When I’m skating like I did today, I don’t feel any pain. That’s to my advantage. Soon, I feel when I’m ready I can go, because I’ll be in good shape.”

On more than one occasion this season, Jagr has said that he really wants to prove what he can do in the playoffs, that that’s why he doesn’t feel pressured to return from an injury too soon. He also had some concerns about ice time in the offseason before he signed with the Flyers, but being on the top unit further alleviates his fears. But still, he doesn’t enjoy sitting out.

“To me, every game is big,” said Jagr. “You can see it. Don’t get me wrong, but in the new NHL, with the one-point for a (overtime and shootout loss), the race is too tight. You lose five or six games, you’re out of the playoffs. Look at Washington, they lost five or six games and they’re in 10th place. Everything is so close that you cannot afford to lose a lot of games. Every game is big for me.”

Bryzgalov Back In Net

After watching the last two games from the bench, Ilya Bryzgalov will go back between the pipes for the Flyers against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Despite the festivities being over, he continued to practice in the old school brown pads, glove and blocker. In fact, that’s a look the other goalie has adopted as well. Sergei Bobrovsky is wearing the brown pads after wearing his normal gear in the Winter Classic. He told Philly Sports Daily that he likes the pads and will continue to break them in.

Bryzgalov has a career 7-6-4 record against Chicago, but the nod to him is more about getting his confidence back.

“I expect him to go in there and play well,” said Peter Laviolette. “Again, my moves [to sit him in the Winter Classic] were made not necessarily for that reason. I already stated that it was based on [Sergei Bobrovsky] and the way he had been playing, those numbers. That’s what we did.”

The Flyers say that Bryzgalov has had a different attitude recently and there has been a newfound work ethic in practice.

“I think you can see he’s been working hard,” said Claude Giroux. “The last few practices he wants to get better. Everybody knows he’s a good goaltender. He’s just had some bad bounces. If he works hard like he’s been doing the last few weeks, I’m not even worried about it.”

Have no fear, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Bryzgalov will go without personality.

“He’s always gonna be joking around,” said Matt Carle. “I just think that’s his personality. I think once the puck drops hopefully the focus will be there. He’s a great goalie. He earned that contract that he has. Just because he had a bad stretch of games, I don’t think it means much. He’ll get back on track and we have all the confidence that he will.”

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