Earlier today, Ilya Bryzgalov’s odd media session (video here) informed us all that the Flyers’ $51 million experiment had hit its first measurable snag.
Sergei Bobrovsky, whose inconsistent play at the end of last season was a major reason why the Flyers are paying Bryzgalov that $51 million over the next nine years, will start tomorrow. That reality will embarrass both Bryzgalov and the Flyers in front of millions of NBC viewers.
Where will Bryz be? His words:
“Make sure I not forget in the morning my thermos, put some nice tea [in it] and enjoy the bench.”
At around 6 p.m. on Sunday night, he tweeted the above picture of that aforementioned Thermos. Perhaps in Soviet Russia goaltender have dark sense of humor…
Without hyperbole, the Winter Classic is the biggest and most watched game of the NHL's regular season. Some would even argue it’s more important to the league, from a marketing standpoint, than the Stanley Cup Finals. As such, one might expect the league’s most notable offseason acquisition, and the star of HBO’s 24/7, to be given the start.
Bryzgalov made us concerned when he said he was lost in the woods. He made us uneasy as he repeatedly suffered through bouts of giving up soft goals. He freaked us out when he talked about how he – at times – hates hockey, and when he came awfully close to telling HBO cameras that he gets homesick during road trips.
All of those are factual statements (subjectively speaking…), and none are ones you want to read about a goaltender charged with stabilizing a position that has been overlooked for the past 30 years.
We’ve hinted at the prospect of a goaltender controversy for the past month or so, but we didn't think it could become a reality. Not this quickly, at least. Tomorrow, though, when the puck drops just above second base at Citizens Bank Park, it will very much become a reality. But hey, what would a celebration of Flyers hockey be without a humongous goalie controversy?
H/T to (@garagooseo)