Bryz resting in Winnipeg
Earlier today, I cited a source who told me that Ilya Bryzgalov fell asleep during a team meeting and that the shut-eye may have led to his benching last night. Harry Mayes was first to report this, on 97.5 The Fanatic, about 20 minutes before my post went live.
The Flyers – players, coach and the GM – quickly (and not surprisingly) denied such a thing happened. You can read their quotes in this
press reale… uh, at CSN Philly. You can read them at CSN Philly.
Following those denials, Flyers beat writers – who get insanely offended when a story isn’t broken by one of their own (see: Eskin, Howard and Gross, Dan) – were eager to trumpet the company (Flyers) line and dismiss the report using ALL CAPS and healthy doses of sarcasm. Mayes took the brunt of it, because how dare they credit a blog:
Enter Frank Seravalli, who remained notably quiet during the day. Multiple players confirmed to him that Bryz did, in fact, fall asleep – or at least shut his eyes – during a team meeting and, perhaps, on the bench in Winnipeg. Seravalli also reported that Monday’s team meeting was held after Bryz had been notified that he wasn’t starting. So the assumption that the snooze led to his benching was incorrect.
Despite public denials from four Flyers players and coach Peter Laviolette, multiple sources confirmed to the Daily News that goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov did in fact “doze off” during a team meeting on Monday.
News of cameras catching Bryzgalov with his eyes closed on the Flyers’ bench during the third period of Saturday’s loss in Winnipeg rippled throughout the team on their charter flight home. Bryzgalov was pulled after allowing four goals in the second period.
After practice on Monday, Laviolette notified both Mason and Bryzgalov of his plans to start Mason.
At that point, multiple players confirmed Bryzgalov closed his eyes during the team’s brief meeting that followed him being notified.
“Whether he was actually sleeping or not, no one knows for sure,” said one player on the condition of anonymity, for fear of retribution. “It seemed like he may have been doing it to get a rise out of other players. I’m not really sure why he did it, or if he was faking it. Either way, it seemed to catch and lot of people by surprise and angered a few people.”
Nice work by Frank. No word on who the players were, but the source – and others over the past year – have pointed out to me what is likely obvious to most fans: that many players don’t like Bryz. But most beat writers will just continue to transcribe things.