Posts for ilya

I Think I Figured Out The Rangers’ Strategy Last Night

Kyle Scott - March 6, 2013


Exploit Ilya Bryzgalov's lateral quickness. 

Which is totally possible because the defense in front of him sucks.

Four goals on 20 shots. And before the Type OB nutbags comment that I’m an idiot who knows nothing about hockey and oh my god we’re not allowed to blame a specific player ever instead we’ll just blame a “unit” like the “defense” or “power play” this way we don’t offend a player whose authentic jersey with a tie-down strap cost me $220… hear me out.

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Callahan’s (first) goal: Just piss poor team defense by the Flyers allows the Rangers to move the puck from end to end virtually unimpeded, which is what happens when you have Braydon Coburn give a lackadaisical effort at the blue line on a penalty kill. That leaves the Rangers with an easy two-on-one down low, and Bryz’s post-to-post animation was slow to load. 1-0 Rangers.


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Callahan’s (second) goal: Horrible pass from Brayden Schenn that eludes Wayne Simmonds, followed by a terrible line change and piss-poor back-checking from Schenn and Erik Gustafffsonsonsffosnfosfson, who is the only defenseman in the league that wouldn’t have put Callahan’s head through the crossbar on this play. Bryz, for some reason, never leaves his knees and the right post as he becomes to the first goaltender since NHL 94 to get beat on that move. 2-2.


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Nash’s (first) goal: In Soviet Russia, goaltender don’t stop snap shot from faceoff dot. 3-2 Rangers.


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Nash’s (second goal): El terrible line change and Kimmo Timonen elicits this text from my buddy, who shall go unnamed:

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Agreed. He’s insanely overrated and his execution and effort on this goal looks like something out of an all-star game. Incredibly, Bryz, again, parks himself on the right post after missing the poke check and gets beat on the NHL 94 move. 

After the game, Bryz said he couldn't afford to say what needs to improve. But truth is, the forwards, the defense and the goalie are to blame.

Watch all four goals after the jump.

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Bryz Now Has a “Star Wars” Mask

Kyle Scott - February 26, 2013

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Fitting, it is.

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Pics via the Flyers

Ilya Bryzgalov: “We can’t protect ourselves from space danger… [must] enjoy every day with our relatives”

Kyle Scott - February 22, 2013

image from

Stick thrower Ilya Bryzgalov was a guest on the Mike and Ike Show on WIP today, seemingly to promote his upcoming autograph signing at the Sports Vault in the King of Prussia Mall this Sunday (take a little gander at and then click that ad over the right ——>). Among the topics discussed were assimilating into Philly, the rough schedule, and, of course, meteors.

Understand what’s expected of you here now?

“I needed some time to understand new environment. How it works here.”

“I understand what I have to expect from the people who work here, who cheer for the team, what they expect from me.”


In other words: what his bosses and fans want. Bryz, both publicly and not-so publicly, struggled to adjust to being a Flyer last year.


“I just wake up in the morning today and think about what happened last night, I realize, watching the schedule, like, oh my God, for 31 days, we play 19 games. 19. It’s a lot. Usually like during the normal season you play maximum games in a month– 15. That’s four games difference, and 12 of them we play on the road. I feel like exhausted, and I’m pretty sure the team feels the same way. It’s a crazy schedule, lots of travel, lots of back-to-back games. Sometimes it’s tough to find energy and emotions to play some games. You know it’s very important game, but nothing left inside you. You need time to sit and regroup.”

“Do you think it’s fun to lose? No. we don’t want to lose. We want to win. Sometimes you just can’t– sometimes just tired, bounces don’t go your way.”


Time off?

“I don’t have that luxury. We gotta do what you go to do. We got to give our best every night. Whatever the team need. We always try to give our best. But sometimes we’re not machines.” 


How about that meteor in Russia?

“It’s amazing. Probably every day our atmosphere was penetrated with smaller sized meteors and just burned high in the atmosphere. But this is much bigger size, but not that big that it struck the earth and didn’t… [inaudible] like back in the days when dinosaurs was destroyed. It’s one thing that's very interesting. On the other hand, it’s dangerous. And you know we can’t protect ourselves from the space danger.” 

“The next day, asteroid bigger size fly close to the earth. Make us think… [inaudible] huge speeds in the earth… [inaudible]… it’s going to be a disaster right now… [inaudible] how to recover the earth. I think we need to be thankful and be happy. Enjoy our everyday with our relatives, our wives, kids. Enjoy our work every day.”


Just watch out for falling rocks.

You can't listen to the full interview here.

Exploring Bryz’s (Dangerous?) Stick Throwing Habit

Kyle Scott - February 22, 2013

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After a six-game road trip that twice took the Flyers to Canada, and coming off an emotional 6-5 win in Pittsburgh the night before, the Orange and Black returned home last night to play the Florida Panthers. 

That’s not the lede for this post… that’s the definition for Letdown Game. So, we can sit here and talk about how the Flyers are really inconsistent… or we can just chalk it up to their plane still being on the runway in Pittsburgh when the puck dropped last night. Yeah, let’s do that. And then let’s talk about the goofy goalie.

On Wednesday, in an apparent fit of rage, Ilya Bryzgalov launched his stick at the glass during practice

He did it again when he gave up a penalty shot goal on Thursday. 

And again when he was pulled from the game after giving up a fourth goal.

As you may know, I’m not very good at math. But by my unofficial count, Bryz has now thrown his stick three times, given up nine goals, and allowed 11 pucks to cross the goal line (if you count two disallowed goals against the Penguins) in just over 36 hours. It would appear that we've turned back toward negative town. Or, you know, high school.

Let’s explore Bryz’s two stick throws last night.

Here’s a GIF of the first one courtesy of Jeff Carter’s favorite CB reader, Amanda:


You’ll notice that Bryz nearly killed the referee, which probably would have been bad. And then that throw. Who throws like that, except for maybe Katniss if she were trying to maim a small Indian child in The Hunger Games?

The second throw was a bit more conventional, sort of a Tom Hanks-spears-a-fish-in-Castaway spear technique… one that almost killed the Flyers’ smokeshow trainer and a Ben Franklin-looking security guard:


Note the equipment guy retreating behind the wall just before Bryz kicked what looked like a floor seat from the Spectrum (for real, can the Comcast Spectacor folks move past that awful 1970s red motif on everything, or is it mandated by Ed Snider?). 

Not sure what’s up with Bryz, who apparently irked reporters by initially refusing to speak with the media last night. He eventually came out, and explained his stick throwing (at least on the penalty shot) thusly:

"I was mad because I just missed him on a poke check.  I knew he was through it, between the legs, I couldn’t regroup quick enough and it was three-nothing and two-nothing it’s a big difference.  I almost had it then it was in the net and I am so upset." 


Yeah, this is all going to stop when he hurts someone, that someone being Claude Giroux.

[Andrew Porter over at The School Philly has a problem with this, too.]

Ilya Bryzgalov Launched His Stick at the Glass in Practice Today

Kyle Scott - February 20, 2013

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I feel like Bryz is always just a moment away from snapping… and I can't tell if that turns me on or frightens me.

Skates Bites: Sestito? Sestitov?? SESTITWO?!

Kyle Scott - February 6, 2013

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OK then. Ilya Bryzgalov and Tom Sestito it is. 2-1, good guys. Both goals from Sestito.

Bryz: This was the type of game I was talking about two weeks ago when I said that Bryz never wins a game for the Flyers. The defense put together perhaps their best effort of the season last night, but Bryz made a handful of saves that, quite frankly, he probably wouldn’t have made last season. His lateral quickness, reflexes and decision-making are all much improved. He looks not only stronger, but also is putting himself in better positions to make routine saves. This is the sort of goalie the Flyers are paying for. Of course, you’re not always going to get two goals from Tom Sestito and the Flyers are still inconsistent at both ends of the ice.


Sestito: Now has four career goals. Two of them, last night. In high school, my buddy and four-year linemate, Fran, wasn’t particularly fast or skilled with the puck, but if you gave it to him in front of the net (I always did, of course), he would bury it. Sort of like Sestito last night. He (Sestito) has one move – that simple backhand-five hole jawn, ripped from the user guides of Mylec street hockey sticks everywhere – but it worked, twice.


Jokes: After the game, Sestito and Bryz joked about Sestitov: [quotes via Flyers city-leading PR department]


If we told you going into the game that Tom Sestito would score two goals. Would you have believed us?

You know, we talk about scoring like being a sniper. And he said if I became a sniper, he would change his  name for the Russian last name from Sestito to “Sestitov.”



Q:  Guys joking with you, asking you if you had any other moves?  Same move twice. 

A:  Yeah, I’ve got one.  Hopefully no goalies catch on to that.  If it works once, then I’m going to keep doing it until it stops working. 


It stopped working for Fran sometime around overtime of a semifinals loss to Penncrest in our senior year. Maybe Sestitov will have better luck if the Flyers get that far. [UPDATE: Holy shit– reader Paul was on Penncrest and passes along the game recap to piss me off.]


Stupid questions: You know, sometimes you can’t blame Ilya Bryzgalov for being terse in interviews. A couple weeks ago, he was asked if what he had just seen was Flyers hockey, which is the dumbest sort of sports question a lazy scriptual can ask. And just look at the sort of slop he had to deal with last night: 

Was that the kind of win you guys were hoping for? 

I think that might have been the lowest scoring shot total the defense kept the opponent to. Was that the focus going in trying to stop the highest scoring offense in the league?

How do you go into [the game] mentally?

What was the key to keeping them out on defense?

It wasn’t until the last two questions that Bryz was finally asked if this is the best he’s felt and if he was injured on a scary-looking play– two questions that actually needed to be asked. Unreal. 


Electricity: Peter Laviolette talked about Zac Rinaldo’s fight giving the Flyers some energy. A bolt of energy. Against the Lightning:

Q: Do you think Rinaldo’s fight had any bearing on tonight’s games outcome?

Sure. Zac is a huge bolt of energy that came through the building, the fans, the players, the coaches, and everybody. It was one of those that can really pick up a game and building.


Said without a hint of irony on those pursed lips, too.


Lunatic: Rinaldo is fucking nuts. Listen (and look!) at these answers:

He reminds me of Leonardo DiCaprio playing an impoverished protagonist. I'M NOT NO ONE TO SAY NOTHING LIKE THAT.


Rinaldo mic’d up: Rinaldo was mic’d up, too. You can’t hear much during the fight (ya wanna go?!), but afterwards he asked an official and a Lightning player if he sucker punched B.J. Crombeen while he was on the ground. Awesome video of that, after the jump.

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Video: lya Bryzgalov Actually was Wearing a Space Suit at Mission Control

Kyle Scott - December 14, 2012

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It's important to note that this isn't a Photoshop

So you remember earlier this week when Ilya Bryzgalov told a Russian reporter that the reason why he was missing out on the Channel One Cup, an international tournament, was because he was at Mission Control, wearing a space suit? Well… it turns out he may have been telling the truth. 

No, not some figurative truth about being a space cadet. 


Bryz may have literally been wearing a space suit at Mission Control.

Our favorite nut was given tour of the Cosmonaut Training Center in Mother Russia, where he met with famous cosmonaut Valery Tokarev and, yes, put on a space suit. There is absolutely amazing video after the jump. But here’s a brief synopsis via [translated] 

In the program "Football 24" showed how Bryzgalov met with a hero of Russia, cosmonaut Valery Tokarev and asked him a few questions. "I'm interested in space and I did learn a little bit, but more by the stars – as infancy universe, how it all happened," – admitted goalkeeper. The astronaut said all that one sees in space, except for the planet Earth – "cold, lifeless and dead in our understanding." "There's a man can not live," – said Tokarev.

The program also showed how Bryzgalov dons the suit. "I like Darth Vader is from 'Star Wars'," – said the goalkeeper, when dressed in the clothes of the astronaut.


Does anyone else feel like Bryz is Buddy The Elf? He has childlike enthusiasm about weird things, seemingly comes from another planet, and though he may frustrate us, you can’t help wanting to just give him a big hug sometimes? 

Video after the jump.

via Broad Street Hockey, (@BillMeltzer) (@facepalmen)

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Ilya Bryzgalov Removed From Russian National Team Roster, Says He Was Being Fitted for Space Suit

Kyle Scott - December 11, 2012

image from
Pic via (@Matt_Mullin)

About a year ago today, we were all enthralled with HBO’s 24/7, an inside look at the Flyers and Rangers leading up to the Winter Classic, a celebration of hockey. This year, Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr are member-measuring the season into non-existence and Ilya Bryzgalov, who served up so many lovable quotes last year, not the least of which were his comments about space, is playing for CSKA, the former Soviet Red Army team.

It seems Bryz was supposed to take part in some sort of international tournament this week, the Channel One Cup, but was curiously absent from team activities. One Russian newspaper reached out to him to find out why, and that's when he offered up these gems, Google translated, of course:

Why are not you on the team? You have really a health problem?

Sorry, but, unfortunately, I'm not ready to talk in detail with the press.

Why not?

The thing is that now I am in the Mission Control Center, you wrote about in our last interview. Astronaut suit on me. And you will understand that it disturbs me to communicate.

When you have finished its space business and explain the "SE" your situation?

You know, space – a particular substance. Maybe my flight will be delayed. But I'm with you for a chat.


Yeah. Bryz claimed to be at Mission Control, getting ready to go into space. He was speaking figuratively. We think.

H/T to (@billmeltzer)