Better With Popcorn

Bryz Silenced; Other Notes

Monday, the Philadelphia Flyers announced there will be a limitation on goalie Ilya Bryzgalov’s media availability. Before the decision, Bryzgalov was available whenever needed. Now, he’ll only be available after games in which he plays.


One would need to look little further than last week’s brilliantly awkward quote sheet from Bryzgalov to see where this started. The candidness of the Russian goalie was extreme. For many, it was also refreshing.

Either way, the organization felt it necessary to clamp down on ‘Bryz the Entertainer’ over ‘Bryz the Goalie’.

In the long run, it’s news on a slow news day with no game until Wednesday. This news isn’t really news in itself. Rather, it offers compelling insight at how the Flyers are handling their new goalie.

According to the Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers of America filed a complaint on the matter.

The Flyers risk being fined and/or having to let down on their availability restrictions.  

**UPDATE: Carchidi says Bryzgalov will be available on 'off' days.


As the calendar turns to the 11th month, the Flyers face great opportunities to add to their point column. 

They play 12 games in the month, including three pairs of back-to-back games. In the month, they play five of the 12 games against teams who made the playoffs last season.

Much like October, the team will stay on the east coast for much of the trip. Winnipeg is as far west as the Flyers will play during their upcoming slate.

One game to watch will be the team's first of the month in Buffalo. The Flyers ousted the Sabres from last year's playoffs and will face ex-teammate Ville Leino.



It’s evident that the Flyers line of Claude Giroux, Jaromir Jagr and Scott Hartnell have been extremely good lately.

Jagr has been on a tear, as his being named the third star in the NHL last week indicates.

What about the rest of the forwards? Aside from the high-scoring duel against Winnipeg, the production hasn’t been fantastic. Jagr had the only goal against Montreal, and Giroux’s four assists launched the team past Carolina.

Philadelphia leads the NHL in goals scored on the season, but the top line will cool off at some point. Daniel Briere and James van Riemsdyk must find consistency in November to help ease the pressure on the top line.



After the loss of Chris Pronger to injury, the Flyers D looked hapless against Montreal and Winnipeg. In Saturday’s win over Carolina, the team looked much better. As a result, so did Bryzgalov.

With Pronger’s return hovering in the future, the defense should be back to status quo soon. It will be interesting to see if Erik Gustafsson remains with the club once Pronger enters the lineup again.

Although he was -2 in his two games played thus far, Gustafsson had 16-plus minutes of ice time per game. Matt Walker played just over seven minutes in the loss to Montreal. 



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John Russo's picture

Bryz - I really don't care of the Flyers silenced him. I think it's good. Let the man get used to having 20 media members surround him after games before letting him do it every day.

Production - I really hope Briere and JvR pick it up. Jagr and Giroux can't be the go-to guys all season long. A team can't be successful with only one line doing all the scoring (Tampa Bay's run last year).

Gustaffson - I would much rather see Gustaffson go back to Adirondack once Pronger is healthy. Granted he's a better replacement than Matt Walker, it does him no good to be a healthy scratch. How he plays until Pronger's return will tell whether they think he can split time almost 50/50 with Andreas Lilja or if he still needs more work done in the AHL.

Adam Pardes's picture

Guys, it's not a big deal. Clone Timonen, pair him with real Timonen, and let them play 60:00 minutes. Same with Giroux, Jagr, and Hartnell. I really don't see the issue, Mark.

John Saquella's picture

I don't really care if Bryzgalov talks or not. I understand the view of the media. Adding a guy who is humorous and likes to talk adds flavor to a story. It makes a writer's job easier if the subject of his writing is forthcoming and accessible.

My issue is with the way that a few of the media reacted to the policy. Immediately, Frank Seravalli tweeted that the team was blaming the media for Bryzgalov's performance. Sam Carchidi and Randy Miller seemed to be upset at how the limitations in Bryzgalov access would hinder their job. Anyone who saw Tim Panaccio on DNL had to get a chuckle over the whole affair.

Less than 24 hours later, the tempest in a teapot is over. After a formal complaint by the PPHWA, the Flyers will not limit Bryzgalov. I disagree with the Flyers initial policy. It sets a bad precedent in terms of media access to a player. However, some of the media reaction was very disheartening.

I don't follow the Flyers beat writers to hear them complain about how difficult their jobs are. I follow them because they cover the team I like. I'd happily trade places with any credentialed NHL writer. There's things that cause difficulties in anyone's job. My point is, with the option of the PPHWA's ability to filed a complaint, there was no need for several members of the local media to engage in their whinefest.

George Prax's picture

Why you heff to be mad? It just hockey.