Blog Entry

Coyotes players have strong words for Bryzgalov

Posted on: November 17, 2011 5:37 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2011 5:48 pm
ib2By: Adam Gretz

So far, the Phoenix Coyotes attempt to replace Ilya Bryzgalov with Mike Smith has been a success. Smith has played extremely well in the early part of the season and the Coyotes continue to win hockey games despite losing Bryzgalov over the summer, trading his rights to the Flyers before he was eligible to hit unrestricted free agency.

The obvious questions coming into the season were how well the Coyotes would be able to adjust without Bryzgalov, seeing as how he's been one of the better goaltenders in the league over the past few seasons, and whether or not Smith would be up to the task of replacing him.

On Thursday night the Coyotes will be getting their first look at Bryzgalov from the other side when they travel to Philadelphia, and a couple of veteran defensemen, Derek Morris and Adrian Aucoin, had some pretty strong words regarding their former teammate.

Said Morris in a pre-game discussion with Coyotes broadcaster Todd Walsh, via Broad Street Hockey, "First of all we have to throw a lot of pucks at Bryz. He's known for letting in bad goals, you know, so I think our mindset is going to be get the puck down behind the net and hopefully he comes out and plays a few because he doesn't like to do that. We have to put some pressure on Bryz. We've gotta make it a tough night, we gotta have guys in front, we've gotta be banging away at rebounds. He gets frustrated that way."

Morris also added that he's "glad" that Bryzgalov is gone because Smith has fit in with the team better and made them closer, while there was "some animosity" at times between he and the rest of the team.

Added Aucoin, when asked if there was, in fact, animosity in the locker room, "Absolutely. I honestly haven't met almost any hockey player that's really a bad person. I think he was different as a player, obviously he was a great player, more as a person. Sometimes he just did things that aren't very typical of hockey players or teammates, but he's a good goalie."

It should be expected for the Coyotes to have strong praise for their new teammate, and one that's playing extremely well with a .933 save percentage, seventh best in the NHL, in his13 starts. But to have such harsh words for Bryzgalov, and for Morris to go as far as to say he's glad he's gone is certainly interesting. If nothing else he found a way to get some extra excitement and something else to watch for in a random interconference game in the middle of November.

Bryzgalov definitely has a strong personality and is a bit "out there" at times. Take, for example, his post-game meltdown following a 9-8 loss to the Winnipeg Jets earlier this season when he talked about how he was "terrible" and "lost in the woods."

Photo: Getty Images

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Since: Apr 8, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2011 10:19 pm

Coyotes players have strong words for Bryzgalov

Lynch the coyotes?  Will the coyotes exist next year?  How about the year after that?  It's usually not any fun to lynch people on life support.  And as far as the comments go, what out of context?  They sound like the standard sour grapes of people who know they are on a dying team that will be moved in the next two years and are bitter that Bryz got out of town and taken to NHL nirvana.

Since: Oct 8, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 10:05 pm

Coyotes players have strong words for Bryzgalov


Now that the game's over, it wasn't too definitive an outcome. I missed most of it at a parent-teacher conference but it sounds like both goalies did great.

Anyway, it pretty much was going to sound dumb unless the Coyotes trounced the Flyers and Bryzgalov specifically. They did not, and if the Coyotes and Johnson? John Doe? Smith? turn south later in the season it will really sound dumb. If their goalie actually makes me remember his name then we'll forget what they said.

Since: Feb 28, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 9:51 pm

Coyotes players have strong words for Bryzgalov


How exactly were these words taken out of context? The audio to the interviews is linked right in the post. Nothing out of context.

Since: Aug 15, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 9:34 pm

Coyotes players have strong words for Bryzgalov

Notice how everything said here is taken out of context. So, before you Flyers fans want to lynch the Coyotes, read very carefully between the lines. Sounds to me like a little creative writing, and should be taken from the point of view of a desperate writer.

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 9:19 pm

Coyotes players have strong words for Bryzgalov

I never realized RFA's could be so hypocritical.  OH nos !!! An RFA signs with a team he likes, he has sinned!!!!

Coyotes players look like the big joke at the end of the day.  Then people could put statements about how the city doesn't deserve the team based on such player comments.

Since: Oct 8, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 7:03 pm

Coyotes players have strong words for Bryzgalov

The proof is in the pudding.

Before the game I have to say this is pretty dumb.

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