Ilya Bryzgalov typically has a lot of fun with the media. He laughs, he jokes, he says hilarious, nonsensical things. It's a whale of a time.
But Bryz wasn't laughing Thursday night after the Flyers' 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators. Not after napgate, when the controversy surrounded a report that Bryzgalov was benched for falling asleep in a team meeting. Asked pointedly about it in the locker room, a frustrated Bryzgalov admonished the 'not professional journalists' that ran what he called an 'embarrassing' report.
Oh, how the tables have turned. For quite some time now, the media has blasted Bryzgalov for not being good enough. Now it's Bryz's turn, and he let those not professional journalists have it:
"You know, guys... I don't know where you get this information, but, be honest, did you read yourself what you're writing, guys? That's embarrassing, guys. You've gotta... I don't know, to prove your sources. That was never happening. You know, like, you became... like a not professional journalist. It's embarrassing, guys, seriously. You've gotta do your job better. I'm only point at guys who was, like, involved in this, because it's really embarrassing. And you've gotta be better. Step up, guys. Prove your information... find reliable sources."
I think Bryzgalov thinks it was embarrassing.
Thing we learned today: Bryzgalov is great as chastising people. He could have just ranted. Instead, he calmly offered constructive criticism, so the people with whom he was upset could improve. Read what you write. Do your job better. Step up. Find better sources. These are all very helpful tips. I was surprised it didn't end with him saying, "Now, let's go get some ice cream."
Bryzgalov wasn't the only one to call into doubt the report that he was catching some zeds (yes, zeds, because Canada forever). On Thursday afternoon, his teammates rose to his defence. From CSN Philly:
“Not unless they’re narcoleptic,” Knuble said, laughing. “You hardly even sat down. I don’t think your [butt] made your spot on the bench warm enough. That’s silly, that’s asinine. You’re sitting in a bright room, in the middle of the day. It’s not like you’re locked into a film session for 45 minutes. Then I might see it. But not for half a cup of coffee meeting. Not even that.”
Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who is the longest-tenured member of the team’s leadership group, emphatically denied it, as well.
“That’s not true and I’ll tell you that on the record,” Timonen said. “And that’s it. If you want to ask more, ask Lavy (Peter Laviolette). That’s not my business to tell you what happened and didn’t happen. He wasn’t sleeping. What a scoop! Have you ever seen anyone sleeping in a meeting? In the NHL, have you ever heard of anyone sleeping during a meeting? There’s a scoop.”
Someone needs to re-explain the concept of a scoop to Timonen, but aside from that, this is a pretty strong denial.
Is it horrible to want Bryzgalov to remain in Philadelphia forever? I would like that very much.
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- Ilya Bryzgalov