Ilya Bryzgalov is the starting goalie for Russia in the IIHF world championships, because things went that well for the Philadelphia Flyers this season.
In Tuesday’s game against Hockey Superpower The United States of America, Colorado Avalanche defenseman Matt Hunwick fired a shot from the point. It deflected off a Russian defender’s stick and starting rising towards the goal. That’s when Bryz … well, he looked like he ducked. Again.
Russia and Bryzgalov would win the game, 5-3.
This one is a little less egregious than his previous case of seemingly bailing on a shot, in April against the Montreal Canadiens:
Now, in both cases, it sorta kinda looks like Bryzgalov ducks. More likely, he’s out of position to make a save and just begins flailing to recover any way he can.
We simply can’t accept the notion that Bryzgalov is afraid of the puck, flinching like a Little Leaguer facing his or her first fastball near the chin. We can, however, accept the theory that Bryzgalov believes the puck is a sentient creature flying at his face in an unpredictable pattern in an attempt to “steal all ideas in the brain.” Which would make us flinch, too.