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Bobrovsky starts, Bryzgalov benched with thermos for Winter ClassicPHILADELPHIA -- On Sunday evening, the Philadelphia Flyers announced that Sergei Bobrovsky would be their starting goaltender in the Winter Classic.

Less than an hour later, Ilya Bryzgalov tweeted a photograph of a thermos. These two events are, in fact related.

That morning, Bryzgalov announced himself — before his coach, before Bobrovsky — that he wouldn't be starting in the Winter Classic despite a 9-year contract and his being a featured character on "HBO 24/7" leading up to the game. He then held court with the media for another 20 minutes, offering pearls like this when asked what his mindset would be for Monday's game at Citizens Bank Park:

"[To] make sure I'm not forget early in the morning my thermos. Get some nice tea and enjoy the bench."

Hence, the tweeted thermos. For the record, he said his tea of choice would be "Earl Grey" with "lots of sugar."

From the Flyers, on Bobrovsky:

Bobrovsky currently owns an 8-2-1 record to go along with a 2.52 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in 14 starts this season. In his most recent start, Bobrovsky led the Flyers to a 4-2 win over the Penguins at Pittsburgh on Dec. 29 by stopping 24 of 26 shots. He has also won his last three starts in net and has appeared in relief twice during that span.

… "Bob's preparation is terrific," said Laviolette. "He spends a lot of time in the weight room and after practice making sure that he's conditioned and ready. I think it's his whole work ethic that allows him to continue to be better."

So 'Bob' gets his shot on a rather large stage.

What does this mean for HBO, which made Bryzgalov a focal point of its coverage of the Flyers leading up to the game?

We asked HBO senior producer David Harmon what happens if a player they promote for three episodes don't play in the Classic for Episode 4. "I don't think it matters because we have the ability, if there's a player like that, to still follow him during the game. He doesn't disappear from the show if he's not on the ice. We can continue the storyline of a player we're following no matter where they are," he said.

But that doesn't mean Bryzgalov makes the final episode, necessarily: "It's all based on the footage," said Harmon.

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