Jump to content

Bryzgalov Pours His Heart & Soul, And -- Of Course -- Philly Media Makes Him the Bad Guy


Guest Irishjim
 Share

Recommended Posts

by

Michael DeNicola

What does this city want from its sports players?

Alright, alright, maybe that was the wrong question. I pictured a scroll of checkmarks sliding to my feet like some cartoon-y scene from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Perhaps the answers to that question covers a list longer than the Eastern seaboard, but one of the most important line items that camps at the top of this list is "honesty."

We're Philadelphians; We see through a person's ******** like Superman's ability to see through clothing. Our city's sports fanatics chalk no room for frivolity or drivel, especially from those who professionally represent our sports teams.

Yesterday a Russian reporter from SovSports caught up with Ilya Bryzgalov before any of the Philadelphia media had the chance. In fact, Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer

stated that Bryz "refused to talk to reporters during the team's postseason media day Thursday..."

Whether or not Bryzgalov refused to chat with these journalists is not what's important. I actually prefer that he stays away from our city's muckrakers any chance he gets. And for good reason.

Like I said, Ilya spoke with Mother Russia's media and gave an interview discussing the 2011-12 season. The entire interview can be read on Puck Daddy's website

here.

Our $51-Million goalkeeper spoke about the pressures of being a new netminder in this specific town. He admits it had its wear and tear on him physically, as well as emotionally. That's no secret. We saw it right before our eyes --

Can you take out anything positive from this season?

"I gained invaluable experience."

What is it?

"It is difficult to describe with words. It is a psychology, a new view on life."

You came under a massive pressure from the media and fans in Philadelphia. Maybe reading newspapers wasn't worth it?

"It is difficult. Wherever you come, whatever you open — my face is everywhere. Everyone is talking about me. 'Bryzgalov played well,' 'Philadelphia won, but Bryz made a mistake again,' 'Yes, he wasn't scored against but could have been'… Guys, but who doesn't make mistakes? And how many [pucks] did I catch before then? But very few notice that. People are so concentrated on the negative that they only see the bad in me. But I think that you need to be kinder to each other."

The way goaltenders are treated in Philadelphia is different. For many years it is the club's Achilles' heel.

"What I lived through this season I wouldn't wish to an enemy… [but if you started on something, finish it]. I need to keep working. I understand the fans. They paid their money and want the show. But many forget that we are not robots, but living people. We have feelings, worries. It's easy to turn away when the club is going through tough times. But if you're wearing orange sweaters, then support Philadelphia until the very end! Don't denounce your team. There won't be a different one. And I know that the Flyers have dedicated fans who understand hockey and will always support."

Did a wish ever come up to tell everything where to go? To ask for a trade, slam the door?

"I am not one of those people. I will not give in when facing difficulties. I have eight more years to work under my contract with Philadelphia. If I am criticized, then I will endure it. You can't tie up people's tongues. It is their right to let the emotions go."

How to live under such pressure?

"I don't even know. I got very tired this season, to be honest…"

Maybe go to the KHL? <----Absolutely the dumbest goddamn question of the interview

"Where will I go? This is out of the question. I have a contract with Philadelphia."

You won't change the fans, the media as well.

"You can change your own view of the situation. Not be reflective. To listen and read less negativity. As I said, I learned a serious lesson. And next season I will only be better."

What doesn't kill you make you stronger — is this about you?

"Yes. Now I know what it's like to be a goaltender in Philadelphia. Maybe from the outside it looks like there's nothing to it. You only realize it on your own."

If the grammar seems a bit off, just remember that this is Yahoo Sports' translation from Russian to English. So it'll naturally look a bit choppy.

But go ahead and read it over and over again. In that entire interview, does Bryzgalov say one thing that isn't true? Does anything he said come off as a personal attack to our fans?

No.

We're a hard bunch of sons of ******* who will either glorify you as an athletic god or break you under our scrutiny like a house of cards. We're known globally as one of the toughest (if not, THE toughest) fanbases in North American sports.

It's blatantly clear Bryzgalov learned this in the hardest way possible in his first season as a Flyer. He not only admits that, but he's also gone on record saying he'll endure the pressure. He'll endure it, and turn it into motivation to get better.

"As I said, I learned a serious lesson. And next season I will only be better."

What could be more admirable than that?

Look, if you're a Philadelphia fan, I understand your pain. I understand how exhausted our patience is.

"Patience is a virtue," they say.

Oh yea? Tell that to an Eagles fan. Break out that Chinese philosophy ******** around a Flyers fanatic who's forced to relive the '70s Cup days through Comcast's Encore Replays of the 1974 and 1975 Stanley Cup Finals.

We look at cities like New York, Boston, and Pittsburgh win championships from virtually all of their sports teams in a condensed window of time, and then turn our heads to the 2008 Phillies World Series sitting on a shelf like some castaway on an island.

"When's it our time?" we ask ourselves. The question is harbored in our minds each year like passing the same billboard on our way to work every day. It's run its course, but unfortunately you just cannot force a championship parade. It must be earned.

But we could either continue feeling sorry for ourselves, or we could pick our chins up, clench our fists, grit our teeth and get ready for the next season of hockey.

Here's where our city's media comes in.

Sam Carchidi -- responsible for writing how Bryzgalov refused to chat with the Flyers press -- went out on his own and wrote a response article covering Ilya's interview with the Russian sports reporter.

Sam titled this

article, "Bryz Fed Up with Scrutiny" and then conveniently listed portions of the Bryzgalov interview in such a way to -- once again -- make #30 out to be the bad guy. The scapegoat. The media's doormat.

Philly goes another year without a Cup, so let's make sure we've got someone to blame it on, right Carchidi? Let's make sure we distort the heartfelt message Bryzgalov was attempting to send, and pitch it your own way, falsifying everything Ilya said and fabricating it into some kind of calamity.

HEY! It sells, right!?!? Just as long as you get those headlines in readers' hands, Sam!!! Continue the good work, pal!!!

You know what sucks? I mean, what reeeeeeeeally sucks? This website of mine is just a blog. Visited, on a good day, by maybe a few hundred separate IP addresses belonging to some of the greatest Flyers fans I've ever had the pleasure of interacting with.

But we're a very small minority.

My writing reaches only a percentage of Orange & Black nation as a whole, while faultfinders like Sam Carchidi and his words reach every doorstep and computer screen of every citizen in the tri-state area. His bandwidth shadows mine like America's President over an elementary school's class treasurer.

So these headlines of Sam's.....these slanted truths he hatches from the bowels of his own subterranean world of journalism.....make their way to hundreds and hundreds of thousands of eyes each morning, planting seeds of half-ass validity into the psyche of our fanbase's people.

And right now, while each of us is at their weakest after our Playoff exit, journalists like Carchidi take advantage of the wound that's fresh, open and exposed on our fanhoods.

"LOOK AT BRYZGALOV! HE'S THE BAD GUY! LOOK AT WHAT HE SAID ABOUT YOU, FANS!"

Furthest from the truth. And it makes me ill to my stomach.

Instead of celebrating the realization, the....frozen pond epiphany that's been bestowed to our goalie from the hockey gods, muckraking media heads aim to wrap their diseased words around it. Burying it beneath hate, frustration, fear and impatience.

And they get PAID FOR IT.

Readers, don't be fooled. Bryzgalov never once mentioned the word "scrutiny". Hell, even the reporter interviewing him never used the word "scrutiny". It's slimy snakes who look to fill their wallets with greenery who conjure up words like "scrutiny" in this instance.

Our fans added pressure and criticism on Bryzgalov, sure. But he's here to stay, he says. He's got eight more years left in this city, and he personally aims to harness the pressure and use it as his strength to lift Lord Stanley on Wells Fargo ice, and Broad Street cement.

I, for one, won't fall for the words Sam Carchidi (and media members like him) put in front of us like a poisoned apple. I have my own mind, my own sense of understanding.

I am not this city's media puppet, nor will I ever allow it to be my shepherd.

Bryzgalov will come back motivated, better, and hungrier.

How 'bout that for a fu*king headline?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good write again Jim. While I don't blame the entire series loss on Bryz, he was the single guy that could have made the difference by playing better. HE KNOWS that. Down the stretch he made several good momentum changing stops. The problem was he had too many weak goals allowed to go with them. He has the potential to be so much better than he was this season. We got a good glimpse of that in March when he went on the roll. Where I am frustrated by the EONS LONG contract he signed, I can't fault him for that. From the article from the Russian paper, he seems to have a good grasp now of what he is up against. I hope for his sake and ours, he is able to regain some semblance of the form he showed us in March. If not, this contract just got longer than eons for both him and the fans......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's easy to turn away when the club is going through tough times. But if you're wearing orange sweaters, then support Philadelphia until the very end! Don't denounce your team. There won't be a different one. And I know that the Flyers have dedicated fans who understand hockey and will always support."

This is the only portion of the interview that I view as genuinely tricky. While I somewhat share the perspective, fans don't like players telling them how they should support their team. In this case, it probably tends to bring on the "hey, you're earning $51MM...suck it up" response.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is the only portion of the interview that I view as genuinely tricky. While I somewhat share the perspective, fans don't like players telling them how they should support their team. In this case, it probably tends to bring on the "hey, you're earning $51MM...suck it up" response.

gee i wonder who said that. o that was me in another thread :)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"It is difficult. Wherever you come, whatever you open — my face is everywhere. Everyone is talking about me. 'Bryzgalov played well,' 'Philadelphia won, but Bryz made a mistake again,' 'Yes, he wasn't scored against but could have been'… Guys, but who doesn't make mistakes? And how many [pucks] did I catch before then? But very few notice that. People are so concentrated on the negative that they only see the bad in me. But I think that you need to be kinder to each other."

fúck him, whiny little sieve *****. wah, people in large hockey markets focus on the goalies. who is the most talked about ranger? most talked about LA king? most talked about devil? and this bothers bryzgalov this much? he's the victim? we only see the bad in him? well, fúcking duh. what else is there? no goalie in the playoffs has allowed even close to as many goals as he did. only one goalie in the playoffs had a worse save percentage. when you give up 37 goals on 326 shots over 11 games, most of what you did was bad, and you don't deserve for anyone to go searching for the good.

and, what, he wants consideration? we should cut him some slack? "guys, but who doesn't make mistakes?" yeah, sure, every one makes mistakes, but you make them more than just about anyone else, and the flyers are paying more for your mistakes than anyone else in the league.

damnit but i hate this guy so much. 8 more years of AHL goaltending at an elite pricetag for the flyers, with crying to the russian press on the side. awesome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

fúck him, whiny little sieve *****. wah, people in large hockey markets focus on the goalies. who is the most talked about ranger? most talked about LA king? most talked about devil? and this bothers bryzgalov this much? he's the victim? we only see the bad in him? well, fúcking duh. what else is there? no goalie in the playoffs has allowed even close to as many goals as he did. only one goalie in the playoffs had a worse save percentage. when you give up 37 goals on 326 shots over 11 games, most of what you did was bad, and you don't deserve for anyone to go searching for the good.

and, what, he wants consideration? we should cut him some slack? "guys, but who doesn't make mistakes?" yeah, sure, every one makes mistakes, but you make them more than just about anyone else, and the flyers are paying more for your mistakes than anyone else in the league.

damnit but i hate this guy so much. 8 more years of AHL goaltending at an elite pricetag for the flyers, with crying to the russian press on the side. awesome.

Some people realized "it" without really articulating "it" and unfortunately, Snider wasn't one of them. But "it" could not be more apparent now: Byrzgalov has the wrong temperament for his current gig and he always will. My prediction is that even if his play improves, he's never going to be "home". It's going to be a long 9 years...for Bryzgalov too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

gee i wonder who said that. o that was me in another thread :)

Whenever I hear someone whine, I immediately stop to consider what might be at the root of the whining and how I might help alleviate the whiner's pain. I'm a typical Philly fan in this regard: whining brings out my compassionate side.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

he's never going to be "home". It's going to be a long 9 years...for Bryzgalov too.

i can only hope so. the only two outs i see are either a buyout (unlikely), or bryzgalov becomes so uncomfortable he requests a loan to a european league, a la huet.

if i lived in the area, i'd try to start a thing with all the season ticket holders who sit behind the flyers' 1st/3rd goal, and have them boo him mercilessly at the start of every period. maybe after a season or two of that he'll want out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

C'mon aziz, it isn't Bryz' fault that Holmgren (or Snider) handed him TEN MILLION DOLLARS this year, and signed him for EIGHT more years after this. He's not to blame for that at all.

But as far as SUCKING as bad as he did this year, ya, that's all on him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@aziz

He's so emotionally overwrought and so poorly suited to deal with the pressure, the expectations and the carping, it isn't beyond the realm of possibility that he takes the KHL way out. It would be a truly elegant solution (if it would take the cap hit away): we sell his rights to a KHL team and they deal with him. Flyers move on, Bryz moves on.

I can't imagine a buy out either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But as far as SUCKING as bad as he did this year, ya, that's all on him.

Well no, it's your fault. You treated Bryz like a robot, not a human being, and you rooted for your team the wrong way. What did you expect would happen?

Let me give you an example of how you are a bad fan and partly responsible for his poor play: did you send Bryz a card on Valentine's Day? Did you? I rest my case.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@flyercanuck My take exactly, this is all on Snider. He's the one that anchored this team down with an albatross for 8 more years. Bryz is what he is...a goalie with SERIOUS fundamental flaws. I wonder what the our scouts said about him, did they give a glowing report or did they warn Ed that it's a risky venture to sign him for that long. I don't feel sorry for him, he firmly stands in the way of us ever winning again.

The number one thing the Flyers should be doing is finding the next Holtby, a cheap inexpensive talented youngster who can take the reigns after Bryz falters early in next years playoffs. Yeah, the team played like crap in front of him, but weak backbreaking goals...that's on him, and I see no sign of it letting up. Find someone else and make him the back up...it's the only rational play here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a fkng loser. Bryzgalov ruined an otherwise very successful rebuilding year for the Flyers - pissed all over it with his abysmal goaltending and his I'm-a-Real-Character act.

I'm not saying better goaltending wins us the Cup this year but who knows? Maybe we sweep the Pens, rest and practice more... oh hell forget it. Better goaltending changes everything and there's no predicting what coulda woulda shoulda.

But think of our season. We needed 5 fkn goals practically every night to compensate for Bryzgalov's "everybody-makes-mistakes." Think of all the deflating, backbreaking goals, the miscues and mishandles that sapped the bench's momentum. Clarkson's GWer (G5) is the perfect snapshot, the epitome of all of them combined. Not to mention the attention-hogging and the phony martyrdom in the press...remember the WC b.s. about "good news and bad news."

And now he's taking it to a new level in the Russian press. He actually wants sympathy because "it's difficult" to be the Flyers goaltender. For $5+ million a year. Yeah right.

Fk Bryzgalov. The sooner he's gone the better. They have zero shot at winning 4 PO rounds with him in net, no chance. He will out-Leighton Leighton guaranteed if he's given the chance. He already did almost with that Clarkson goal. Only reason he didn't was because it was R2 and not the SCF. Unbelievable there's people that still defend this A-hole.

Edited by canoli
Link to comment
Share on other sites

and, what, he wants consideration? we should cut him some slack? "guys, but who doesn't make mistakes?" yeah, sure, every one makes mistakes, but you make them more than just about anyone else, and the flyers are paying more for your mistakes than anyone else in the league.

Yeah, serioulsy...... What a crock. Who doesn't make mistakes.......... it's one thing to let in one bad goal or two. But when your team *needs* you, when you are counted on, you cannot let in those types of goals. The reality is, the team beat Pittsburgh in *spite* of him. People will cry that he wasn't the reason the Flyers lost to the Devils. Ok, maybe..... debatable, but fine. But what I do know is that he didn't do much to help either. I looked to him to steal at least ONE game.... win at least one game by himself. Why it it so much to ask?

I maintain we would be no worse off with Bob/Bouche this past spring. He let Phoenix down and they are doing 100 times better with Mike Smith. And he let the Flyers down. This guy is not a winner. He will never help ANY team win the Cup. NEVER.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, serioulsy...... What a crock. Who doesn't make mistakes.......... it's one thing to let in one bad goal or two. But when your team *needs* you, when you are counted on, you cannot let in those types of goals.

if he wanted sympathy for making mistakes, maybe he should've looked for less money. Doesn't he realize that yes this is a tough market, but when you sign a contract that pays you the kind of money he got ($10 mil this year alone!), it doesn't matter where you play, you NEED to produce results.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Bryz says he's going to work harder and get better and he wants my support through this process then I am absolutely going to give it to him. He may have let me down, but like he says, he wears the Orange and Black and that makes him one of us.

I support Bryz.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I maintain we would be no worse off with Bob/Bouche this past spring. He let Phoenix down and they are doing 100 times better with Mike Smith. And he let the Flyers down. This guy is not a winner. He will never help ANY team win the Cup. NEVER.

That's an interesting point in there. Phx is going to the WCF after Bryz leaves. I guess he didn't really do that well under pressure, even in a good D system that's riding Mike Smith (no disrespect but he's not an established stud) through the playoffs.

Bryz did help Ana many moons ago win the cup though, so that part of your argument fails.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...