WESTMINSTER, Calif. _ Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov was asked if he felt refreshed after being benched for 2½ games.
“I was sick, guys, and I’m still sick a little bit,” Bryzgalov said after the Flyers’ practice here on Wednesday. “I’m catching a cold and have a bad cough.”
Is that why he didn’t play recently?
“I don’t know. Maybe it’s a coincidence. I’m just telling you, I was sick.”
Did you feel well enough to play?
“I didn’t play….Just minor things (bothered him). …Whatever coaches decide. I’m just an employee. They want me to play, I play. They want me to sit on the bench, I’m going to sit on the bench.”
Coach Peter Laviolette downplayed Bryzgalov’s illness, saying he started Sergei Bobrovsky the last two games simply because he was hot and had earned the playing time.
“I think there’s something to be said for rewarding a player when he does well,” Laviolette said. “Bryz will get back in there. It’s a long season, and I’m sure there will be another opportunity for Bob to steal a couple games in a row. He’ll come in and do the job and we’ll reward him by putting him back in the net.”
Added Laviolette: “This isn’t all about one person. Whether it’s (Claude) Giroux or (Chris) Pronger or Bryzgalov; it’s about our team being successful and guys playing hard and in a team concept. I think that’s a good thing.”
The Flyers play against two of Bryzgalov's former teams _ Anaheim Friday and Phoenix on Saturday. Bryzgalov will start one or both of those games. He has started just two of the last five games _ and was relieved in one of them.
Asked if he was hoping to play against his latest team, Phoenix, Bryzgalov said, “I’m only thinking about Anaheim game now. One game at a time.”
The Flyers practiced at a rink in Westminster, which has photos of the Ducks’ 2007 Stanley Cup champions on the walls. Pronger and Bryzgalov were on that team.
“It’s very nice. Lots of great memories here,” Bryzgalov said. “My son was born here in California and I had great years here.”
Bryzgalov is 8-5-2 with an .897 save percentage and 2.89 goals-against average.
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Injured winger James van Riemsdyk skated before practice but did not participate in the team's 1 1/2-hour workout. JVR is doubtful for Friday....Jaromir Jagr (groin) says he is ready to play Friday.
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Like most of his teammates, Jagr shaved off his moustache. “It didn’t bring me much luck on or off the ice,” Jagr said, smiling. “Nobody was talking to me at home and I got injured.”
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According to an NHL source, the Flyers are not in the sweepstakes for Anaheim's Bobby Ryan ($5.1 million cap hit), a South Jersey native who is on the block.
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Breakaways. Chis Pronger, who had knee surgery Tuesday, leads the Flyers in average ice time per game (22:28), while Giroux is first among forwards at 21:35…..Giroux is tops in faceoff percentage (51.1 percent). The team’s other primary centers _ Danny Briere (48.8 percent), Sean Couturier (46.9 percent) and Talbot (41.3 percent) _ are all below 50 percent…..Entering Wednesday, Scott Hartnell was tied for fourth in the NHL with five power-play goals.
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Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.
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