Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said his relationship with colorful goalie Ilya Bryzgalov is a work in progress.
You might recall he said something similar about his rapport with since-traded captain Mike Richards last season.
Don’t jump to the wrong conclusion, Laviolette said after the Flyers practiced in Voorhees on Monday. He hinted the comments about Richards were misconstrued, and that he gets along fine with Bryzgalov.
“I have a good relationship with Bryz,” said Laviolette, whose team has lost five of its last six games. “We continue to work on that. That should not be construed in a negative way. But we continue to work on it. He’s a new player. I’m a new coach. Like a lot of the guys in here, it takes time to develop those relationships. My relationship with Bryz is good.”
The Flyers need their fiery coach and their inconsistent goalie on the same page as they head down the stretch and try to regroup and secure a high seeding in the Eastern Conference.
Bryzgalov, who signed a nine-year $51 million contract before the season, has just a 2.78 goals-against average and .900 save percentage, but he had been showing signs of snapping out of his funk. He had allowed just a total six goals over his last four games before being sidelined by the flu.
After missing the last three games, Bryzgalov was back at practice Monday and said he was ready to return to action. The Flyers will host Buffalo on Thursday, and Bryzgalov figures to get the start.
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Columbus’ Rick Nash ($7.8 million cap hit) has apparently agreed to waive his no-trade clause.
The Flyers have about $4.7 million in cap room and would have to deal some salary to add the star winger.
Also, Washington winger Mike Knuble (three goals, minus-14), a former Flyer who has a $2 million cap hit, implied he wants to be dealt. He has been a healthy scratch lately.
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Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.