Friday, November 8, 2013

Flyers lose, Panthers hand out pink slips and Bryzgalov is back?

Today has been quite a shocking day in terms of NHL news. Before we dive into that, let’s review last night’s Flyers vs. Devils game briefly.

With over 100 minutes of play with no goals scored over the past week, the New Jersey Devils did not take long to get on the board last night against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Devils put the Flyers to sleep, and all the fans as they shut them out during a very dull 3-0 victory. A team clearly experiencing hard times, even Flyers chairman Ed Snider, who has been in the game for 47 years, has ‘never seen anything like this’. The Flyers continue to possess a shocking inability to score and have fallen to last-place in the Metropolitan Division. Not even captain Claude Giroux blames the fans for booing them with the performances they have been giving. The fans are calling for the firing of GM Paul Holmgren and it seems that if things do not change, Snider may be prepared to let the fans have it their way. But, what did firing Laviolette really do? Is a new GM the answer?

It seems pink slips flying around the league, not just in Philadelphia. Today head coach Kevin Dineen and assistant coaches Gord Murphy and Craig Ramsay were relieved of their coaching duties from the Florida Panthers. Reasons cited for the early season dismissal were due to expectations set in training camp not being met. After just 16 games the Panthers are looking to change philosophy and direction. The Panthers will be moving forward as they appointed interim head coach Peter Horachek.

Wrapping up the excitement of the day, true to form is Ilya Brzygalov. Remembering back to his time in Philadelphia, not too long ago, this net minder had a way with the media and it is ironic that today just happens to be the day he reappears. Back in the beginning of October, just days after the 2013-14 NHL season had started news of Bryzgalov accepting a professional try-out with ECHL Las Vegas Wranglers surfaced. Thought to be a kick in the pants for Bryz, who just three years ago was a Verzina nominee, he remained uncharacteristically optimistic saying:

“ ..this is critical for me to be ready for NHL play, and I can’t wait to get on the ice. Everyone’s motivation here is largely driven by an unparalleled passion for the game, and this will offer me a very interesting perspective and be a great opportunity for me to reflect why I started playing this great game in the first place…”

Shortly after, Ilya and family posed for a picture (presumably in Vegas) with the Blue Man crew but since then the Bryz camp has been silent. Today the news broke that pending the Calgary trade, the Edmonton Oilers have made a verbal agreement with Bryz for a one year contract. How ironic that this is taking place on the eve of the Oilers v Flyers game?

Keep the excitement coming!

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