Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov refused to talk to reporters during the team's postseason media day Thursday, but he candidly told a Russian newspaper he was fed up with the scrutiny he was under during his first year with the club.
"What I lived through this season I wouldn't wish to an enemy," he said to reporter Natalia Bragilevskaya of SovSport. ". . . 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."
Bryzgalov had an up-and-down first season with the Flyers, and he allowed a brutal goal - it proved to be the game-winner - as the Flyers were eliminated by New Jersey, 3-1, in Game 5 of the conference semifinals Tuesday.
"I got very tired this season, to be honest," he said. ". . . 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."
On the whole, Bryzgalov played well in the New Jersey series.
"It's easy to turn away when the club is going through tough times," he said. "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."
Bryzgalov said he gained "invaluable experience" this season that was "difficult to describe with words. It is a psychology, a new view on life."
Asked about the scrutiny he was under in Philadelphia, Bryzgalov said, "It is difficult" and that "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 you need to be kinder to each other."
Bryzgalov, who has eight years left on a $51 million deal, said he has never considered asking to be traded.
"I will not give in when facing difficulties," he said. "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."
Bryzgalov said he wanted to make sure the fans knew he wasn't being critical of them.
I agree with a good bit of what he said especially the fans focus on the negativity. Because he got a lot of money people expected perfection & when he had some problems the hate was thick in the air. He took a lot of flak but not much was said about those who gave him that money including the guy that could have been GM of the Year, Paul Holmgren.
I saw Holmgren's comments about Bryz having to stop pucks and it isn't Comedy Central. Only ONE reporter added in that Holmgren was smiling and laughing when he said it. Makes a world of difference in the uptake. Maybe Bryz goofs around because it kept him loose and took some edge off? Who knows.
Philly is a rough place to play even when you winning. Mike Schmidt (IMO,the greatest 3rd baseman of all time) said "Philadelphia is the only city, where you can experience the thrill of victory and the agony of reading about it the next day."
Amen to that
Posted on May 11, 2012, 9:09 AM from IP address 220.127.116.11