Philadelphia Flyers: Ilya Bryzgalov Tells Media 'Leave Me Alone,' Good for Him!

Joe Russomanno@@jriding4evrCorrespondent IJanuary 21, 2012

UNIONDALE, NY - NOVEMBER 23: Ilya Bryzgalov #30 of the Philadelphia Flyers pauses before heading out ofr warmups prior to the game against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on November 23, 2011 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

When you sign a nine-year, $51 million deal, expectations are heaped upon you.

When you don't live up to those expectations, it's only fair you receive criticism, but when you are made to look foolish or people go out of their way to twist your words, it's not fair.

Let me back up a second, when you're down and they kick you, that's not fair.

After a remarkable performance against the NJ Devils, Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov stood up to the pot stirrers.

You can check out his postgame remarks here.

Seriously, can you blame the guy?

Every time they go to him, he gives them something. Yet it gets blown way out of proportion and a media circus ensues.

Just a few short weeks ago, Bryzgalov, deservedly, was not given the start in the Winter Classic.

He took it upon himself to break the news to the media. He gave them a whole six-and-a-half minute sound bite.You can check that out here as well.

Bryzgalov mentioned such things as "the main goal is to win the Stanley Cup..." However, instead of focusing on the serious issues from those six minutes, we heard about his tea remarks ad nauseam.

The guy was struggling, he took matters in to his own hands. I personally feel his breaking the news to the media as his way of owning up to his own bad play.

Now Bryzgalov seems to have his confidence back. He is on a streak of two wins where he only allowed one goal in each showing.

If you watched today's contest, then you would see how Bryzgalov kept his team in the game and gave them a chance to win.

A lot of fans and media personnel will rip Bryzgalov for what he did today, but I personally believe there is a method to his madness.

Madness it is, but madness he needs.

Bryzgalov lost his chance to start against the Rangers in the Winter Classic because he looked slow and lacked fight in between the pipes.

Now he's playing mad.

If he wants it to be him against the world/media, then so be it. Go for it, Bryz.

In December, he really flailed at times in the crease. He looked slow to react, almost as if he was "lost in the woods."

Bad bounces and poor coverage by his teammates really hung him out to dry.

Today, the Flyers stepped up their defensive effort. Ilya Bryzgalov stepped up his battle.

All we, the fans and media, should want is for him to stop the puck on the way to a Stanley Cup champagne drink.

If it takes Bryzgalov using the media as a punching bag to come out standing on his head on the way to a Cup, then as an aspiring journalist, I say go for it.

He wouldn't be the first athlete to do this and he won't be the last.

With Danny Briere and now possibly Sean Couturier lost to injury, the Flyers will need Bryzgalov to be a lot better than his first-half performance.


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