Bryzgalov reenergized after much-needed break

Bryzgalov reenergized after much-needed break
March 24, 2013, 9:45 am
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When the Flyers completed their game at Tampa Bay on Monday night, Ilya Bryzgalov continued to lead all NHL goalies in minutes played -- 1,593:31.
With a five-day break in the schedule, he dropped to third.
The point remains, however, if any player on this Flyers roster needed a rest after 30 games, it was Bryzgalov, who has started all but two this season.
In truth, he was exhausted, recently, hinting being very tired without really coming out and saying it.
Now as the Flyers prepare for a stretch run of 18 games in 35 days, beginning Sunday evening against the Penguins, Bryzgalov seems reenergized.
Whether his energy will have anything to do with the Flyers making the playoffs, is another thing.
“I feel good,” Bryzgalov said. “I felt good before, too.”
More energy now?
“Tough question,” he replied. “I had energy before, too. It’s nice to have a break. We worked on some things in practice.”
Several teammates said going into the break that Bryzgalov needed a rest.
“It’s good for a guy who takes on a workload like that to get away,” coach Peter Laviolette said of his goalie.
“He had two days off and then comes back and have practice. You are in a building with your family, you had a chance to get away. That holds true for everybody -- guys on defense who play a lot of minutes.
“Bryz is certainly in that category where he has taken 95 percent of the work this year. It’s good to get a break.”
Only if you can take the positives from it and apply it to the rest of the season.
“It’s not going to be easy, again,” Bryzgalov said of the schedule.
The Penguins are the hottest team in the league and are shooting for a 12th straight win this evening.
That’s bad news for a Flyers team floundering like crawfish as the 14th seed in the Eastern Conference.
Then again, the Flyers are 6-1 at CONSOL Energy Center. They seem to have Pittsburgh’s number here.
“I don’t have a crystal ball to predict anything,” said Bryzgalov, when asked if he liked the Flyers chances tonight.
“We gotta play hard as a group against Pittsburgh. It’s a great challenge for us, great team, in front of us.”
He admitted not knowing the Penguins had won 11 straight games, tying the Blackhawks’ longest streak this season.
“For us,” he said, “we’re in a different situation. I said this months ago. We need points to continue being in the playoff race.”
The only hope the Flyers have is that when they left Tampa on Monday they were five points behind and they remain five behind as their schedule resumes.
There’s still hope, however, fleeting.
“You lose hope when you lose, like two games left and five points behind,” Bryzgalov said.
“You’re done, whatever you do. Right now, we still have a chance to make the playoffs. Some things are in our hands and some are not. We have to use our chances.”