If the Flyers are going to win their first Stanley Cup since 1975, goalie Ilya Bryzgalov probably needs to be their best player, not their best interview.
Bryzgalov these days gives the impression he would rather have root canal performed than talk with the media. He is disinterested, won't answer questions about himself, and is a shell of the person who was so engaging in the season's first four-plus months.
There may be a method to his madness. Ever since he started giving short, curt answers and stopped talking about himself, his play has, for the most part, improved.
Here is his group interview after Wednesday's practice in Voorhees:
Q: How can the guys stay fresh this week?
Bryz: "Eat more veggies."
Q: Bored with all this practice?
Bryz: "Yeah, bored with you guys."
Q: Bored with the practices? Would you prefer the games to begin?
Bryz: "We're working on some things. Always having fun in practices."
Q: Will you be happy when you know the name of your opponent so it makes it easier to prepare?
Bryz: "I can't control this….Really, it doesn't matter."
Q: What are you doing to stay sharp? What are doing right now?
Bryz: "Going in the shower."
Q: What are you doing on the ice to stay sharp?
Bryz: "Trying to stop puck. Do my job."
Q: Can you talk about how the defense has stepped up after losing a lot of guys?
Bryz: "We have depth in the D-line. We have pretty good players playing in minors, too. I told you all year: It's not only obligation of the D to play defense, it's the obligation of the WHOLE team. If it's only the D that plays defense, you're not going to have any success. When the whole team tries to defend your net, it's much easier for everybody."
Q: Have you seen the younger forwards improving as season has progressed?
Bryz: "Yeah, with every game you got more experience and understand game better."
Q: Were the last two games of the Pittsburgh series easier from a goaltender's standpoint because it was less chaotic? They looked like normal playoff games.
Bryz: "There's no easy games in the playoffs."
Q: I'm doing a story on Coach Laviolette. What is he like to play for?
Bryz: "Huh? I'm not sure. I don't have the flash cards for this answer."
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