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Wild coach expects strong work from Bryzgalov in Game 2

May 3, 2014, 6:08 PM EDT

Ilya Bryzgalov AP

Whether the Minnesota Wild like it or not, they’ll need to stick with Ilya Bryzgalov in net against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2 on Sunday. If nothing else, head coach Mike Yeo is saying all the right things about Breezy, at least to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo.

Yeo told Russo that he has a “good feeling” that the 33-year-old netminder will “play well” in Game 2.

As PHT noted on Friday, injuries continue to hinder the Wild in net. Yeo backed up yesterday’s update that Darcy Kuemper is not with the team just yet as he continues to struggle with an injury suffered during Game 7 of the Wild’s first-round series against the Colorado Avalanche.

While Yeo is putting on a brave face, Russo notes that Bryzgalov has been struggling lately. After a strong finish to the regular season (5-1-1 with two shutouts), Bryzgalov has struggled in the postseason. His lone playoff win in 2014 came after playing 13:15 in Game 7 following Kuemper’s injury.

Despite besting Bryzgalov and the Wild 5-2 in Game 1, more than a few Blackhawks players noted that they weren’t totally happy with their efforts in that victory (Johnny Oduya told Russo that they “got away with one”), so things could be even more challenging for the Russian goalie.

  1. luvmnsports2012 - May 3, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    Don’t sugar coat it Yeo! Were f@cked!! Bryz is terrible which means the Wilds chances went from weak to zero! Tried believing in him last game but u can’t deny facts. Good luck Wild on scoring more than Chicago!! GO WILD!!!

    • esracerx46 - May 3, 2014 at 9:50 PM

      If Bryz is terrible go talk to your GM. Granted the Wild have had A TON of issues in net. All of them unfortunate. Fletcher gave up a 4th round pick for a guy that was on the streets a few months prior. Their were other goalies on the market, and to give up a 4th for Bryzgalov was an overpayment.

      With all that said, Bryzgalov was not terrible, save percentage aside. Kane’s 2 goals, no goalie can stop those. Bickell’s first, a redirect…those happen. Hossa’s goal, that was some slick work by Saad. Bryzgalov could have maybe thrown his leg up, but that isn’t on him either. Where were the defenseman to knock Saad off the puck. Kane too for that matter. Sure Saad and Kane are good, but that doesn’t give the guys in front of Bryzgalov a pass.

      • strictlythedanks - May 4, 2014 at 2:07 AM

        Hes not terrible, he played decent, gave up some goals that no one except maybe Harding could have stopped. He was not the reason the wild lost, it was because they could not capitalize and crawford was outstanding. Gotta take away space from kane better as well.

  2. 950003cups - May 3, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    So did the Flyers. LOLOL

  3. r8rbhawk - May 3, 2014 at 6:29 PM

    I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again, none of the Wild goalies would have stopped the goals Chicago scored. Hell Quick, Rask, Lundqvist, and any other elite goalie would have been lit up like a Christmas tree yesterday. None of those were soft goals.

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - May 3, 2014 at 7:21 PM

      Agreed, they’re just looking for a scapegoat.

      They don’t blame Suter’s -2 and how badly he got schooled so they’ll blame Bryz. It’s unfair to him really.

      That defense got beat like a rented mule whenever Chicago decided they wanted to play.

      • mcphillthy - May 3, 2014 at 8:53 PM

        Lol. People in all the cities he played in have said that same thing.
        Everyone wants to blame the defense around bryz instead of accepting the fact that bryz sucks and was only a product of a great defense system in phoenix. Bryz is garbage. I had hopes for him when he first came to Philly, too. You can let those hopes go and save yourself the pain and disappointment

  4. capsnbohs23 - May 3, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    I think the Wild should throw the bank at Miller this offseason instead of Vanek, need to get that goalie situation figured out

  5. rgledz - May 3, 2014 at 7:27 PM

    I couldn’t agree with r8rbhawk any more. Who stops that beauty on the backhand from Kaner?? Nobody. Who stops Kaner’s second goal….Smith completely changed the direction of the puck and it ended up on Kane’s stick…nobody saves that. Hossa’s goal was the same deal. Bryz wasn’t that bad at all. Wild fans that blame everything on him are not very astute hockey fans. Kuemper has let in more softies these playoffs than Bryz has. Start looking at the defensemen from time to time, you might find some legit blame there if you know what to look for.

    • strictlythedanks - May 4, 2014 at 2:14 AM

      As a wild fan, I havent heard any other fans blaming bryz for that loss, aside from that comment above on here.

      You have to give chicago credit for creating great scoring chances and that snipe by kane. Chicago played very opportunistically in that first game, much llike avs did against the wild in their first series.

  6. blackhawks2010 - May 4, 2014 at 10:27 AM

    The Universe is Hummoungous Big…

  7. punksinplay - May 4, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    On which previous performances is Yeo basing his expectations on? Anyone expecting anything more from Bryzgalov than what he’s already given are just kidding themselves. He’s just not good enough to take a team to the Stanley Cup.

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