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Bryzgalov remains ‘the guy’ in net for Wild heading into Game 3

May 4, 2014, 10:10 PM EDT

While Ilya Bryzgalov‘s individual stats continue to look paltry on paper, many believe that he wasn’t at fault for many (if any) of the goals he’s allowed through two losses against the Chicago Blackhawks. Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo shares that sentiment … or at least he realizes that he doesn’t have much of a choice but to support Bryzgalov.

Following Sunday’s 4-1 Game 2 loss, Yeo emphatically named Bryzgalov as Minnesota’s Game 3 starter. In fact, he said that discussing it is basically a waste of time in general, as NHL.com reports.

“He’s in the net,” Yeo said. “We got to find a way to get a win and that’s all of us. That’s him, but our team too and I’m not going to sit around and wait for another option, for someone else to come in. This is the guy, so let’s quit even talking about it. We shouldn’t even be talking about who is backing up. [Bryzgalov] is the guy right now and so we have to find a way as a team and as a staff to get a win.”

As this post indicates, one way to get back into the series would be to find away for the big trio of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Ryan Suter to break free.

Whatever the case may be, it’s up to Yeo to find the answers and Bryzgalov & Co. to rise to the occasion to avoid a swift exit against the Blackhawks.

At least Yeo is doing whatever he can to avoid the distraction of a goalie controversy. Then again, the Wild are probably accustomed to unrest considering their luck with netminders this season.

Here’s video of Yeo’s press conference:

  1. canucks30 - May 4, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    • mp1131211 - May 4, 2014 at 10:23 PM

      About 2 minutes was funny. The other 8 was a snoozer. This guy is good stuff overall. He actually hasn’t played that bad.

      • canucks30 - May 4, 2014 at 10:31 PM

        A snoozer you say?

    • 950003cups - May 5, 2014 at 1:32 AM

      This isn’t the first time I’m saying this. But, you coulda had Marty!! Good job there. Keep Dizzy Bryzzy and pay $200,000,000 for two no-shows. Zilch Parise was a -3? I guess he was having a better than normal game.

      • avscup - May 5, 2014 at 10:17 AM

  2. dontbsuchapuss - May 4, 2014 at 10:50 PM

    Can’t blame him the team has played crapy in front of him. At least he isn’t calling his team out.

  3. hockeyflow33 - May 4, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    Anyone with any semblance of hockey knowledge has seen terrible defensive play in front of him and the entire team has been outplayed so far.

    • comeonnowguys - May 4, 2014 at 11:24 PM

      Can’t quite figure out why someone would thumb that down.

    • getadealdonealready - May 4, 2014 at 11:29 PM

      When playing the defending Cup Champions a goalie is going to be counted on to make key saves. When your save % is south of 85 you aren’t making many key saves and therefore the games won’t be competitive.

      The save percentage and record 0-4 in games started are some glaring stats that can’t be ignored. While he hasn’t played “crappy” as stated above he isn’t making saves that instills confidence in the skaters in front of him. The team seems to be playing like they know they have to play a perfect game in front of him in order to win.

      • clarke16 - May 5, 2014 at 12:58 AM

        Generally true–but only conclusively valid in a much larger sample size. The bottom line is–with rare exception in this series, the goals that have been scored on Bryz would have been likely scored on any goalie in the league. These have been largely either snipes or open nets due to penetration far too deep into the zone… The save percentage here simply doesn’t paint the proper picture.

        I’m happy with the way he has played… What I’m NOT happy about is the way the Wild have been playing in their own zone and the penalties they have been taking. Chicago has WAY too much talent on that PP to give them the man advantage like they have been. Brodin’s careless stick cost them a pair of goals in the first game and the only way the Wild have a chance is to operate with the man advantage for significantly more of the game than the Hawks do.

      • hockeyflow33 - May 5, 2014 at 1:14 AM

        Hockey is not a numbers game.

      • getadealdonealready - May 5, 2014 at 9:05 AM

        I love the terms to describe him, “not bad”, “not crappy”, I’m going to go put those on my resume. It’s fine to defend him, and say it’s not his fault, heck you might even believe that but I can tell you this the coaches and players know they can’t win with him in net. They see him in practice each and every day, and that is why you see some of the play in front of him. They know any little mistake will lead to a goal, and therefore are playing not to make mistakes rather than playing fast, focused hockey. People were saying the same thing after game 1 & 2 in the AVS series, but all of a sudden you put Kuemper in and the team played better, and when they didn’t he made the saves necessary to keep them in the game. If Harding, Backstom or Kuemper were healthy he wouldn’t play a minute in the series. It’s mute to argue though because they aren’t and this is our fate, I’m just saying what Coach Yeo can’t, no chance to win with him in net, but you can go ahead and blame everyone else if makes you feel better.

      • comeonnowguys - May 5, 2014 at 9:22 AM

        GADDA,

        Let’s put this as clearly as possible:

        I don’t for a second think he can put a team on his back and carry them to a Cup, however Bryzgalov. Is. Not. The. Reason. The. Wild. Are. Down. Two. Games.

      • clarke16 - May 5, 2014 at 11:37 AM

        You usually track pretty well, getadeal–but you certainly whiffed on this one…

        Yeo is choosing to start a goalie in the second round of the NFL playoffs, down two, that he knows gives the team no chance to win? Wow.

        Good thing you’re not a player with that performance. I’d have to make you a healthy scratch… ;)

      • getadealdonealready - May 5, 2014 at 12:13 PM

        So lets take it a step further than Clarke, by saying that Bryz is playing well, you are then saying that he is a viable option for this team moving forward and should be signed in the off-season?

      • clarke16 - May 5, 2014 at 3:29 PM

        No–not necessarily, getadeal… Depends on a lot of factors yet to play out.

        Once again–what I am saying is Bryz has played well so far in this series and it’s not his fault that the team is down 0-2. Simple as that. He didn’t go 9-0-2 in his first 11 to close the season against many of the NFL’s elite because he can’t put you in a position to win–if you deserve to. The Wild has NOT yet deserved to win a game in this series. The Hawks have outclassed them primarily because they are a better team with significantly more playoff experience. What that means is the Wild have to exploit every opportunity they can to have a chance–such as drawing penalties and playing with the man advantage and certainly not putting the Hawks on the PP, etc…

        The Wild CAN beat them–it’s just that they are at a disadvantage to do so. Again–not because of Breezy.

  4. soundsofsuccess7 - May 5, 2014 at 12:13 AM

    He really was not bad today. His performance would have had them in the game if the rest of the team showed up

  5. lofty35 - May 5, 2014 at 3:21 AM

    Still can’t let it go, can you, cups?

  6. purpleguy - May 5, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    Not Bryz;s fault — it’s like all the juice was used up in the Avs series. Not sure I’ve seen Prosser and Brodin play this bad all year.

    • mp1131211 - May 5, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      This wild team has had major confidence issues all year. I think just being in a series with the hawks who they lost to last year and who are the defendin champs is enough to psych them out. I’ve never seen a team with such fragile confidence!

  7. maalea - May 5, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    The problem with Bryz is that he plays just good enough to tease you. He will keep the game close but give up a backbreaking goal late. If you score 5 he lets in 6, If you score 3 he gives up 4 or 5.

  8. mnrunleft - May 5, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    Considering the fact that Bryz is probably the 4th goaltender on the depth chart when everyone is healthy I don’t know what more people reasonably expect. Trading more for Ryan Miller didn’t work out any better for St Louis. The rest of the team had to step up to make up for what the Wild lack in net, this point it hasn’t happened.

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