Bryzgalov, being Bryzgalov.

Crashing the Crease: O Bryz, Where Art Thou?

Ilya Bryzgalov’s KHL season is underway with CSKA Moscow, the modern-day incarnation of the Red Army hockey club. Since his arrival, much has been made about his being a healthy scratch, and concern abounds about having lost two games while yielding 4 goals in each. However, has it really been all that bad? Is he being scratched because he is terrible? Just what is going on over there? Alarms started ringing after word came back that CSKA lost to Traktor 4-3. Most North American highlight packages showed few, if any, of the goals against Bryz, therefore making it difficult to …

Courtesy Barstool Sports

Crashing the Crease: Slim Bryz, slim stats?

The 2012-2013 version of Ilya Bryzgalov could be a bit faster on the ice than he was last year. The Russian netminder is back to work in Voorhees, training for the upcoming NHL season, and has reportedly lost eight pounds over the Summer. At times last season, Bryz could be a little sluggish side to side. He wasn’t outright slow, nor was he heavy enough for weight to be a problem – at 6-foot-4 and 213 pounds, Bryzgalov was certainly not out of shape. In fact, his apparent lack of mobility was a combination of a stylistic approach to goaltending …

Courtesy of DelCo Times.

Crashing the Crease: Trap Games

Hockey pundits will often discuss a phenomenon known as the “trap game.” In this case, “trap” isn’t referring to some boring neutral zone forecheck, but rather the entire game being a sort of trap. Generally, it refers to a matchup in which a team faces a weaker opponent in the midst of high-energy games. Contests like these are generally considered risky because in the midst of a series of emotional, high-energy or crucial division games, a team may underestimate a weak opponent, or simply not be as prepared for the matchup, and lose a game that probably should not have. …

Being closer to the point of a deflection increases the angle required to beat a goaltender, improving the odds of a blocking save.

Crashing the Crease: Crashing the Crease

No, that title is not a symptom of double vision or some colossal editorial mistake. There is an important element to any hockey team’s game plan, and that is the very act of crashing the crease. Some broadcasters may refer to it as having good “net presence,” “going to the dirty areas to score,” or being in position to score a “garbage goal.” But net presence — and crashing the crease — is not a simple thing. Any team looking to crash the crease has a few major goals to accomplish, and each tactic demands a different response from the …

Bryzgalov's on-ice displays can be a distraction. Courtesy of the National Post.

Crashing the Crease: A Better Bryz?

Another summer means another one of Ilya Bryzgalov’s goaltending camps in Ufa, and the quirky Flyers goaltender has taken time to speak to Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov. Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov has published an early preview of this entertaining question and answer and in the midst Ilya’s sometimes cryptic answers lies a big clue as to what he may be focusing on for next season: “But I cannot say that I have ‘sport rage’ now and the next season I will show who the real Bryzgalov is! I set certain goals for myself and I will work to reach them. …

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