Newly acquired Steve Mason got the start (and the loss) against the New York Islanders on Tuesday, but did the Philadelphia Flyers give Mason the nod because of starter Ilya Bryzgalov’s ill-timed nap?
97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia and CrossingBroad.com both report from a source that this is the case. The Flyers reported that Mason was getting the start much earlier than normal, even before their morning skate, so Coach Peter Laviolette must have had a good reason to make the decision before seeing either goalie warm-up.
Veteran defenseman Kimmo Timonen has been a small campaign to clear Bryz’ name, telling media “No, that’s not true…In the NHL, have you ever heard of anyone sleeping in a meeting? Yeah, that’s a scoop.”
Bryzgalov is not helping his case, telling CSNPhilly that he was “tired” and that is why he didn’t play yesterday. He is only in his second year of a nine-year deal that pays the Russian $51 million. When asked about the potential buyout the team may make in order to clear his gigantic contract, he told the Courier Post “To be honest, I don’t care. Really, I don’t care. I have no control on this, so why should I care?”
The Flyers return home on Thursday after a road trip that resulted in back-to-back losses, something that almost certainly has put the final nail in the coffin that is their playoff hopes. The team will need an unbeatable goaltender over the few remaining games if they hope to claw their way in, but with Mason giving up four in his debut and Bryzgalov potentially sleeping his way through the end of season, things are not looking good.