You had to figure it wouldn’t be too long before the Edmonton Oilers had an issue on their hands when it came to goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. Always known for quirky quotes and a questionable laid back personality, especially during his time with the Philadelphia Flyers, Bryzgalov is now being called out for his body language.
Oilers coach Dallas Eakins isn’t psyched about how his goalie has been reacting to goals he’s been allowing late in games. Bryzgalov threw his stick down when letting up a game-tying tally against Philadelphia this past Saturday, and in a similar situation against the Phoenix Coyotes last Tuesday, he again showed his anger when he gave one of his defenders the stink eye.
Obviously, these situations can be frustrating when you’re trying to hang on to a lead and win the game. This is exacerbated when you’re in Edmonton and wins are coming at a premium. However, Eakins doesn’t want to see it anymore.
“If you’re doing it at one of your teammates, that’s not a very good thing to do, because sooner or later you’re going to make a mistake and I’m fairly certain you’re not going to want your teammates doing that to you,” Eakins said.
He’s got a great point. Bryzgalov isn’t exactly in the running for the Vezina Trophy this season. His GAA (2.91) is the highest he’s seen since 2008-09, and of the ten games he’s played for Edmonton, only two were wins. All of that said, how do you think he’d react if he let another crucial goal by and his teammates threw their arms up in disgust? Vegas odds favor him being pretty upset in that situation.
Being an NHL goalie is obviously a stressful position, especially when your team is struggling the way the Oilers are. That said, Eakins is right to address Bryzgalov’s negative reactions of late. The last thing he’d want during this difficult first season is frustration boiling over in the locker room. If Bryzgalov’s post-goal tantrums get worse, Eakins may have worse things to worry about than his team’s record.