I'm not a Philadelphia Flyers fan, so it's easy for me to say this: Ilya Bryzgalov is my favorite player in the NHL. He won me over on HBO's 24/7 and he hasn't lost me since. You had me at Universe, Bryz. You had me at Universe.
The folks in Philly, though, wish they were able to share my sentiments. They'd love nothing more than to have a goaltender they could proudly call their own. But Bryzgalov's .898 and 2.82 save percentage aren't going to win over fans in Philadelphia, especially after he received a nine-year, $51 million contract.
But he has found some fans that will cheer for him. Since making comments about not wanting to move to Winnipeg while still with the Coyotes and about the 'Peg not having any parks, he became a target for Jets fans. On Tuesday night they finally had a chance to see him play at MTS Centre and unloaded taunting chants of "Ilya! Ilya!" on him throughout the game.
Always the humorist, Bryzgalov took it more than in stride.
As usual, we will share what he said in the video for anybody who might have video/audio problems. Courtesy of CSN Philly, here are Bryz's comments.
“You know, I like it,” he said. “It’s great atmosphere. I wished every building was going to be supportive like that. They going to support me like here. It was nice to hear cheering, ‘Ilya, Ilya.’
“I never heard that before anywhere. When 15,000 people support you, it’s [very impressive].”
Just like Philly, huh?
“No,” Bryzgalov replied. “Here there is cheering. In Philly, they boo me.”
What can I say, I'm a sucker for self-deprecating humor and this guy, he has it down pat.
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