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Ilya Bryzgalov doesn't fear the Penguins, just bears in the forest

Ilya Bryzgalov was already a well-known player across the league while he was tending goal for the Coyotes. His profile became bigger when the Flyers acquired him and then gave him a lengthy and lucrative extension. But nothing made him more popular than his interviews, which can only be described as different. OK, other words would work too, like zany, for example.

He was producing some awesome sound bites (and awesome TV on 24/7). But he was struggling mightily, so the team reigned him in and he began flourishing. Sadly, most of the entertaining comments were wiped out of his interview vocabulary. The odd answers aren't completely gone, though, Monday's post-practice answers proof..

Bryzgalov was asked if he is concerned about the favored Pittsburgh Penguins and he wanted everybody to know that he isn't afraid of no stinkin' penguins. It's those bears in the forest you gotta watch out for.

There's a reason why he said it straight-faced while you can hear the reporters snickering. He knew somebody who was mauled and killed by a bear on a hunting trip.

That sobering news make the comments seem a lot more macabre, but it's still an odd answer to give. There were plenty of ways to answer the question with player speak. But this is why I've come to really like Bryzgalov, he doesn't speak the same language as his cliché-fluent friends across hockey.

Another gem, although not as shiny, from his short interview? He was asked if it would be a disappointment for the Flyers to lose in the first round.

"I can't comment because we're not even playing [yet]," he said. "Why do you start asking questions like this? We're not even starting to play, and you're always preparing the crowd and people for something. Why don't you start ... thinking positive, guys?"

Honesty is awesome. Thanks Bryz, not only for the entertaining interviews but the public service announcement as well.

P.S.: Did the Universe just give himself another nickname? Thoughts on Bryzly bear? Lame I admit but I think it has some potential.

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