"Briere, Bryzgalov and Smith named the NHL's three stars of the week"
By Wes Goldstein, CBSSports.com
Sometimes the best things in life are free.
The Phoenix Coyotes have to believe that, at least a little after plucking the waiver wire a couple of weeks ago for a No. 1-caliber goalie who is entering the prime of his career.
Oh yes, Phoenix has also won four games in a row. It may not last for the league's youngest team, but Phoenix was outscored 15-1 and on a three-game losing streak when Bryzgalov joined and he ended the slide by posting a shutout.
"You look at teams like Calgary plays in front of (Miikka) Kiprusoff or how Vancouver played when they got (Roberto) Luongo, and I'm not saying we're those teams, but you can see how a mindset changes and how well teams play," Phoenix captain Shane Doan said. "We lost those three games, and a lot of what happened we deserved.
"We were pretty fragile going into that next game in L.A. Then Bryz came in and he was phenomenal in that first period. We started getting our confidence and thinking we are a good team. That was huge for us."
Equally big was Bryzgavlov's strong play in the next three starts, all Phoenix wins that helped move the Coyotes above .500 for the first time since winning on opening night.
"I think our goaltending was adequate before, but it got a lot better with Bryz in net," Gretzky said. "You get a guy of this caliber and your talent level goes up. He's helped us turn this team around and maybe our franchise. One guy can really turn things in the right direction."
I wish GMGM, not Gretzky would say that.
GMGM skipped the first step:
- 1. Pick up Bryzgalov
- 2. Let go Hanlon
- 3. Hire Boudreau
Not that Olie was bad, but I could swear Caps would beat Sabres with Ilya.
Here's what Corey Masisak said about the situation:
With the fewest points in the league, the Caps had first crack at Bryzgalov, who is an unrestricted free agent after the season (so is the No. 1 guy on this team, in case anyone forgot) and is making $563,000 more than Johnson this season.
Three reasons for not making the claim are
- 1) What do they do with Johnson?
- 2) Being worried about Olie Kolzig's reaction
- 3) Money.
Still, a young, quality, cheap goaltender is available for nothing, well, almost never.
...hmmm... What to do with Johnson? How about "What to do with Hanlon?" Being worried about Kolzig? Are we talking about retirement community here or competitive professional hockey team? Money? How much Kolzig makes?
Sometimes you don't need to fire the coach to win two games in a row, you just need to get a goalie of Bryzgalov caliber. I think GMGM did a good job this summer and bringing Jurcina before that, but letting Bryzgalov go to another team? Huge, huge mistake... I don't care if he and Burke were playing chess games, it is still a huge mistake.