First, Ilya Bryzgalov of the Philadelphia Flyers, who let in four goals on ten shots in contributing to a 9-8 Flyers loss to Claude Noel's Winnipeg Jets:
Keep in mind, Bryz was perhaps THE free agent signing of the off-season, dropping his John Hancock (or Nicholas II, Boris Yeltsin, or whomever the Russians consider important) on a nine-year, $51 million contract. After 8 games played, Bryz has a 3-4-1 record and a 3.45 Goals Against Average. YOW. And you thought that the Blue Jackets had goalie issues...
That's the negative. Who to offer the positive, you ask?
Why, Winnipeg coach (and former CBJ assistant and interim head coach) Claude Noel, who had total awesomeness after last night's goal-fest. While I couldn't find any video online this morning (the audio on XM Home Ice this morning tipped me off to Claude's post-game glory), I did find a collection of quotes from the Winnipeg Free Press:
“I thought to myself, ‘Self, you’re a sick man trying to make logic of this.’ I just, ah, I just . . . it was hard,” Noel mused after the game. “It was a tough night for the goaltenders, to say the least.”"I thought to myself, 'Self, you're a sick man...'" "Don't tell anyone." Fantastic.
Noel was going back and forth between the positives and negatives of this latest win and had a wry look of resignation on his face as he sorted things out with the media after a game that saw his team break any number of cardinal rules but still earn two points.
“A loss could have been devastating. It’s a valid point,” he said. “We’ve won two of three, we got our first win on the road. We have some things to feel good about — the nine goals and the win.
“But you can’t play this way, and I’m sure the players are saying the same thing. You can’t do this. We gave up eight. Don’t tell anyone.”
And then one last gem from the Associated Press article:
"I had the rosary out, I had everything going tonight."Is there a more quotable coach in the NHL? (Shut up, Torts. Your quotes are more suited toward late-night pay cable.) If you're going to have a tough season with a not very good team, why not go through it with a coach who can at least make you smile?
Anyway, I thought that CBJ fans would enjoy. A bit of a palette-cleanser after last night's Buffalo loss.