Did Ilya Bryzgalov fall asleep during a team meeting Monday?
Well, it depends whose reporting you believe.
On the same day the team announced defenseman Nick Grossmann — arguably the team’s best blue-liner during the shortened 2013 season — would miss another two to three weeks with concussion symptoms, the biggest story out of Flyerland was whether Bryzgalov kept his eyes open during a team meeting.
Blog Crossing Broad and 97.5 The Fanatic nearly simultaneously reported around 11 a.m. Wednesday that team sources had told them Bryzgalov was benched in favor of recently acquired backup Steve Mason on Tuesday night on Long Island because the enigmatic Russian goaltender fell asleep during Monday’s meeting.
Several Flyers beat writers reported an hour or so later, and throughout the afternoon, that players, coach Peter Laviolette and general manager Paul Holmgren strongly denied the report.
Later Wednesday afternoon, though, the Daily News reported several players had confirmed the earlier reports of Bryzgalov falling asleep during the meeting.
Well, sort of.
Several players say Bryzgalov “closed his eyes” during the meeting, the Daily News reports. But the goalie caught his shut-eye after Laviolette had informed the two goalies who would get the start against the Islanders on Tuesday night.
For what it’s worth, Holmgren told several reporters he expects Bryzgalov will be in net tonight when the Flyers take on the Ottawa Senators in a game the Flyers must win to have any shot of making one last playoff push.
Bryzgalov was pulled after two periods in Winnipeg on Saturday after surrendering four goals.