By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When the NHL and players union settled their labor dispute, a condensed schedule was the only way to make sure there was hockey this season. More back-to-backs, fewer off days would mean sloppier hockey.
The post lockout schedule has taken its toll on Ilya Bryzgalov.
“I don’t know like, I just wake up in the morning today and like think about what happened last night, and I realized watching the schedule, oh my God,” Bryzgalov told 94WIP’s Michael Barkann and Ike Reese. “For 30 days—like 31 days we played 19 games. 19. It’s a lot. Usually during the normal season you play like a maximum amount of full month games, like 15. That’s a four game difference and 12 of them were played on the road. I feel like exhausted, and I’m pretty sure my team feels the same way because it’s a crazy schedule. Lots of travel, lots of games, lots of back-to-back games and sometimes it’s just tough to find the energy and emotions to play some games, even when you know it’s a very important game, but nothing is left inside you because you need some time to regroup.”
LISTEN: Mike and Ike interview Byrzgalov
Though on the ice has been a whirlwind for the Flyers, off the ice has been relatively quiet for Bryzgalov. After heavy fan criticism last year, Ilya Bryzgalov says he’s heard nothing but good things.
“They support you. They nice, they never say bad things to you,” he said. “I don’t know. I’ve never heard anything bad or something. They’ve always said, ‘OK, Bryzy, you know it was a great game’, or ‘It was a not very good game, it was a lousy game, you get them next time’, or ‘tough bounces’. It’s always supportive.”