LCS Hockey: Born Again
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June 26, 2019
Online: 26

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NHL News and Notes

Not long ago, Ilya Bryzgalov was being hailed for turning around the fortunes of the Phoenix Coyotes. Now, heís only turning around to fish pucks from his net.

Bryzgalov surrendered all seven goals in a 7-1 loss to the Blackhawks last night, and he was every bit as bad as the score would indicate.

Bryzgalov is a mess right now. Heís got worse angles than the Backyard Wrestling Alliance. The Coyotes should consider tethering him to the back bar. Mr. Limpet swims less than Bryzgalov.

After a middling start to the campaign, Bryzgalov went 5-2-0 from October 30 to November 12, posting a swell .944 save percentage during the seven-game stretch. But itís been downhill ever since.

Over his last eight starts, Bryzgalov is 0-6-1 with a 3.97 goals-against average and a pitiful .867 save percentage.

Mikael Tellqvist had all but usurped the starting gig until he got yanked against the Maple Leafs last week, giving up three goals on nine shots. Bryzgalov came off the bench to backstop the Dogs to a 6-3 win, but heís stumbled in both subsequent starts, allowing 11 goals on 58 shots (.810 SV%).

Tellqvist is nursing a lower body injury, so thatís why he never relieved Bryzgalov against the Hawks. Assuming heís healthy, expect to see Tellqvist, who sports a sparkling .930 save percentage, between the pipes Wednesday night in Dallas.

Here are a few examples of Bryzgalovís woeÖ

Jonathan Toews was one of the many Hawks to feast on Bryzgalov, collecting a goal and an assist. Toews didnít score a goal in his first 12 games, but heís been on quite the tear lately, with four goals in his last three contests.

Toews now has eight goals and 22 points in 25 games. The Hawks are one of only three teams with at least five 20-point scorers, boasting Patrick Kane (32), Patrick Sharp (25), Toews (22), Kris Versteeg (22), and Martin Havlat (20). Brian Campbell is only one point shy of joining them.

Detroit also has five 20-point men, while the Sharks lead the way with seven. Florida is the only team without a 20-point scorer. Jay Bouwmeester leads the Cats in scoring with 15 points.

Yeah, it was obviously the coachís fault.

If you havenít been keeping score, the Tampa Bay Lightning are now 1-5-4 since firing Barry Melrose. Worse yet, Rick Tocchet is so upset, heís no longer waiving the vig.

Vincent Lecavalier has scored a goal in only three of his last 16 games. But to be fair, itís tough gripping the stick with his hands covered in Melroseís blood.

The blue line remains the real problem, though. When Steve Eminger, Paul Ranger, and Andrej Meszaros are your top three, youíve got worry. If only the Bolts had a premiere, puck-moving defenseman like a Dan Boyle. Oh, never mind.

But in case youíre wondering, Boyle has 10 goals and 24 points for the Sharks, which is one more point than Lecavalier and as many points as Tampaís top four defensemen combined.

Teemu Selanne leads the league with 13 power-play goals, which is as many as the Columbus Blue Jackets and one more than the New Jersey Devils.

The Washington Capitals lost 3-1 last night to the Carolina Hurricanes, squandering an opportunity to seize an eight-point lead in the Southeast. The Caps, playing without Alexander Semin, Mike Green, and Sergei Fedorov, fell to 5-9-2 on the road. Thatís a red flag. Good teams win on the road.

Injuries are clearly impacting that road record. And by that I mean Jose Theodore needs to get injured. Theodore has an .877 save percentage away from home.

Alexander Ovechkin did what he could to support his netminder, firing 11 shots on goal, but he couldnít solve Michael Leighton. Ovechkin even got stoned on a penalty shot at the end of the second period, burying a forehand deke into Leightonís left pad. Ovechkin is now 0-for-5 on penalty shots in his career.

LCS Hockey: Born Again
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