Tuesday, June 10, 2014

2013-14 Season In Review: Ilya Bryzgalov

Photo: Matt Kartozian/USA Today
Ilya Bryzgalov turned out to be a good trade deadline acquisition for the Wild.


Edmonton (NHL): Regular Season-20 GP, 5-8-5, 3.01 GAA, .908 SV%, 1 SO
Minnesota (NHL): Regular Season-12 GP, 7-1-3, 2.12 GAA, .911 SV%, 3 SO
                             Playoffs-9 GP, 3-4-2, 2.63 GAA, .885 SV%, 1 SO


Bryzgalov was acquired at the trade deadline from Edmonton in exchange for a fourth round pick in the 2014 draft. He was brought in to back up Darcy Kuemper, who at the time was the clear cut number one goaltender. Kuemper faltered after Bryzgalov took over in net and rode an incredible hot streak to get the Wild into the playoffs and finish the year. Bryzgalov was pulled from the net following Game 2 against Colorado in favor of Kuemper. Bryz was not seen from again until Game Seven when he came in for the injured Kuemper. Bryz made a crucial save in overtime, allowing the Wild to come down the ice and win the game. In the Chicago series, Bryz was victimized by some poor defense, but still managed to keep the Wild in every game. The Wild might have lost the series, but Bryz was stellar and gave them a chance to win every night.


Status for 2014-15

Bryzgalov is a unrestricted free agent this summer. Given the Wild have three goalies under team control already, he is not going to return next year despite rave review from Mike Yeo and his teammates. Bryzgalov came to the team and "completely bought in to the team". Given his previous history of teams, that is a great sign for Bryz and he should have no problem signing on with a team this summer.

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell

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