Edmonton Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins hasn’t been shy about rolling with the hot hand in net so far this season. Ilya Bryzgalov had to wait for Devan Dubnyk to cool off before seeing his first start of the 2013-14 NHL season. That came yesterday against the Nashville Predators, and the netminder responded with a 33-save shutout.
Eakins will go back to “Bryz” tonight when the Oilers face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) November 29, 2013
Given that Bryzgalov had so much time off during the first five or six weeks of the season, it shouldn’t be too surprising to see him get the nod in back-to-back games for Edmonton.
There’s probably a little bit of extra motivation for the goalie to play well in this particular contest though. In goal for the Jackets will be Sergei Bobrovsky. The man they call Bob in Columbus was forced off of the Philadelphia Flyers roster when the team acquired Bryzgalov.
Bobrovsky went on to be the best goaltender in the NHL during the lockout-shortened 2013 season. Bryzgalov struggled to find his A-game on a consistent basis in Philly following the Bobrovsky trade, and was subsequently bought out of his massive contract by the Flyers.
Now the two will square off this evening. Interesting storyline to keep an eye on as the game progresses to say the least. Both goalies are likely to be pretty fired up for this contest, and it could turn into a duel between two talented netminders.